There’s no way to ever reach a consensus on which band reigns supreme as the greatest of all-time. But one fixture of the discussion is Queen. Lofty praise, but even that might be selling the band short. Led byÂ Freddie Mercury, a once-in-a-lifetime voice and arguably the best rock and roll front man ever, featuring some of the most talented musicians in pop history, and boasting an incredible number of beloved hits covering a wide range of styles and genres, the iconic group really might be the musical GOAT.That’s why it’s easy to argue for them being the best band ever. What’s hard is trying to come up with a list of Queen’s best songs ever, even when you only stick to chart toppers and their best known tracks. Because they were so good a ranking of their top 10 songs is actually 12 long.
10. “I Want It All”
This rock-heavy track with an a cappella opening from 1989’s The Miracle might be the band’s most underrated “famous” song, possibly because Freddie Mercury never got a chance to perform it live. The band didn’t play it in concert until 1992’s tribute tour to their late lead singer.
9. “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”
At some point in time these two iconic anthems, which have become staples in arenas around the world, merged into one mega song that all sports teams are legally required to play upon winning a title. Few songs are more famous globally, and that will be true as long as they make songs.Bonus: The fast version of “We Will Rock You” is equally amazing.
8. “Killer Queen”
Queen’s first hit in the U.S. might not rock like some of their other tracks, nor may it be as much fun to sing along with, but with its orchestral feel, complex melodies, catchy chorus, and Freddie Mercury’s perfect vocals it still stands out as one of their most memorable songs. Brian May’s guitar solo is also one of our favorites he ever played.
7. “Youâ€™re My Best Friend”
Where in the annals of music history does the combination of a killer John Deacon bass line and piano rank? Combined with the band’s signature vocal and guitar melodies, this very non-traditional pop song (while there is repetition throughout, no single section is ever repeated) highlights Queen’s ability to do something unique while still appealing to a mass audience.
6. “Another One Bites the Dust”
Who but Queen could turn a bass-heavy song with a disco influence that utilized a number of editing techniques to create unique sound effects and turn it into a worldwide smash that is still played around the world to this day? (Seriously, what would sporting events do if Queen had just never existed?)
5. “Don’t Stop Me Now”
You know what’s crazy? When this was first released as a single in 1979 (after appearing onÂ their 1978 album Jazz) it didn’t really do all that well. It reached #11 on the UK charts, but in America it only climbed to #89. But like all great works of art that are overlooked at the time, this classic song now rightfully claims its place among the band’s best songs ever.
4. “Under Pressure”
This might sound weird considering this is a true classic, but this might be the most underappreciated song ever. Think about itâ€”you had Queen at the peak of their powers team up with an in-his-prime Davie Bowie, and the result was a gorgeous, perfect song. That’s like if Michelangelo had help on the Sistine Chapel from Leonardo da Vinci. This song is so good it made it possible for Vanilla Ice to become famous!
3. “Somebody to Love”
Maybe Queen’s most beautiful song, this gorgeous, heartfelt, inherently sad track features the band’s signature melodies, complex harmonies and vocals, and great guitar work. And despite being worthy of any pop radio station in any decade, it almost has a spiritual, religious feel to it. And while Freddie Mercury might have recorded more technically impressive performances, this is one of his best.
2. “Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls”
If we listed these two songs, two of the greatest rock songs ever released by any band period, they would each appear in the top five. We’re grouping them together though because A) they were released as a double-A sided single in 1978, and B) it lets us get an extra song on this list, and who wantsÂ lessÂ Queen?
1. “Bohemian Rhapsody”
This might seem like a clichÃ© choice for the top spot, but that’s because 100 hundred years from now this will still be the definitive Queen songâ€”an ambitious, unique mini-opera that seamlessly blends multiple styles into one epic narrative that takes listeners on an emotional journey that is equally parts heartbreaking and kickass. It will be as great to listen to this in 2075 as it was in 1975.Not only is Queen in the discussion for the greatest band ever, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is in the discussion for greatest song ever. But we’re not going to try to make that list. This one was hard enough.But what do you think? What did we get right and what did we get wrong? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured Image: Queen