The best ever Queen songs (Legends Slot)

Queen - The Works (1984) album cover featured image

Next up in The Legend Slot, it’s once again battle of the bands. For the sixth playlist in the series, I’ve chosen rock legends Queen. The Legend Slot is an ongoing music series that I run here on Female Original. For each post in the series, I listen to ALL of the studio albums of a specific legendary musician/band, put a playlist of my favourite tracks together and give a bit of an overview of the artist too. This time, it’s Queen that I’m shining the spotlight on. Keep reading to discover what I thought the 52 best Queen songs ever were.

Queen: A Brief History

Formed in London in 1970, Queen is a British rock band originally made up of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) and John Deacon (bass). Although influenced by hard rock and heavy metal in their earlier days, Queen slowly found themselves moving towards a more radio-friendly sound and went on to incorporate pop-rock into their music repertoire.

Prior to Queen becoming Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor were actually in a band together already. Freddie Mercury then joined, suggesting they rename the group ‘Queen’ and shortly after John Deacon joined on bass. They released their first, self-titled, album in 1973 followed by Queen II in 1974, which brought them success in the UK.

Queen - Queen (1973) album cover
‘Queen’ (1973) – Queen.

By the 80s they were one of the biggest rock bands in the world, touring large stadiums and with huge anthems such as We Will Rock You (1977) under their belt. Their iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985 was even ranked amongst some of the greatest moments in rock history. They received multiple awards including a 1990 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Their last performance together was in 1986 at Knebworth, 16 years after they first formed. To this day they are one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

Queen: Freddie Mercury’s Death

In November 1991, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury sadly passed away from Bronchopneumonia (pneumonia) as a complication of AIDS.  Having been diagnosed with the disease in 1987, he chose to keep the information private from public knowledge and only revealed it to the band and those close to him. Two days before his death he made a statement confirming that he had had the illness for 4 years and kept the information private to protect loved ones.

Queen - The Works (1984) album cover
‘The Works’ (1984) – Queen.

In the years following his diagnosis, Mercury wanted to spend his time making and recording music. He continued to record as many vocals and piano parts as he could up until his death in 1991. He gave the rest of the band instructions to continue the songs after his death which is how Queen’s final album, Made In Heaven (1995) was created. Released 4 years after his death, Made In Heaven (1995) brought together Freddie’s previously recorded vocals and piano parts and additional drums, vocals and guitars from the remaining band members.

After the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen was of course changed forever. In 1997 Deacon retired, leaving May and Taylor as the only two original members of Queen to still tour to this day. May and Taylor have toured as ‘Queen +’ over the years with vocalists Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.

52 Best Queen Songs (The Legend Slot): The Playlist

You might remember me saying last month that my David Bowie playlist was a big one. Well…this one’s bigger (oops). As always it’s a classic case of the musician(s) having SO MANY HITS. Plus I think because I’d watched Bohemian Rhapsody (the Queen film) I already knew loads of their songs. Once I added them all into the playlist, along with the new discoveries, it was a pretty big list!

I do have to admit that I found it pretty hard to get in the mood to listen to Queen this month. They’re pretty intense listening and aren’t exactly the kind of band that you could listen to all day everyday (well, in my opinion anyway). That’s not to say that I didn’t love listening to their music. I 100% think that they have amazing tunes and are definitely Legend Slot worthy. It was just slightly challenging for me to find the perfect moment to listen to their albums in full.

A Few of My Favourites…

Anyway, despite not always being in the mood for their music, when I was in the mood I absolutely loved listening along. And I’ve got plenty of favourites for you. The first is You’re My Best Friend from A Night At The Opera (1975). It was written by the band’s bassist, John Deacon, about his wife. Pretty cute, right? It’s a real feel-good pop tune that always makes me want to dance.

Queen - A Night At The Opera (1975) album cover
‘A Night At The Opera’ (1975) – Queen.

The big hits like Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions and Another One Bites The Dust are of course up there. I think pretty much everyone loves all of them. However, a personal all-time favourite is Under Pressure from Hot Space (1982) which featured David Bowie.  This isn’t just a favourite of Queen’s songs for me, it’s actually one of my favourite songs ever. That song alone was the reason why I chose to feature Queen straight after Bowie.

I was convinced that Under Pressure was on one of Bowie’s albums but then when it didn’t come up in any of his 80s albums I suddenly remembered that it’s on Hot Space instead. Since I didn’t get to share my love for it last month I’m doing it this month instead!

New Discoveries

This one isn’t necessarily a completely new discovery. In the same way that I rediscovered Sound and Vision by David Bowie I found Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen. I’d just completely forgotten that this song even existed. No idea how that happened! When I was a kid I genuinely thought that Crazy Little Thing Called Love was an Elvis Presley song. The track itself was actually written by Freddie Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley so I guess that’s where little Faye got the Elvis link from.

Queen - Hot Space (1982) album cover
‘Hot Space’ (1982) – Queen.

New Discoveries: Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To…)

Onto the actual new discoveries…Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To…) from their fourth album A Night At The Opera (1975) quickly became a favourite of mine. The song itself was written about their original manager and the fall-out that they had with him. I loved how much of a heavy rock song this was, it’s what Queen does best in my opinion.

New Discoveries: Made In Heaven & The Works

Another couple of new favourites came from their final album Made In Heaven (1995). I hadn’t listened to a single song on this album until it came to putting together this playlist, so it was a great experience discovering so many new tracks. The first three songs on the album are definitely my favourites. It’s A Beautiful Day, Made In Heaven and Let me Live. I listened to the album on one of the most stunning sunny days that we’ve had recently and it was an incredible experience. Next time the weather is glorious where you are I definitely recommend listening to the album in full.

