What young kid doesn't love Queen? Maybe a lot of them. Maybe not. Lord knows this one loved them. I was trying to figure out what album would represent my days as a youth and the only logical choice was that of Queen's Greatest Hits. I guess it's kind of a cop out to include a collection of a bands best songs, but to be honest, this list is more about influencing the way I look at music after 25 years of being a music lover. My childhood would not be the same without it. It was vital to it, I'd say. If you go back to my old grade school and take a look at my 8th grade tile, a tradition of Saint John's, you will see the Queen logo painted on it. My earliest memories of using a jukebox was to order up some Queen. It's just the kind of epic rock music and one of the 70's and 80's best. It's what true rock bombast should sound like.
Grandiosity x Velocity = Queen.
So on to some of these memories. My first jukebox selections were Queen after my young soccer leauges completion of an undefeated season. No shit! What young kid doesn't want to play "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" after a long season of kicking some ass? I think we all have those moments. What young romantic didn't want an opera behind them singing along to "Somebody to Love?" I may have been alone on that one, but I have many memories of being a young kid thinking he wanted love or something and this amazing song was something that may have been a kind of random companion in those times. I would listen to this collection nonstop that I had to buy it multiple times. My current copy, luckily, transfered over nicely to my iPod therefore stopping my need to replace the analog copy.
It's easy to say why a greatest hits collection is amazing. It's a band showcasing the best of what they have to offer. Queen just has a way of rocketing into the psyche of a young man's mind. There was nothing like air guitaring to songs like "The Seven Seas of Rhye" or "Play the Game." If there were ever a rock and roll voice to try and emulate, that would probably be Freddie Mercury. His range was fantastic and the rock swagger in his voice, especailly on songs like "Another One Bites the Dust." I even have memories of the goofy track "Body Language." Have any of you heard this song? Ah GAHD it's just hilarious 80s goodness.
The main problem with this collection, and many others like it, is the omission of amazing Queen tracks. But something about this collection, with the forgotten-until-Shaun-of-the-Dead classic "Don't Stop Me Now" and 80s pop epic "I Want to Break Free", it was a collection of excellent tracks and some that I never heard up until this point. I've carried this record past my childhood. I have had moments at Karaoke with these songs, moments at parties dancing to Queen and sing-a-longs while running cross country to Queen. It's less about this collection and more about the band, I guess, but for me to include them on this all too important list, I must say that Queen's Greatest Hits is all too important. Even if greatest hits are for house moms.
1. The Who - Tommy
2. Beck - Odelay
3. Television - Marquee Moon
4. Weezer - Pinkerton
5. Brian Eno - Before & After Science
6. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
7. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
8. Grand Funk Railroad - Closer to Home
9. Foo Fighters - The Colour & The Shape
10. Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
11. Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
12. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
13. Jeff Buckley - Grace
14. Warren Zevon
15. Black Mountain - In The Future
16. XTC - Skylarking
17. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
18. Nick Drake - Pink Moon
19. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple
20. The Clash - London Calling
21. Arcade Fire - Funeral
22. The Velvet Underground and Nico
23. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
24. Queen - Greatest Hits
Final Album: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon