Quick, name the best rock band in history. Got your answer? We probably have a lot of Rolling Stones and Beatles answers. More than a few Led Zeppelin votes. Maybe even The Who. How far down do you think we go before you hit Queen? For some reason, they are not immediately thought of in a conversation like this, so when we interviewed the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody, we asked if Queen gets the respect that they deserved as a rock outfit, and co-star Gwilym Lee replied:
I don't know, perhaps not. Their music is just so universal. You hear it so often that I think the danger is that you take it for granted. And I think what's beautiful about this film is it actually forces you to address the idea of these songs being written for the first time, and what genius that took. They were the only band whose every member wrote a Number One single. They crossed all kinds of genres, all kinds of styles. And it's what gives their music such longevity.
As you will see now that Bohemian Rhapsody is in theaters, there was a time -- before we can remember -- when songs like "We Are The Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" were not global hits. And as Gwilym Lee, who plays Queen guitarist Brian May in the movie, points out, even the guys in Queen thought Freddie Mercury was off the mark in his songwriting... for a time.
One thing going against Queen in this sense is that they didn't limit themselves to traditional rock. "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Radio Ga Ga" have distinct disco elements to them. "Under Pressure" is practically pop. Ben Hardy, who plays Roger Taylor in the movie, went on to explain:
The fact that their music transcends genre is why maybe they're not quite pigeonholed like some of those rock bands are. They are amazing. But you know, they're very much like, that's their thing. They're a great rock and roll band. Whereas Queen's more than that.
And that's why they are able to stand the test of time and appeal to so many different audiences. Some may like the harder edge of Queen. Some may appreciate their melodic vocals. It's all on display in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Producer Graham King and co-star Lucy Bynton also weigh in on our "underappreciated Queen" question, so give this a listen.
Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody, which has opened in theaters and is off to a great start. Are you seeing it this weekend?