Seven Seas Of Rhye

Song Review by

Though it had failed to chart, Queen's eponymous 1973 debut album had generated enough of a buzz to secure them a support slot on Mott the Hoople's U.K. tour. This, in turn, served to introduce the band's bombastic stage show to large audiences and earned them quite a reputation, leading to their being voted Britain's "third most promising act" in the January 1974 by the respected music weekly Sounds (Nazareth and Blue took the top spots). Interest in the band was clearly building, but they still needed one more stroke of luck to break through. Then, shortly after returning from a dismal visit to Australia (and being met at the airport by hordes of confused press agents mistakenly expecting her majesty, the Queen), the band was offered a last minute replacement slot on Top of the Pops. Understandably, they jumped at the opportunity, premiering "Seven Seas of Rhye" from their as yet unreleased second album Queen II on February 21st. Once little more than an instrumental musical sketch closing their first album, the track had been properly fleshed out for Queen II, and was rush-released as a single (backed with a non-album track, "See What a Fool I've Been") a mere two days later. A short, compact slice of Queen's "anything goes" creative mentality, the song combined majestically chorused vocals with an energetic Freddie Mercury piano figure and Brian May's soon-to-be trademark guitar orchestrations, before concluding with a sea chantey of sorts. And while it is now one of Queen's least remembered singles, "Seven Seas of Rhye" became their first chart entry after being accepted for airplay by BBC's Radio One -- a landmark event for Queen which persuaded Mercury to finally quit his day job working at his clothes stall at Kensington Market.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Queen 1973 Hollywood 1:16
Queen II 1974 Hollywood 2:48
Greatest Hits [1992] 1992 Hollywood 2:47
No Image 1992 Hollywood 0:00
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 1995 Hollywood 2:50
Rocks, Vol. 1 1997 Hollywood 2:45
The Crown Jewels 1998 Hollywood 2:49
Greatest Hits: I II & III: The Platinum Collection 2001 Hollywood 2:48
Gold 2003 EMI Music Distribution 2:47
Greatest Hits 2004 Island 2:47
Jewels, Vol. 2 2005 Toshiba EMI
Head Full of Rock 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:48
The Singles Collection [13 CD] 2008 Parlophone 2:51
Absolute Greatest 2009 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:46
Queen 40: Limited Edition Collector's Box Set, Vol. 1 2011 Hollywood 3:10