Killer Queen

Killer Queen

Infobox Single
Name = Killer Queen

Artist = Queen
from Album = Sheer Heart Attack
A-side = "Flick of the Wrist"
Released = 11 October, 1974
Format = Vinyl record (7")
Recorded = 1974
Genre = Glam rock, Rock
Length = 3:03
Label = EMI (UK), Elektra (US)
Writer = Freddie Mercury
Producer = Roy Thomas Baker and Queen
Last single = "Seven Seas of Rhye"
This single = "Killer Queen"
Next single = "Now I'm Here"

"Killer Queen" is a 1974 song by the British rock band Queen. It was their breakthrough hit, reaching #2 in the UK and #11 in the United States. The song was taken from Queen's 1974 album "Sheer Heart Attack", and was written by pianist and lead singer Freddie Mercury. It was released as a Double A-side, along with "Flick of the Wrist". In 1986, it was featured as the B-side to Who Wants to Live Forever.

Mercury commented that he wrote the lyrics first before adding the musical arrangements. The recording features elaborate four-part vocal harmonies (particularly in the choruses, and also providing backing parts in the verses), and also an elaborate multitracked guitar solo by Brian May. The song was included in the List of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, although its inclusion has been subject to criticism. [ [ Clear Channel's list of songs with questionable content] ]

Recording sessions

Besides using a grand piano as usual, Mercury overdubbed the song with an upright (credited as "jangle piano"), to give the track a vaudeville sound. At one point there are two bass guitars, one of which does a descending run. Contrary to songs for the first two Queen albums, this one was partly recorded outside England, at Rockfield Studios in Wales.

Queen on the record

Freddie Mercury: [ [ NME, 2 November 1974 (Queen Archives)] ]

Brian May:


*Freddie Mercury: lead vocal, piano, jangle piano, backing vocals
*Brian May: electric guitar, backing vocals
*John Deacon: bass guitar, backing vocals (on stage only), triangle (on stage only)
*Roger Taylor: drums, backing vocals, triangle, chimes

Live Performances

The song was played from 1974-1978 live as a medley. In 1974, the song was played following "In The Lap Of The Gods", and in 1975-1976, the song was played after "Bohemian Rhapsody". In 1977, the song was played as the introduction to a medley, followed by the "Millionare Waltz", and in 1978, preceded "Bicycle Race". In 1979, the band played most of the song, and after the guitar solo ended, the opening bars of "I'm In Love With My Car" were played. This form was kept until 1982, when it was removed from the setlist. In 1984 and 1985, during The Works Tour, it was reintroduced in a medley following a truncated version of "Somebody To Love".


*Brian May uses the "Bell effect" on his guitar solo before the 3rd middle-eight.
*This song is playable in the PlayStation 2 video game "Guitar Hero" and is also playable on the Xbox 360 video game "Guitar Hero II" after downloading it on Xbox Live.

Live recordings

*"Live Killers" (1979)
*"We Will Rock You" (1981)


External links

* [ Killer Queen] – The Official Signed Limited Edition Book
* [] – The longest running Queen tribute band
* [ Queenpedia] - detailed worldwide release information

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