Biography > Queen Biography for 1985

Last updated: August 20, 2009
In January Queen return to South America to headline the enormous “Rock in Rio" festival in front of 250 000 people. On January 12th at 2 am Queen take the stage to deafening applause and a crowd that spread as far as the eye can see.

Everything went well that night, until Freddie came on in drag for the encore and sang "I Want To Break Free". It was then that the audience stared to throw rubbish or anything they could get their hands on at the stage. Freddie quickly ripped of his false boobs and carried on. After the show the local people explained that the song "I Want To Break" free had become somewhat of an anthem of liberation for them and they didn't want to see it being 'denigrated'.

On the night of the concert, EMI held a huge party for the Rio artists at the Copacabana hotel for the artists. During the party it became known to Brian that a number of fans had gathered outside, and had spelt out the word "Queen" with 1 500 candles. Brian left the party and went and joined them - having some fun in the process.

Queen were back on the stage on the 19th of January again, this time though, to close the event. After the concert Queen and many of the other acts pursued the rights to release a video of their performance. Queen are the only band given permission to do so. "Live In Rio", 60 minutes of the concert, is released in May and goes to the top of the UK video charts.

At the beginning of the year, the British Video Awards were held and Queen did not go unnoticed. They picked up two awards - best compilation for the Works EP ( a collection of their videos for the album) and best promotional video for "Radio Ga Ga".

In April Queen head for New Zealand for the first time. At the airport they were greeted by a party of Anti-apartheid protesters, and even more were to be found outside their hotel. Nevertheless, Queen manage to spend a few days seeing the sights.

It is during this time that Bob Geldoff approached Spike Edney about sounding out Queen about a possible appearance at a charity event in aid of the people of Ethiopia. Queen at first refused, but Spike encouraged Bob to call them direct, and eventually wore them down into saying that they 'may' appear.

The concert at New Zealand went well, with the band having an ecstatic audience to play to. They were also joined on stage for the encore by Spandau Ballet's singer Tony Hadley - a keen Queen fan - who had flown over from Australia to see them.

From New Zealand they went to Australia for a series of eight sell out concerts in Melbourne and Sydney. One of the concerts went disastrously - in the bands eyes at least. There entire light rig wouldn't work and all the microphones seemed to be failing. Phil Collins, who was there on the night, said that it was fine though.

On April the 29th Freddie releases his long awaited solo album, "Mr Bad Guy". The title was perhaps Freddie being a little coy about how some people perceived him. The album wasn't what a lot of people expected though, as most songs were gentle ballads. Freddie was very proud of this album and said at the time that it was very "him". The press reaction was mixed.

 

Freddie:

I've put my heart and soul into this album. It's much more beat orientated than Queen's music, and it also has some very moving ballads.

They're all love songs, things to do with sadness and pain. At the same time they're frivolous and tongue in cheek; that's my nature.

I've wanted to do a solo album for a long time, and the rest of the band have encouraged me to do it. I wanted to cover such things as reggae rhythms and I've done a couple of tracks with a symphony orchestra.

After Australia Queen go to Japan for a short tour. Once again they are received very enthusiastically by the Japanese people.

After a brief break from all the touring, Queen start rehearsing for their next show - this time at Live Aid. The project that Bob Geldoff had spoke to them was going to happen and it was going to be big.

After a two week rehersal period, Queen took the stage at 6.44pm on 13 July.  They were introduced by comedians Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones.  The Live Aid event took place in two separate venues - Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia.  Queen were the first band to be broadcast live to the stadium in Philadelphia.

They played a 20 minute set of some of their biggest hits:

Bohemian Rhapsody
Radio Ga Ga
Hammer to Fall
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
We Will Rock You
We are the Champions.

The crowd was ecstatic.  After most of the day in the hot sun, the crowd had began to wane.  But Queen, Freddie in particular woke them up and got them into a frenzy. Amazingly enough, Freddie had a throat infection and his doctor had recommended that he not perform.

The performance has been heralded as the greatest live performance.... ever.  They certainly "stole the show" - where the top acts in the world were all playing. 

Later in the evening, Freddie and Brian, come onto the stage and perform "Is This The World We Created"

Live Aid also proved a pivital moment for the band in deciding their future.  Being able to reach out to an audience that was made up of many different people, not just Queen fans, revitalised them.  Tensions had been reported within the band, with various rumors of a split making it into the music papers and gossip columns.

The writing credits are shared between the entire group.  With the Live Aid experience fresh in their minds,  the band were keen to get back into the studio.

The result was the release of "One Vision" in November of that year.  It reaches number 7 in the UK charts.  It proves to be a bit of a public relations nightmare, as some in the press interpret the song's inspiration to be "Live Aid", and felt that the singles proceeds be given to charity.

December sees the release of "The Complete Works", a box set of every Queen album that was released to date.