Freddie Mercury's debut solo album had been initially supposed to feature Jeff Beck on guitar and Michael Jackson (who'd just released Thriller) dueting on a song. Oh, if only... (Freddie and MJ did actually collaborate on a song. Kindanote They each recorded their vocals separately, but never got around to doing a duet. Someone came along later and mixed the tracks into what the final song would've sounded like. That's why it sounds like they're trying to sing over each other.)
Queen itself, arguably, since all members were considered to be one of the best (and apart from Freddie, one of the most underrated) at what they did.
Artist Existence Failure: Freddie died a tragic death from AIDS. He kept it a closely guarded secret and only went public with it less than 24 hours before his death. It has to be said though that there were quite a few hints in their songs and in the fact that Freddie hadn't appeared in any music video since These Are the Days of Our Lives.
Black Sheep Hit: To some extent, "Another One Bites the Dust", a funk song that was pretty much written because it was the particular style John happened to enjoy and it actually wouldn't have been released as a single if Michael Jackson hadn't convinced Freddie that it would be huge. In Britain it was a hit during a period when everything they released shot up the charts, so it generally passed without any particular comment. In America, it's their most successful song and ended up dictating the sound their next album would follow.
Career Resurrection: They hadn't exactly fallen into obscurity by that point, but people were starting to regard Queen as old hat and past their prime... until Live Aid, that is.
The "It's a Hard Life" video. May isn't a big fan of it and Taylor outright hates it, calling it "the worst music video ever" on the Greatest Hits 2 commentary. They've both admitted loving the song, though. Taylor had also admitted in a recent documentary that it was the most fun he had on a video shoot, he just doesn't like the finished product.
Both Deacon and Taylor publicly panned Jazz and Hot Space. The latter was defended by May (who claims that without it there'd have been no Thriller - (Michael Jackson agreed that their album was an influence on him) and Mercury (whose debut solo album is basically a Hot Space II).
Whatever his current sentiments, Brian wanted nothing to do with the hedonistically spirited "Don't Stop Me Now" when it was initially being recorded, and it took a bit of convincing on Freddie's part to get him to throw in guitar bits throughout.
Freddie was not pleased with the sound of the Wurlitzer electric piano, which John insisted on playing on "You're My Best Friend". Freddie preferred the sound of the acoustic piano. He still loved the song itself, though.
It took lots of fighting and arguing before finally deciding to add a guitar solo to the song "Back Chat", mostly because John Deacon, the composer, wanted to eliminate every possible rock element from this song.
Roger Taylor hated "Another One Bites the Dust" so much he refused to play through the song, recording merely a short loop and telling the rest of the band to play to that. It's surprising he didn't just tell the band to use a drum machine so he wouldn't need to be on the song at all.
Freddie Mercury and John Deacon both disliked "Gimme the Prize". The movie's director didn't seem to like it either.
Creator Breakdown: Some songs from Innuendo are about the band coming to terms with Freddie's illness and eventual death, particularly "The Show Must Go On", "These Are The Days Of Our Lives", and "Delilah". Freddie downplayed his songs regularly as meaningless, particularly those that dealt with issues he wanted private (especially his sexuality and his illness from AIDS).
As soon as he revealed his illness, he wanted to conduct his life as "normally" as possible, keep the press away, protect those he loved, and not have fans buy Queen's music out of sympathy. So he regularly denied he was ill until the next-to-last day of his life.
Fan Nickname: 'Bo Rhap' for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (acknowledge by Freddie in some concerts and interviews), 'Deacy' (pronounced, and sometimes spelt, 'Deaky') for 'John Deacon' (used often by Brian May - Roger and Freddie always called him 'John', though), 'Maylor' for Brian May + Roger Taylor, 'Dr May' for Brian May (recently a certified PhD, which makes it accurate).
He Also Did: Sidney Sax, orchestra leader on the Flash Gordon Soundtrack, had played violin on several Beatles' songs, including "Yesterday" and "A Day in the Life".
I Am Not Spock: Roger formed a parallel band in the 80's, where he was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist rather than the drummer. He was extremely annoyed by fans and journalists still thinking of him as the drummer. His solo career also suffered a bit from it.
Roger sometimes showed annoyance about being considered only as "the drummer", even with Queen. There are some interviews where he introduces himself as "the drummer and one of the vocalists" of the band.
Magnum Opus Dissonance: While they certainly agree that it's a very important album for them, the members themselves don't think A Night At The Opera was their best album ever; Brian May personally believes Queen II was their finest work.
Name's the Same: Duran Duran also has a drummer called Roger Taylor. To avoid confusion, Queen's Taylor can be addressed by his full name, Roger Meddows Taylor.
There is a separate Brian May, an Australian who composes film scores.
The Pete Best: Original bassist and lead singer Tim Staffell, before Freddie and John joined. This isn't counting the various bassists who were in the band after changing their name to Queen but before finding John, since they only lasted roughly a gig or so.
Reality Subtext: Many of the songs from Innuendo and Made in Heaven were clearly inspired by Freddie's struggle with AIDS.
Reclusive Artist: Freddie was one to a certain extent. In contrast to his famously outgoing stage persona, he was quite introverted when he wasn't performing, giving few interviews in comparison to Brian and Roger and mostly keeping to himself (it wasn't publicly revealed that he had AIDS, much less that he was dying, until a day before his death). Since 1997, John has retreated from the music business and public view completely, with only the very occasional picture of him surfacing.
The Red Stapler: Good Omens features a running gag about CDs turning into "The Best of Queen" if they're left in a car long enough, name dropping several songs along the way. At the time, there wasn't a Queen album that had every song listed, but fans of the book made such an uproar that one was created.
After Freddie died, it was given serious consideration as to having George Michael take over as full-time lead singer.note His rendition of "Somebody to Love" was considered to be the best performance at the Tribute Concert.
Brian May has expressed regrets over not releasing a proper soundtrack for Highlander with Michael Kamen's score complementing the band's compositions.
In a 1986 interview, Freddie suggested that he would eventually stop performing if he felt he was getting too old for it and focus on songwriting and producing instead.
Before Freddie's death rumors were spreading of them touring with David Bowie
A rare case of what almost wasn't: Live Aid. Queen was initially opposed to performing for one simple reason: no microphone checks due to the setup of the event (20 minutes total for each band, get in and be done). However, they caved in and well, history was made.
Brian and Roger sat in the stands at Live Aid watching the acts before them with David Bowie. But for no good reason, Bowie did not take the stage with them to perform "Under Pressure" live (for what would have been the only time).
Word of God: A sticking issue Brian had with Freddie, philosophically, was Freddie's increasingly Camp Gay compositions, not so much against Freddie's lifestyle, but because Brian worried that Freddie would rope out and alienate the straight fans, and because Brian believed in Queen's songs being universally relatable. This was Brian's main issue with songs like "Don't Stop Me Now" and "Body Language".