Queen Crash Late Night TV, 28-Year-Old Freddie Mercury Slays With “Killer Queen”
Left: anninvitation.com, Right: bbc.co.uk
Top Of The Pops, 1974
Featured on their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack, Queen’s “Killer Queen” was the band’s first international hit, reaching #2 in the UK and becoming their very first US hit.
It’s a song about a high class call girl with tastes for everything from Moët et Chandon to French perfume and fast cars, and there’s absolutely no one better to share her story than a 28-year-old Freddie Mercury. Filmed shortly after the release of Sheer Heart Attack, Queen’s 1974 appearance on Top Of The Pops goes down as one of their most underrated, by far.
Dressed in a luxurious fur coat, Freddie embodies all things “Killer Queen” as he slinks up and down the stage, engaging with both his audience and his bandmates and while the audio is obviously dubbed over with the band miming along as was customary for Top Of The Pops, there’s no denying that even then, you were dealing with a fiercely talented band fronted by a lead singer who was absolutely magnetic.
Brian May Discusses The Impact Of “Killer Queen”
“‘Killer Queen’ was the turning point. It was the song that best summed up our kind of music, and a big hit, and we desperately needed it as a mark of something successful happening for us. I was always very happy with this song. The whole record was made in a very craftsman-like manner.
And of course, I like the solo, with that three-part section, where each part has its own voice. What can I say? It’s vintage Queen.”
Top Of The Pops aside, “Killer Queen” stands out for the band’s stellar four part harmonies and guitarist Brian May’s double tracked guitar solo that would come to define Queen’s sound, giving the song a vaudeville sort of feel to it as Freddie effortlessly navigates what rock historian Paul Fowles calls the song’s “sleazy Parisian imagery”. No one sums up this classic’s influence quite like May who simply says, “What can I say? It’s vintage Queen” – and we agree!