Queen - Made In Heaven (1995) album cover
‘Made In Heaven’ (1995) – Queen.

My overall favourite album, however, was The Works (1984). It was a return to rock moment for them and I loved every second of it. When I think of Queen I definitely associate them with the style of music they have on The Works.

Are you a fan of Queen? What are some of your favourite Queen tracks? I’d love to know. Who else do you want to see featured in The Legend Slot?

Female Original

Read next: The Legend Slot: David Bowie.

51 thoughts on “The best ever Queen songs (Legends Slot)

  1. Yes, Queen! These had to make a feature on your legends list, didn’t they? My dad was/is the Queen fan in our house, so I have always had their music playing when growing (as well as another legend Rod Stewart). You forget how many hits they had don’t you? I like “its a kinda magic” and “Someone to love” too. I didn’t know much about the band as such until watching Bohemian Rhapsody, what an amazing film that is about their start and life as a band. Also the musical that they helped produce and make “We will Rock you” is an amazing production, would highly recommend!

    Thanks for sharing…I really enjoyed this one!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    1. So glad you enjoyed this one! Of course Queen had to make a feature! It’s A Kinda Magic is a great track, I’d forgotten all about it until I was making this playlist 🙂 x

  2. I absolutely love Queen’s music – you definitely can’t talk about legends without including them! I perform with a saxophone quartet and we’ve arranged a number of their songs. They are popular no matter where we go. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love the beat of We Will Rock you! Good music always gets my feet moving, and some songs are so short, I need a long playlist to keep me dancing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a fab post. I have listened to many of Queen’s songs and they are pretty legendary. Although like you, its hard to find the right moment to put their songs on! If I’m at a party then their songs go down a treat, everyone drunk and singing along to Queen is a funny thing to witness. When I was at school, around 7 years old or something, we used to have this thing where certain form groups will win something each week and whenever our class won my teacher would get us to sit in a circle in our classroom and she put on ‘we are the champions’ and we would all just sing along and sway. Its such a funny thing thinking back to it, but it was great haha.

    Chloe xx

  5. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for you to make this playlist when they’re SO iconic. It must have taken ages this month! I think Queen are a weird one in terms of favourites, they have such an extensive back catalogue that I think song preferences 100% depend on the mood you’re in, it does for me anyway x

    1. It definitely took me a while! Yeah I agree completely, they have such a variety of tracks and styles of music in their back catalogue so my favourites varied all the time x

  6. I absolutely loved reading this post! Queen is an amazing band and you did a great job sharing their history and analyzing their music! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! So happy you enjoyed reading and learning a little bit about them as a band 🙂 x

  7. Queen are one of my all-time favourite bands. Their range of music was just so huge and Freddie was a true icon. I’d find it very hard to pick a favourite track TBH but Killer Queen is probably somewhere near the top, alongside Freddie’s duet with Monserrat Caballe. Great post, and I’d love to see The Killers in a future Legend Slot 🙂 Lisa

    1. Killer Queen is a great track! I’m a huge fan of The Killers – I’m thinking of doing a ‘new legends’ series next year which they’d definitely fit into 🙂 x

  8. Yessss! I absolutely LOVE Queen. After seeing Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema, I watched every documentary I could find about them. I also saw We Will Rock You at the theatre last year which was just spectacular. Such a good homage to the band. I love that Roger’s son is now the drummer of The Darkness too, which is another fave of mine.

    1. Bohemian Rhapsody was such an incredible film! I’ve watched it so many times haha. So happy you enjoyed reading 🙂 x

  9. I love Queen! When I was younger, my mum and I used to do a long car journey every week or so and we’d listen to a live Queen album so they always bring back such nice memories! I’m going to go back and read the rest of the posts in this series now 🙂

    1. Oh that’s so cute! Glad you enjoyed reading – I hope you enjoy the others just as much 🙂 x

    1. I hadn’t listened to them since I last watched Bohemian Rhapsody so it was interesting to sit down and properly listen to them again! x

  10. I’ve always enjoyed Queen’s music, but it wasn’t until Bohemian Rhapsody (the movie) that I fell in love with the band. It made me appreciate Freddie all the more, and their story broke my heart and made it grow 10x its size, simultaneously. Honestly, you’ll find me listening to their music nearly every day, and my husband and I blast it whenever we need a mood-boost. It was so fun to read this article!

    1. Bohemian Rhapsody was such an incredible film! I learned so much about the band from watching it. Haha love that! Glad you enjoyed the post x

  11. This is such a cool post! I’ve always like Queen’s music but I haven’t delved into their history before (I haven’t yet seen Bohemian Rhapsody – I missed it in cinemas 😭). And what a killer playlist!

    1. Thanks so much! Ooh it’s such a great film, you have to watch it when you get the chance to 🙂 x

  12. Queen is such an icon!! Love hearing them still being referenced as favorite karaoke songs or just songs in general. I love that you really brought some throwback to their releases over the years. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨

  13. Queen is my absolute all time favourite band…actually bordering on obsession. I love how their music changed and evolved. It’s hard to pick a favourite Queen song. It all depends on my mood. Sadly, I never saw them with Freddie…I had tickets to see them in Toronto when I was 18 but I ended up going to France for the summer and gave my ticket to a friend. Little did I know, I wouldn’t get another chance. One of my big regrets. I have seen them twice in concert with Adam Lambert. Brian and Roger still have it!

    Thanks for bringing attention to the greatest rock band ever!!

    1. Oh that’s so frustrating! A similar thing happened with my mum and Led Zeppelin – she had tickets to their final UK gig before John Bonham’s death but ended up not being able to go. I really loved listening to their studio albums in full, their music is incredible 🙂

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