10 Greatest Queen Songs of All Time


Album cover for "Queen II."

“Queen II” album cover – Story on the greatest Queen songs by Christopher Behnan, photo via Elektra Records

Read on for the 10 greatest Queens songs of all time

The music of Queen has been part of the soundtrack of many music fans’ lives for nearly 50 years. The band blurs and mystifies musical definition through a catalogue of operatic ballads, kick-to-the-gut hard rock and unforgettable pop hits. The superhuman vocals of Freddie Mercury, symphonic guitar of Brian May, searing bass lines of John Deacon and unfailingly versatile drumming of Roger Taylor make for an unmatched musical experience. That said, it’s difficult to determine the 10 greatest Queen songs of all time.

The best Queen songs songs should each define a musical benchmark for a band whose legacy has only continued to grow and evolve since the death of Mercury. In honor of this legendary band, here are the 10 greatest Queen songs of all time. Reach out to us with your picks via the Audio Ink Radio contact page or on social media.

10. “Tie Your Mother Down” off “A Day at the Races”

Starting with May’s driving guitar intro through the final refrain, “Tie Your Mother Down” is one of Queen’s most raucous, heaviest-hitting rock classics. It’s a gem off their celebrated 1976 release, “A Day at the Races.”

9. “Under Pressure,” off “Hot Space”

This iconic pairing of Mercury and David Bowie is unique for many reasons. The song unassumingly appears on 1982’s “Hot Space,” Queen’s otherwise disco-influenced and least successful album. The dueling vocals of Mercury and Bowie build up to a boiling point, with the simple snap of fingers opening and closing the track.

8. “The Show Must Go On,” off “Innuendo”

“The Show Must Go On” appears on Queen’s final album recorded with the entire lineup in 1991. It’s also the final Queen record released in the last months of Mercury’s life. The song, written by May, was not directly inspired by Mercury’s waning health at the time. Regardless, Mercury brings a guttural energy to the song that supersedes the illness ravaging his body. He sings, “I’ll I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now/Outside the dawn is breaking/But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free.” The song is a haunting epilogue to the legend that is Freddie Mercury.

7. “One Vision,” off “A Kind of Magic”

“One Vision” marked a new beginning for Queen and their relevance on the world stage. The song’s building, kinetic energy provided the perfect opener for the band’s “Magic Tour.” That also includes their sold-out Wembley Stadium shows and final live performances. It’s certainly one of the best Queen songs ever released.

6. “You Take My Breath Away,” off “A Day at the Races”

Mercury’s melancholic vocal on “You Take My Breath Away” demonstrates his seemingly unlimited vocal range. This song stands apart from an album otherwise brimming with some of the band’s hardest-hitting material. What’s more, the track’s intricate lyrics and melody make it an unexpected and often overlooked gem on the album.

5. “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” off “News of the World”

While two separate tracks, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” are a package deal. They’re almost always played back-to-back on airplay and in Queen’s live performances. The simple, hypnotic beat of “We Will Rock You” has been ubiquitous in professional, college and high school athletics, marching band performances, film, TV commercials and more for decades. Moreover, its companion, “We Are the Champions,” has had a similar effect in stadium athletics, popular culture and any time we’ve reached a personal best in our lives.

4. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” off “A Night at the Opera”

Along with Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, Queen are among the ranks of artists unabashedly throwing up an F-U to label execs with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” At just under 6 minutes, the dizzying roller coaster of a ballad/pop/hard rock masterpiece was not a likely candidate for radio airplay or record sales. “Bohemian Rhapsody” ultimately achieved both, and the song had a resurgence when parodied in “Wayne’s World” in 1992.

3. “Killer Queen,” off “Sheer Heart Attack”

The flamboyant extravagance of “Killer Queen” was the band’s breakout hit in the United States. The band would soon tour the entire country, solidifying the group’s popularity and role in American popular music and culture. Hence, it’s a no-brainer as one of the greatest Queen songs.

2. “Another One Bites the Dust,” off “The Game” 

The popular culture antithesis of “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust” has become synonymous with jeering at one’s defeated opponents and in some cases attempts at comedic self-deprecation. The album appeared on Queen’s seminal 1980 release, “The Game.”

1. “Somebody to Love,” off “A Day at the Races”

“Somebody to Love” is hands down Queen’s most electrifying live performance. Mercury once asked an eager audience, “You ready brothers and sisters?” It was an apt warning for the musical odyssey about to unfold. The lyrical quest to find somebody to love creates a building intensity that drives Mercury’s acrobatic vocal performance. An intensifying and gospel-influenced melody throughout culminates with Taylor taking over lead vocals from behind his trap kit. It’s a songwriter’s and song lover’s top choice, and Queen’s best song. That’s why it’s No. 1 on our list of the greatest Queens songs of all time.

Find Audio Ink Radio’s list of the best classic rock songs about love here.

Audio Ink Radio Staff
Posted by Audio Ink Radio Staff | Features, Music, Rock

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