Biography > Queen Biography for 1976

Last updated: March 04, 2009
Queen reign once more in the annual music polls and Freddie receives yet another Ivor Novello award - this time for Bohemian Rhapsody - which by now has sold over 1 000 000 copies in the UK alone. It is also announced that it is the biggest hit since 1957.

Queen leave for their third stateside tour on January 20th - with the first gig in Connecticut on the 27th. Queen take with them a new face, a tour manager called Gerry Stickells. Queen get on well with Gerry, and he manages all the other Queen tours.

Initial radio reluctance stalls the progress of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "A Night At The Opera" stateside. However the excessive touring of the US has an impact and they eventually reach numbers 8 and 3 respectively.

In New York in February, Freddie sees true fan hysteria face to face when he is mobbed by a gang of females. Freddie is half strangled by one of them as she decides that she NEEDS his scarf desperately! February also sees the release of the "Live At The Rainbow" film. It supports the new Burt Reynolds film called "The Hustle".

Queen then head for a lightning visit of Japan for their second tour, where there popularity knows no bounds. While there the UK Top Twenty features all four of their albums simultaneously - a feat that has never been repeated by any other band.

Queen next stop is to tour 'down under'. After their previous experiences they were a little apprehensive about going back - but their fears were quickly quashed. The tour was a sell out and by the end "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "A Night At The Opera" are at the top of their respective charts.

June sees the release of "You're My Best Friend" written by John Deacon. It is the first single to be released on its own - not being a taster for a forthcoming album. The band decide to record another video for it and the song eventually reaches number 7 in the UK chart.

The band whilst spending most of their time recording do spend time to do a short tour of the UK. The most notable of which is when they play to over 150 000 people at a free gig in London's Hyde Park. Held on the 18th September - the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death - that show holds the attendance record for any show put on at Hyde Park. The massive influx of people brought certain areas of London to a halt - and public transport was severely overloaded.

Brian:

I think that Hyde Park was one of the most significant gigs in our career. There was a great affection because we'd kind of made it in a lot of countries by that time, but England was still, you know, we weren't really sure if we were really acceptable here. So it was a wonderful feeling to come back and see that crowd and get that response.

The concert went tremendously, the only black spot was that Queen were not allowed to paly an encore. The show had overran its allotted time and the police were adamant that the show must end. They went so far as to threaten the band if they went on again. Freddie didn't really fancy being locked up in a leotard and the band reluctantly agreed to the polices demands. With that the police turned of the main power - which also controlled the lights and 150 000 people struggled to find their way home in the darkness.

The whole concert was broadcast on Capitol Radio and was also filmed. Unfortunately the film has degraded in quality so much that a commercial release is unlikely.

After the concert, work on the next album progresses - this being the first to be produced without the assistance of Roy Thomas Baker. The split was amicable whit the band just wanting to 'do their own thing'.

On the 12th November "Somebody To Love" is released. The accompanying video features scenes from the Hyde Park concert. The single is another success reaching number 2.

As promotion and as a celebration for the new album Queen host an unorthodox reception at Kempton Park Race course. The band all make bets as to the ou