The Treasures Of Queen
By Harry Doherty
Forewords by Brian May and Roger Taylor
Goodman/Carlton Books – £30.00
Such was their uniqueness – hard rock meshed with glam; compositions ranging from grandiose productions to pure pop sensitivity; lyrics that demanded attention; a rare intelligence underpinning it all – that many did not know what to make of Queen when their debut album was released.
I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend – Freddie Mercury
I’m quite a considerable fan of these Carlton Box-Sets on bands.
Apart from containing an array of terrific photographs and the veritable (odd) assortment of souvenirs, cut-outs, lyrics, ticket reproductions and posters, they convey the artist(s) in such a way most books don’t.
Or at least in a different way.
This is primarily the case due to the all-round lay-out and inclusion of very well put together photographs – many of which are quite large. Therein bequeathing the general reader and avid fan alike, with something of a fresh perspective. It is after all, it’s not everyday one comes across black and white, sepia tone as well as colour 10x8s of rock bands – let alone rock bands who occasionally dress in women’s clothing (as on page 60 of this fine collection).
Indeed, aspects of the band’s unique over-the-topness is invariably and magnificently captured throughout The Treasures Of Queen; all of which, was of course, always underlined by the band’s soaring, idiosyncratically individual sound.
Not to mention robust, musical work ethic – that of guitarist Brian May in particular.
Compiled in chronological order, these (high quality) 95 pages traverse every aspect of the band, by way of working through each of its albums. On the way, there are pull outs of the aforementioned tickets and lyrics, and a closer look at each four members of the band.
There’s also a section entitled ‘Queen at the Movies’ which perhaps for some, sheds indelible new light: ”Their penchant for cinema first became apparent when they were commissioned by Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis to provide the music for the over-the-top sci-fi movie Flash Gordon. Both Brian May and Roger Taylor loved this legendary comic-strip hero. ”We really wanted to do it,” Taylor said.”We wanted to make music for a movie that was not about music, and would be an integral part of the whole experience.”
In all, this collection captures the eccentricity as well as some of the humbleness of a great band, which for many, will no doubt trigger many a musical memory.
I know it has for me.
So if you’re a fan (or even if you’re not) and you’re looking to recapture an era when popular music actually meant and counted for something, then I’d strongly recommend The Treasures Of Queen.
You absolutely won’t be disappointed (darling).