Queen - Queen II

NME.COM feature on Queen - Queen II album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 17 May 2011

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Queen - Queen II: Wikipedia Album Entry

Queen II is the second album by English rock band Queen, originally released in 1974. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, England in August 1973, and engineered by Mike Stone. The two sides of the original LP were labelled "Side White" and "Side Black" (instead of the conventional sides "A" and "B"), with corresponding photos of the band dressed in white or in black on either side of the record's label face. The album is also a loose concept album, with the white side having songs with a more emotional theme and the black side almost entirely about fantasy, often with quite dark themes.

Mick Rock's album cover photograph was frequently re-used by the band throughout its career, most notably in the music video for the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975). There are two versions of this photograph, one with black for the background and foreground (right), the other with a brown foreground.

Numerous problems beset the album's release. Its completion coincided with the 1973 oil crisis and consequently, government-enforced measures for energy conservation delayed its manufacture by several months. Once the long-overdue first pressing arrived in record shops, the band noticed a spelling error on the sleeve, and had to complain persistently to correct it.

The lead vocalist Freddie Mercury composed the entire "Black" side, contributing virtuosic piano and harpsichord pieces and a wide range of distinctive vocal performances. The "White" side is very diverse: four of the five numbers were composed by Brian May, where one is instrumental, one is sung by Mercury and Taylor (with May at the piano), the next is sung by Mercury, and the last by May. The closing track of The "White" Side is Taylor's only composition in the album. John Deacon played acoustic guitar as well as bass on most of the album, except the songs "White Queen" and "Some Day One Day", which were performed by May — partly on an inexpensive Hairfred guitar that he had owned since his childhood.

The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.



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