Eagle Vision continues its string of great music-lovers DVDs with their release of Queen – Days of our Lives on Blu-ray.
Since the death of flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury from AIDS in 1991, Queen’s popularity, remarkably, has persisted. Fox’s Glee featured a show with songs from Queen. Their big hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” had a bit of a renaissance thanks to the prominent and hilarious use in the 1992 movie Wayne’s World. George Micheal’s top-of-the-chart cover of “Somebody to Love” was also in 1992. American Idol reunited the band to back up the two finalists for a rendition of “We are the Champions,” capping off the highly rated Adam Lambert season. Queen also toured for four years with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers to sold-out stadiums around the globe.
In terms of significance, however, nothing trumped Queen’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. While this might not have silenced all the critics who claimed Queen was an overly theatrical version of Muzak – it certainly justifies a long-form documentary.
This BBC-produced 2-hour documentary will delight fans. It also makes a case for reconsidering this band of college chums who sold over 100 million records. Taking a chronological approach, it visits the early days of Cambridge and how they took off when they added lead singer/pianist Farrokh Bulsara (aka Freddie Mercury). Freddie was lightning in a bottle and arguably one of the most incredible leads in rock and roll history. His Live Aid performance was a master class in what it means to be a rock star.
But the story goes deeper than Mercury. Each of the four band members wrote hit songs. This is unusual. So too, is guitarist Brian May’s Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Loaded with interviews old and new, this is a well-paced and never-boring production. Of particular interest to fans will be the interviews with reclusive bassist John Deacon. While they are old – he no longer participates in the band – they are illuminating. So are all the discussions that are articulate and heartfelt.
Please make no mistake, though; it is a sad story that revolves around Mercury. He was the real deal. He could write hit songs, produce, sing, and play a very accomplished piano. He was also a frontman whose gayness didn’t diminish his power or appeal. Sadly, his death will always define the band.
So check it out – 4 stars for a must-see music documentary!