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Readers’ Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs

From “Killer Queen” and “The Show Must Go On” to (duh) “Bohemian Rhapsody”

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Last week, Queen + Adam Lambert announced details of their American summer tour. "This is the closest that you'll ever get to see Queen as it was in our golden days," said guitarist Brian May. "But it's not a reproduction." The group pledged to center their show around Queen's large catalog of hits, though they did say they wanted to revive some deeper cuts like "Dragon Attack." In honor of the tour, we asked our readers to select their 10 favorite Queen songs. Click through to see the results. 

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4. “Somebody to Love”

Queen had a tough task in front of them when they went into the studio to begin work on their 1976 LP A Day at the Races. How in God's name do you follow up "Bohemian Rhapsody?" Freddie knew he couldn't match the grand madness of that song, but he still came up with a pretty incredible soul tune with "Somebody to Love." He wrote the song on the piano and then dubbed in vocals by Brian May and Roger Taylor, making the trio sound like a full choir. It was a huge hit that year, reaching Number 13 in America. George Michael delivered a stirring rendition of the tune at the 1992 Freddie Mercury tribute concert. 

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3. “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Queen were on a pretty amazing run by the time their 1978 album Jazz came around. They'd gone from tiny clubs to stadiums during the past four runs, and every single song they released seemed to fly up the charts. "Don't Stop Me Now," the lead single from the LP featuring the group's trademark multi-tracked harmonies, didn't quite live up to expectations, peaking at Number 86 in America. It was, however, a Top 10 hit in England. Time has also been very kind to it and it's widely seen now as one of the group's best works. 

 

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2. “Fat Bottomed Girls”

Long before Sir Mix-A-Lot declared that he liked "big butts and can not lie," Queen told the world that "fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round." The song was released as a single along in 1978 with "Bicycle Race," whose lyrics also refer to "fat bottomed girls." The 45 sleeve shows such a woman on a bicycle, and they promoted the songs by having sixty-five models ride bicycles naked around Wimbledon Stadium. Needless to stay, the stunt caused a firestorm of protest in the press, which probably did little but promote the song. 

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1. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Queen's most enduring and beloved song remains one of their most mysterious. The six-minute classic was written by Freddie Mercury, breaking most rules of convention songwriting by omitting a chorus and shifting tones wildly through the course of the tune. The group spent weeks and a small fortune creating the masterpiece, layering on vocals until the tape couldn't physically fit any more. The story don't tell much of a cohesive story, though the narrator is clearly plagued by a horrible past and endless frustration. "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it," Mercury said. "I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them." Realizing they had something special, the group made a video for the song, a full six years before MTV came on the airwaves. An entirely new generation of rock fans embraced the song when it appeared in Wayne's World

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