Killer Queen

Song Review by

By late 1974, Queen had issued three albums in just over a year and a half: Queen, Queen II, and Sheer Heart Attack. It was on the latter that the band's sound and songwriting began to resemble the style that would soon take them to the top of the charts worldwide (layered vocals, bombastic production, etc.). If a single song can be pointed out as the true beginning of Queen's "radio sound," it would have to be their first U.S. hit (and their first U.K. number two hit single), "Killer Queen." Written entirely by Freddie Mercury, the song recalls the cabaret songs of yesteryear, but also shows how Queen was fast becoming a master of power pop -- prior to "Killer Queen," the band specialized in Zep-esque heavy metal with an unpredictable prog-rock edge. The track also features one of Brian May's most lyrical guitar solos, an excellent example of how May had a knack for composing memorable melodic lines instead of just shredding away. In the book Queen: A Visual Documentary (by Ken Dean), Mercury is quoted discusses the song as such -- "It's about a high-class call girl. I'm trying to say that classy people can be whores too." Chances are that the song is the only pop hit to ever rhyme "gelatine" with "laser beam."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Greatest Hits [1992] 1992 Hollywood 2:59