Queen – Killer Queen (Top Of The Pops, 1974)

Killer Queen

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
She keeps Moet et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline
Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

[Chorus]
She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

[Post-Chorus]
Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Want to try?

[Verse 2]
To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China
Went down to Geisha Minah
(Killer, killer, she’s a killer Queen)
Then again incidentally
If you’re that way inclined
Perfume came naturally from Paris (naturally)
For cars she couldn’t care less
Fastidious and precise

[Chorus]
She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

[Guitar Solo]

[Bridge]
Drop of a hat she’s as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild
She’s all out to get you

[Chorus]
She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

[Outro]
Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Want to try?
Want to try?

 

Killer Queen” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was their first big international hit, reaching number two in the UK and becoming their first US hit.[3] Written by lead singer and pianist Freddie Mercury, the track was recorded for their third album Sheer Heart Attack.

The song is about a high-class call girl.[3] It has been characterised as “Mercury’s piano-led paean to a Moët-quaffing courtesan“.[4]

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/af/Killer3cdfront.JPG

Background and release

When released as a single, “Killer Queen” was Queen’s explosive breakthrough hit, reaching number two in the United Kingdom and number 12 in the United States.[5][6] It was released as a double A-side in the UK, the US and Canada (where it reached number 15 in the RPM 100 national singles chart),[7] with the song “Flick of the Wrist“. In 1986, it was featured as the B-side to “Who Wants to Live Forever“.[8] The song marked a departure from the heavier material of the band’s first two albums, as well as the beginning of a more stylistically diverse approach in songwriting. At the same time, “Killer Queen” retained the essence of Queen’s trademark sound, particularly in its meticulous vocal harmonies.

Mercury commented that he wrote the lyrics before the melody and music, whereas he would typically do the opposite. The recording features elaborate four-part harmonies (particularly in the choruses, and also providing backing parts in the verses), and also a multitracked guitar solo by Brian May which makes use of the “bell effect“. The song’s first verse quotes a phrase widely attributed (falsely) to Marie Antoinette: Let them eat cake,” she says, Just like Marie Antoinette.

Recording sessions

Besides using his grand piano as usual, Mercury overdubbed the song with an upright piano to give the track a vaudeville sound. At one point there are two distinct bass guitar lines, one of which diverges into a descending run. Unlike the first two Queen albums, this song was partly recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales.[9]

Queen on the record

Freddie Mercury:[10]

Brian May:

Live performances

The song was regularly performed between 1974 and 1981 as part of a medley.[11][12][13][14] In 1974–75, the song was played following “In the Lap of the Gods“,[11] and in 1975–76, the song followed “Bohemian Rhapsody“.[12] In 1984 and 1985, during The Works Tour, it was reintroduced in a medley following a truncated version of “Somebody to Love“.[15]

The third verse and chorus of the song were never performed live.

Critical acclaim and legacy

The song won Mercury his first Ivor Novello Award.[16]

“Killer Queen” has been described by AllMusic as the true beginning of Queen’s “radio sound” and “recalls the cabaret songs of yesteryear, but also shows how Queen was fast becoming a master of power pop“.[3] Rock historian Paul Fowles wrote that “Killer Queen”, with its “sleazy Parisian imagery”, allowed “free rein” to Mercury’s “unique brand of rock theater”.[17]

American pop singer Katy Perry cites “Killer Queen” as an important influence on her. She said: “Queen’s track ‘Killer Queen’ made me discover music and helped me come into my own at the age of 15. The way Freddie Mercury delivered his lyrics just made me feel like a confident woman.”[18]

Chart performance

Year-end charts

Chart (1974) Rank
UK[29] 29
Chart (1975) Rank
Canada[30] 132
U.S. Billboard[31] 78

Sales and Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 250,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Personnel

On some performances Deacon provided backing vocals and played the triangle.

 

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Taken from Sheer Heart Attack, 1974.

Queen – ‘Killer Queen’

Click here to buy the DVD with this video at the Official Queen Store:
http://www.queenonlinestore.com

The official ‘Killer Queen’ music video. Taken from Queen – ‘Greatest Video Hits 1’.

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