12 Great Underrated 70s Tracks by Queen

Ask Joe Bloggs to name a Queen song and 9 times out of 10 you’re going to hear “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” or “Another One Bites the Dust” – undeniably all very successful fantastic songs, but we feel with 15 studio albums there are some fantastic lesser-known gems in the band’s arsenal which deserve some appreciation! Take a look at some of our favourite underrated Queen songs from the 70s – let us know yours in the comments below!

1. Liar – from “Queen”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “I have sailed the sea, from Mars to Mercury!”

Originally titled “Lover” and written in 1970, “Liar” is a standout track from the bands first studio album. It was one of the few songs from the band’s first two albums which remained in their sets in one form or another for many years – most famously as the intro riff used between “Seven Seas of Rhye” and “Tear It Up” on the Magic Tour. I love the multi-tracking by Brian which he ended up being so famous for, and Freddie’s demanding vocals.

2. Father to Son – from “Queen II”

Written by: Brian May
Our favourite lyric: “But the air you breathe I live to give you”

Taken from Queen II’s “White Side”, “Father to Son” was written by May from the perspective of a father talking to or about his son (no kidding, eh?). Interestingly, May also plays organ and piano on the track – a man of many talents, (but we already knew that!) I love May’s heavy guitar work in the middle of the song, and the choral outro to the song – almost reminiscent of T-Rex.

3. The March of the Black Queen – from “Queen II”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “Everything you do bears a will and a why and a wherefore”

Debated whether or not I should include this track on a list of underrated Queen songs when it is held in such high regard by the Queen fan community. However, it is definitely underrated in the sense that a lot of people outside of the Queen fandom have no idea this song exists – and what a crying shame that is. Written in 1973 by Mercury, this song is often referred to as the precursor to Bohemian Rhapsody with both songs containing two different time signatures simultaneously, which is very rare for popular music. Unfortunately, the song was too complicated to be played live in it’s entirety but sections were sometimes included in live medleys in the 70s.

4. Tenement Funster/Flick of the Wrist/Lily of the Valley – from “Sheer Heart Attack”

Written by: Roger Taylor/Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “My new purple shoes, have been amazing the people next door”
“Synchronize your minds and see the beast within him rise”
“I lie in wait with open eyes, I carry on through stormy skies”

Ok this is cheating a little as these are technically 3 separate tracks, but they run as a medley and in our opinions are best played together. Taylor’s “Tenement Funster” has one of the most memorable opening lines to a Queen track – although we’ve yet to see a picture of Roger wearing purple shoes! “Flick of the Wrist” seems to be precursor to “Death on Two Legs” as the songs have a similar theme and “Lily of the Valley” is a just a beautiful ballad which is a striking contrast to the previous track.

5. Death on Two Legs (Dedicated To…) – from “A Night at the Opera”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “Was the fin on your back part of the deal? (Shark!)”

This has to be the best opening track to a Queen album – and one of the best opening tracks to any album full stop! Written by Freddie, this track allegedly describes the band’s hatred of Norman Sheffield, their original manager who was reputed to have mistreated the band. Freddie really didn’t hold back with his lyrics either, and there are so many stand-outs I could have picked as my favourite lyric. “You’re a sewer-rat decaying in a cesspool of pride” also deserves a special mention – ouch!

6. Seaside Rendezvous – from “A Night at the Opera”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “I’ll be your Valentino, we’ll ride upon an omnibus and then the casino”

This song really is great fun. “A Night at the Opera” was the first Queen album I bought with my pocket money when I was 12 years old and I remember “Seaside Rendezvous” being one of the first songs I really fell in love with. My favourite thing about this song is that the tap dancing section was created by Freddie tapping on a tabletop with thimbles – so much creativity!

7. You Take My Breath Away – from “A Day at the Races”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “Every time you make a move, you destroy my mind”

One to really tug at the heartstrings! “You Take My Breath Away” is spine-tingling beautiful and in my opinion was at its best performed live. I fell in love with this song even more after first seeing the Live in Hyde Park version, taking notice as Freddie demanded “you’ve gotta listen to this one”.

8. Drowse – from “A Day at the Races”

Written by: Roger Taylor
Our favourite lyric: “Half of the time we’d broaden our minds more in the poolhall than we did in the schoolhall”

Often a bit of a Marmite case but I adore the way that Taylor managed to give this track a sense of lethargy with the almost lazy sounding drums – this song really does sound Drowsey!

9. It’s Late – from “News of the World”

Written by: Brian May
Our favourite lyric: “I’ve been wrong but I’ll learn to be right”

“It’s Late” is hands down my favourite song by Queen. It has everything: powerful vocals, insane guitar riffs, pounding drums and emotive lyrics. It’s a song of love and infidelity, and seems to unfold in three parts. “It’s Late” has an edge that takes a lot of romance, fantasy and musical excess out of the picture – and the way that Freddie hits that note on “learn to be right” in the second chorus is just insane!

10. Jealousy – from “Jazz”

Written by: Freddie Mercury
Our favourite lyric: “Gotta hold of my possessive mind, turned me into a jealous kind”

Jazz is a fantastic album with lots of variety, I could have chosen so many tracks from this album to include in the list! “Jealousy” was released as the final single from the album but unfortunately failed to chart anywhere, which is a shame as it’s a really pretty song. The song meaning is simple and explains how Jealousy can control you and end up ruining many things in life – including love. Despite being penned by Mercury, the sitar-styled guitar makes it feel almost like a continuation of “White Queen”.

11. Dreamers Ball – from “Jazz”

Written by: Brian May
Our favourite lyric: “If I can’t have you when I’m waking I’ll go to sleep and dream I’m with you”

The song is widely known as May’s homage to Elvis who had passed away in 1977 – and you really do feel that if Presley himself would have sung this song it could have easily become a standard piece! This song is infectiously catchy, and so easy to sing along to.

12. You and I – from “A Day at the Races”

Written by: John Deacon
Our favourite lyric: “I can hear the music in the darkness, floating softly to where we lie”

Why was this song never performed live? Genuinely, if anyone knows please tell us as I cannot find an explanation anywhere! One of Deacon’s first solely penned tunes, it really is a beautiful and easy-listening love song with an interesting structure.

Join us in October!

Now I can’t promise that you will be hearing any of the songs above soon on the radio, but I can promise that these and other lesser-known gems will be featured at the Queen Convention in October.

Offical Queen Fan Club Convention – 5th October 2018 – Golden Sands Holiday Park, Mablethorpe

Whether you’re a die-hard Queen fan, or just discovering songs outside of ‘Greatest Hits’, the annual Official Queen Fan Club Convention is sure to be right up your street! The weekend convention has become the crowning glory in the calendar of Queen fans. The residential non-stop party, where Queen fans congregate from all corners of the globe, is a jam packed weekend full of events. Featuring live music, guest star interviews, full Queen discos each night, quizzes, games, fancy dress parties, a Queen related Market Place to help search for wanted items to top up collections, a Charity Auction with unique items up for grabs, sport competitions, big screen unseen footage and most popular are the live shows and videos. Here there‚Äôs Queen from morning till night!

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE! >>

Comments (2):

  1. Leroy Peni

    September 30, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Great list you’ve got there, although I have to say I’m sad not to see The Prophet’s Song!

  2. EDU BELTRAN

    July 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I miss Prophet’s on that list, which is my fave song ever, but if I had to go for two truly underrated songs I’d go for White Queen and Son and Daughter
    I’m glad that Dreamer’s Ball is mentioned, though.

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