Part 1: I Can Hear Music.
All roads led from The Beatles. Their dazzling ingenuity and creativity saw to that. Their unique influence suffused all of 1960s music. But the tentacles of what they had created just as assuredly permeated every corner of the 1970s as well. And none more so than the biggest, most grandiloquent, impossibly exalted band to follow on from the pre-eminent Fab Four. My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, Their Imperial Majesties: Queen.
Just as The Beatles had demonstrated so conclusively in the 1960s, during the 70s (and beyond) there was almost nothing that Queen could not do better than anyone else around. From heart-stopping songwriting to overpowering arrangements; awe-inspiring musical dexterity to a pragmatic combining of creativity with commerciality where you couldn’t see the join. Plus a cohesiveness that made the whole so much more than the sum of the already capable parts. And, just like with The Beatles, it all seemed so effortless: they made the unbelievably complex and difficult seem straightforward and easy.
Queen arose from the ashes of an earlier group named ‘Smile’ in 1970. This happened to be the very same year that the most astounding musical collective of all time, The Beatles, finally ground to a halt amidst the bitterest of acrimony between four young men who had once been the closest of friends. And as new Beatles output, as opposed to output from its former members, ended, Queen eventually began to take up the slack with the most fabulous of records and the greatest of live shows. Yes, The Beatles were irreplaceable. But the advent of Queen breathed life into 1970s music and gave us hope for the future, where all had seemingly been lost.