metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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(Un)Covered: Killer Queen

“Killer Queen”
Writers: Freddie Mercury
Original Release Date: October 21, 1974

We all know Queen is one of the greatest bands to have ever existed. They, along with David Bowie and Prince, really paved the way when it came to eccentric music and on stage personas. Among some of their best songs is 1974’s “Killer Queen”.

I’m surprised lyrics from this song don’t pop up more often in social media bios – can’t you just imagine someone describing themselves as “gunpowder, gelatine, dynamite with a laser beam”? The song has a vaudeville vibe and an epic guitar solo, dubbed the second best guitar solo of all time by Q Magazine. It’s no wonder the single was Queen’s breakthrough hit: it’s the perfect example of the sound you could expect from Freddie Mercury and Co.

I’m sure you’ve all heard Brendon Urie’s fabulous rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but before he was belting out an anguished “Mamaaaa”, Panic!’s live shows used to include a cover of “Killer Queen”. I was never fortunate enough to witness it in person, but in high school, I scoured the internet for a decent version and listened to it obsessively for months. The audio might not be the best, but what’s clear even amidst the screaming fans is Brendon’s vocal talent. The cover is a playful tribute to one of their influences, and includes a tinkly piano bit that could make the grumpiest person crack a smile.

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