Instrumentally, the band were more keen on exploring and experimenting: apart from the standard line-up of drums, bass, and guitar, various keyboard instruments were used — Hammond organ and marimba on The Loser In The End , harpsichord on Father To Son and The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke — as well as percussion — tubular bells and castanets on The March Of The Black Queen. The sound, too, is more lush and expansive than the debut: acoustic guitars are used prominently to double up a rhythm, in a method first perfected by The Rolling Stones and The Who in the s.
Part of the sound has to do with the addition of Robin Geoffrey Cable as co-producer for a handful of tracks, though Roy Thomas Baker was also willing to push the envelope in ways that he hadn't been able to on the debut album. Released in March delayed significantly due to an oil shortage as well as a cover misprint to expectedly mixed reviews, the album peaked at No.
The album was wrapped in an iconic sleeve by Mick Rock: with the band posed in a clockwork fashion, maximum use of light and shade was used to create a moody appearance. The band were so enamored with this image that it was used for the Bohemian Rhapsody promotional video the following year. Inside was a lighter photograph of a wide-eyed, young-looking band mirroring the front cover , resplendent in white fineries.
Oh, and John Deacon 's name had finally been reverted from the inside-jokey "Deacon John" to its normal way around. By this time, the band had become experienced live musicians, and were just about to embark on their first US tour; yet that spring, Queen almost ceased to exist.
This wiki. This wiki All wikis. Advanced Search. Track Listing. Brian May. Father to Son. White Queen As It Began. Some Day One Day. The Loser in the End. Roger Taylor. Ogre Battle. Freddie Mercury. The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke. The March of the Black Queen. Funny How Love Is. Seven Seas of Rhye. Procession Brian May. They returned to London around a. Roy Thomas Baker had also left around 12 - 18 August to work with a Danish client named Gasolin , who were recording their album Gasolin' 3.
After taking a break for a bank holiday, the band began principal overdubbing on 28 August. Some backing tracks had to be cut into separate multi-tracks because of the extensive overdubbing. The album's working title became "Over The Top" in reference to overdubbing. During this period, John Deacon had to do his summer exams. This was also their first recorded concert. On 24 September the band did their first radio interview with Bob Harris.
In early October, Queen met with photographer Mick Rock for the first time to discuss album concept art. They took a short break starting on 12 October to begin a promotional tour around Europe.
On 18 October, the band returned to London to continue work on the album. On 3 November, Queen had their first publicity shoot with Mick Rock, producing the album's iconic cover image. Queen took another break from recording in November to tour with Mott The Hoople.
Rehearsals began on 5 November and the tour started in Blackburn on 13 November. The band would come near London a few times in early December, and popped into the studio on their days off. The tour ended at the Hammersmith Odeon on 14 December, followed by a standalone gig at Leicester University on 15 December. Queen went back into the studio in early January.
At this point, all of the rough mixes had been finished, and the band were ready to move onto the final stages of production.
According to studio documentation, most of the songs were mixed by 19 January, but still required equalization. Brian had also gotten gangrene from a tainted inoculation needle in mid-December, and couldn't attend some sessions. The band flew to Australia on 25 January and performed to unruly crowd on 27 January that led to the band to storm off stage halfway through their set.
The last pressings were made on 20 February. The music of Queen II has been attributed to several genres, including art rock ,  hard rock ,  glam rock ,   heavy metal ,  and progressive rock. The "White" side is very diverse: four of the five numbers were composed by Brian May , one of which is an instrumental. Freddie Mercury sings two songs; May sings one; and Roger Taylor sings the closing track, which is his only composition on the album. John Deacon played acoustic guitar on "Father to Son" in addition to normal duties on bass guitar.
Mercury composed and sang all six songs on the "Black" side. He recorded it by playing overlapping parts on the Red Special through John Deacon 's custom-made amplifier the Deacy Amp. Roger Taylor also contributes to this instrumental, using only a bass drum pedal.
It is written from the father's perspective when talking or thinking about his son. Queen immediately added "Father to Son" to their live setlists. In , it was dropped from live shows, but revived a few times in Written by May in , this song features contrasting acoustic and heavy metal sections. May explained that he conceived the idea for this song while reading The White Goddess by Robert Graves.
The song also had personal significance for May; he drew inspiration from a fellow student whom he revered and thought represented the idea of the "perfect woman". I [was] dared to ask out this girl, and she became a lifelong friend, it's very strange The guitar had been given a replacement hardwood bridge, chiselled flat, with a small piece of fret wire placed between it and the strings, which lay gently above.
The strings produce the buzzing effect of a sitar. The live version usually included a long instrumental break that was not part of, or omitted from, the album version. This is the first song with May on lead vocals. It also features May on acoustic guitar and electric guitar and the last guitar solo during the fade-out features three solo guitars.
