As we all wait anxiously for the US pre-sale to begin...here's one man's thoughts on why Queen (w/Freddie) is up there with Zeppelin and the Beatles as the best ever, outside of the obvious things like Freddie's voice and frontmanship (not a word...yet) and May's exquisite guitar work.
I don't post much here, but I'm always reading. And since you all are probably the only ones who wouldn't give me a strange look as I leap into this diatribe...I figured I'd spout a bit.
Their albums are...albums. Not a collection of songs. It's not just the records where one transitions into another without pause. Several of their albums are like books, requiring the listener to listen from beginning to end to get the full impact. It is virtually impossible (in my mind, anyway) to pop in Sheer Heart Attack or Queen II and listen to two songs. Maybe some of the later albums aren't built quite the same, but I love listening to the pre-Game ones cover-to-cover. (By the way, if love this aspect of Queen and hasn't listening to early Moody Blues...I'd highly recommend them.)
Contrast. My college choir director liked to say "the beauty in the contrast". This is not only true for individual Queen songs, but most of their albums in whole.
Many of the greatest songs in rock history change tempos multiple times, starting slow, climaxing, then returning to an intense yet serene finale. Bo Rhap certainly fills the bill, like Stairway, Layla, etc. Layers of emotions within songs set them apart from top 50 ditties.
Again, Queen's early albums present a variety of choices for the listener. Slow songs, fast songs, jovial, mean-spirited...you name it, they made it. Maybe it was "drama rock" because of Freddie, the quinessential drama queen. Having songs written by four distinct personalities (plus collaborations) also led to beautiful disjointedness. I mean...
It's time to run, but I'd be interested to read any thoughts/comments.