As Queen's frontman, Freddie Mercury was so over the top that he was absolutely perfect for the '70s. Queen's sense of high drama, a perfect vehicle for Mercury, made them world famous, though they were more popular in their native England, and elsewhere, than in the U.S. Though videos were not around when Queen was in its prime, filmed concert performances, with Mercury bare-chested and strutting around with the top half of a mike stand, show him to be a charismatic performer with extraordinary stage presence.
Mercury had an overbite no mortal orthodontist would dare touch but a voice that was a sheer heart attack. As studio technology improved bands had the opportunity to expand their sound. But before Mercury it was usually just the guitarist who spent long days doing overdubs while the rest of the band hung out with family and friends. Mercury laid down countless vocal tracks, maximizing the impact by playing all the parts in his mini-operas.
Mercury had an incredible range from precise and powerful, think "Bohemian Rhapsody," to guttural, "We Will Rock You" and "Another One Bites The Dust," to the intimate cool of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
Seemingly, like all great Rockers (with the exception of Mick Jagger), Mercury died young. He announced he was suffering from AIDS in '91 and died the next day. Though it was long after Queen's epic era, his death effectively put an end to the group but not to his or their legacy.
Case in point. "The Great Pretender," a documentary about Mercury, won the International Emmy Award for Best Arts Program at the 41st International Emmys in New York.
"A Night At The Opera" and "A Day At The Races" (the titles taken from two of the Marx Brothers' more popular films) show Queen at their peak with Freddie Mercury's intense but layered vocals and Brian May's scorching guitar.
"Opera" has "You're My Best Friend" and the classic or classical "Bohemian Rhapsody." "Races" features "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Somebody To Love." "News of the World" follows in '77 containing "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions." In '80, Queen came out with "The Game" which contains two hit singles, the throbbing "Another One Bites The Dust" and the Rock revival "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."