This kind of complex guitar arrangement is typical of May; however, usually the guitars are harmonious, but in this case, all of the guitars play different parts. Mercury wrote "Ogre Battle" on guitar as confirmed by May in several interviews  in and it was one of the earliest songs in the Queen set list despite not being recorded until the Queen II sessions. The band waited until they could have more studio freedom to do it properly. The song is one of Queen's heaviest works.
The guitar riff and Taylor's drumming give it a very "thrash" sound. The ogre -like screams in the middle are Mercury's, and the high harmonies at the end of the chorus hook are sung by Taylor. As the title suggests, it tells the story of a battle between ogres, and features a May guitar solo and sound effects to simulate the sounds of a battle. The opening of the song is actually the end of the song played in reverse. An acetate was made of an edited version of the BBC recording without the long intro or any of the sound effects in the album version, potentially for release as a second single.
The use of the word " quaere " in the twice-repeated line "What a quaere fellow" has no reference to Mercury's sexuality, according to Taylor. In some markets the album included a fold-out cover with a reproduction of the painting. Author Neil Gaiman wrote about the painting and the album on his blog:.
Reason tells me that I would have first encountered the painting itself, the enigmatically titled "Fairy Feller's Master Stroke," reproduced, pretty much full-sized, in the fold-out cover of a Queen album, at the age of fourteen or thereabouts, and it made no impression upon me at all. That's one of the odd things about it. You have to see it in the flesh, paint on canvas, the real thing, which hangs, mostly, when it isn't travelling, in the Pre-Raphaelite room of the Tate Gallery, out of place among the grand gold-framed Pre-Raphaelite beauties, all of them so much more huge and artful than the humble fairy court walking through the daisies, for it to become real.
And when you see it several things will become apparent; some immediately, some eventually. Gaiman wrote a longer essay about the painting for Intelligent Life. For the intricately arranged studio recording, Mercury played harpsichord as well as piano, and Roy Thomas Baker played the castanets.
Taylor called this song Queen's "biggest stereo experiment", referring to the use of panning in the mix. The song was performed only a few times during the Queen II Tour , and there was thought to be no live recording of the song until , when it was released on Live at the Rainbow ' The previous track ends with a three-part vocal harmony from Mercury, May, and Taylor which flows into Mercury playing the piano. This piano carries on to open this track making "Ogre Battle", "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" and the current track, into a medley.
All the vocal parts were performed by Mercury, who added some contemporary piano "ring" effects as well. These effects were widely suspected to be synthesisers; however, they were created by someone plucking the piano strings while Mercury played the notes. In a interview with Melody Maker , Mercury, who had been working on the song even before Queen formed, said, " I wanted to give it everything, to be self-indulgent or whatever.
The lead vocals cover two and a half octaves G2 — C5. May regards it as a precursor to " Bohemian Rhapsody ", stating, "You've got to bear in mind that we'd already made 'My Fairy King' on the first album and we'd done 'The March of the Black Queen' on the second album, so we were well in tune with Freddie's excursions into strange areas, and that was something that we really enjoyed.
It was track The tape had gone over the recording head so many times, overdubbing, that the oxide had worn off. Despite never being released as a single, it remains a favourite amongst Queen's fans. The full piece was too complicated to be performed live; however, the uptempo section containing the lines "My life is in your hands, I'll foe and I'll fie After playing the intro the band quickly transitioned into "Bohemian Rhapsody".
This song ends with an ascending note progression, which climaxes in the first second of the following track. The song segues into the next track, "Funny How Love Is". Mercury wrote it and played the piano while Robin Cable produced. It was produced using the " wall of sound " technique. The song was never performed live, largely due to the demanding high-register vocals from Mercury throughout the song.
Mercury began developing "Seven Seas of Rhye" in when he was with the band Wreckage. He eventually fleshed the song out with contributions from May.
He had this lovely little riff idea on the piano, and I think all the middle eighth is stuff that I did. So we definitely worked on it together. But when it came to the album coming out, Freddie went, 'I wrote that. But Freddie said, 'You know, I wrote the words and it was my idea, so it's my song. Much, much later in Queen history, we recognized this fact. So did Pat McConnell and a whole bunch of us.
I recall an awful lot of reverb, and Brian played the stylophone on it, but it was done in one day and we were all totally pissed at the time. On the Queen II recording, the arpeggios are played with both hands, an octave apart, whereas on the abbreviated Queen recording, and most live performances, Mercury played the simpler one-handed version of these arpeggios. The theme also appears at the end of "It's a Beautiful Day reprise " on the band's final album Made in Heaven