A Tribute to Queen

CD cover for A Tribute to Queen, by Classic Rock magazine
Amusing reworking of the classic ‘A Night at the Opera’ album cover by Queen, which was drawn by former art college student Freddie Mercury.

I love Queen. This year (2005) has been the twentieth anniversary of their classic album “A Night at the Opera”, and therefore also of Mercury’s extravagant magnum opus Bohemian Rhapsody hitting the #1 slot in the charts.

Classic Rock magazine this month features Freddie Mercury on their cover, and includes a fantastic cover CD called “The Crown Jewels – A Tribute to Queen” which you will not be surprised to learn contains twelve Queen songs played by a wide variety of artists.

My highlights:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody (from A Night At The Opera, 1975) sung by Grey DeLisle
    Grey DeLisle is the voice of Daphne Blake in the Scooby Doo cartoons. What an incredible voice — soft, breathy and with the creamy texture of Brian May’s guitar — and a really laid back, soulfull rendition of an already classic song.
  • Fat Bottomed Girls (from Jazz, 1978) played by bluegrass band Hayseed Dixie
    I’m generally not an enormous fan of old-school, traditional American music, but this is just genius. I’ll never look at a banjo in the same way ever again. What I love about this is that the song still has integrity as both a Queen song and as a Hayseed Dixie track. They’ve truly made it their own.
  • It’s Late (from News of the World, 1977) by Anthrax
    I love Anthrax anyway, and especially John Bush-era Anthrax, and this is just a fantastically faithfull and heavy rendition.
  • Another One Bites The Dust (from The Game, 1980) performed by Batfish Boys.
    Kicks off with a rendition of “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, while all the way through the bass is pumping out John Deacon’s solid bassline.

From the inlay sleeve:

Elsewhere, the CD is littered with members (past and present) of Dream Theater, Kiss, MSG, and Racer X

Ones that got away? Well, late in the day we did discover that Bruce Dickinson recorded a version of Bohemian Rhapsody with Freddie’s pal Montserrat Cabballe. Which was news ever to Iron Maiden‘s management.

Now I would have paid extra to hear that one! And if one cover CD wasn’t enough this month, Uncut magazine have a CD entitled John Peel’s Festive 15 featuring, amongst others, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Sugarcubes, Billy Bragg, The Bhundu Boys, and Pavement — all of them artists that I discovered listening to John Peel’s late night shows on BBC Radio 1. Festive stuff indeed.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

3 thoughts on “A Tribute to Queen”

  1. Hello there!

    Cheers for appreciating my Queen cd illustration … we really wanted to make something you’d want to keep in your record collection as opposed to the usual rubbish mags give away and I hope we’ve done it right for you. Strange to see my work on your site … but cool too, cheers!

    Happy New Year!

    BPPerry

  2. Thanks BP, I love it, and it is now indeed in my CD collection.

    ANATO is one of my favourite Queen albums and covers and I have that recording on 12″ LP, cassette and CD … so your album cover is sitting alongside the original.

    Thanks for getting in touch.

  3. This has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve encountered in more than a decade of Queen collecting. Is there any way to still get a copy of this, anywhere, from anyone… any ideas?

    Thanks for the info, regardless.

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