Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Queen

Queen Jazz inner sleeve I love Queen, but Sweet Freddie’s Overbite have we played out the same six songs. I never need to hear “We Will Rock You” again. Even songs I love like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Stone Cold Crazy” have had enough airplay for ten lifetimes. (“Under Pressure,” you’re cool dude. Don’t worry.)

So let’s talk about deep cuts, those album tracks that never make it to radio, soundtracks and commercials. Queen has some amazing deep cuts, so the challenge isn’t putting together a list, but rather putting together a short list.

But I’m always up for a challenge, so let’s do this:

“Great King Rat,” Queen. The band’s debut album is a glorious mess, kind of a hard prog rock album. “Seven Seas of Rhye” and “Keep Yourself Alive” are the tracks that you probably know, so give this pit of weirdness a shot.

“Ogre Battle,” Queen II. Well known among Queen fans, but rarely played outside of that group so “deep cut” works here. And if you thought “Seven Seas of Rhye” was on Queen II rather than their debut album, you were half correct: versions appear on both records.

“Bring Back That Leroy Brown,” Sheer Heart Attack. Queen’s third album included their first canonical song, “Killer Queen,” along with the great “Stone Cold Crazy.” “Bring Back That Leroy Brown” is one of those cuts that’s pure Queen, though — silly retro fun.

“I’m in Love With My Car,” A Night at the Opera. This is the album that made the band: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “You’re My Best Friend,” Death on Two Legs,” “Love of My Life.” Roger Taylor’s heavy and incredibly (and maybe unintentionally) funny ode to automobile lust is one of the greatest deep cuts in their catalog.

“Long Away,” A Day at the Races. The follow up to Opera included concert favorites “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Now I’m Here,” and “Somebody to Love.” “Long Away” is a nice enough mid-tempo rocker that fits well in its period (the album was released at the end of ’76) and showcases both the band’s harmonies and Brian May’s playing.

“It’s Late,” News of the World. I really wanted to go “Spread Your Wings” here, as it’s my favorite Queen track, but I’m not sure it’s deep enough. Instead let’s go with “It’s Late,” which climbs to a manic finish.

“Fun It,” Jazz. Too many people assume that Queen discovered funk with “Another One Bites the Dust.” Let this cut from one album prior be a lesson.

“Dragon Attack,” The Game. This was the b-side to “Another One Bites the Dust,” and in my corner of the universe it got as much if not more turntable time than the a-side. A junior high party favorite.

Seven more studio albums were released after The Game, but in a sense it’s all deep cuts from here. The band only broke the top forty two more times in the U.S.: once with 1982’s “Body Language” and again with 1984’s “Radio Ga Ga.” They continued to chart well in Europe and their native UK, though.

So how about it — what are your favorite Queen tracks that haven’t been played to death? I’m listening.

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