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Queen is one of rock’s most beloved bands of all time, and that love has grown in recent years.

In large part, the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is to thank for this. The hit film grossed over $910 million dollars worldwideBohemian Rhapsody was also a critical darling winning four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury.

The film also brought renewed attention to Queen’s music. In the six months following the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen catalog generated $18 million in revenue thanks to major boosts in sales and streams. This has also led to reports in May 2023 that the Queen catalog could be the latest to hit the market for a major sale. At the time, the catalog was estimated to sell for over $1 billion.

RELATED: Queen: 7 Shirts and Other Clothing Items That Are a Kind of Magic

Whether the Queen catalog sells for a big price tag is yet to be determined. However, what has already been determined is just how much this band absolutely rocks. Queen’s music touches on many different subgenres in rock, from glam to hard rock, while also dabbling with elements of prog, funk, pop and disco. Their remarkable catalog left few stones unturned; not many bands can claim that.

Ranking Queen songs is a unique challenge. For starters, they have so many hits, but many of their album tracks are strong, too. Because of the diversity of the subgenres they explored, comparing one track to another often feels like an apples-and-oranges scenario. There are so many factors that can help determine any given rank. This includes something as mundane as your general mood to your own personal rock subgenre preferences. Frankly, it feels like an impossible task, but we have taken it on with gusto.

In honor of the band’s self-titled debut album turning 50 today (it was released July 13 in the U.K. and a few weeks later in America), here are Queen’s best songs ranked. Get “Ready Freddie” for the debating to begin!

  • 30. "Body Language" - 'Hot Space' (1982)

    Perhaps a controversial start to this list, but “Body Language” is an incredibly fun, dance song. Also, it might just be the horniest song in the entire Queen catalog, and that should count for something! (Semi-related: “Body Language” was used in a hilarious tour announcement video from the Foo Fighters in 2011, and it remains one of the funniest things they’ve ever done.)

  • 29. "The March of the Black Queen" - 'Queen II' (1974)

    A sort of precursor to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The March of the Black Queen” is dizzying and chaotic in the best way possible. It helped show Queen’s wild range very early in their career and the fact that they really weren’t afraid to attempt songs way left of center.

  • 28. "I'm In Love With My Car" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    Give the drummer some! Written and sung by Roger Taylor, the song became a bit of a bone of contention in the band. Apparently, the other guys weren’t really thrilled about the song. An argument depicted in the film Bohemian Rhapsody sees Roger (played by Ben Hardy) getting upset about his bandmates’ lack of enthusiasm. Freddie (Rami Malek) deadpans “Roger, there’s only room in this band for one hysterical queen.” Taylor got the last laugh though: the song was released as the b-side of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” getting equal royalties from the sales of the 45”, which at the time, were considerable. 

  • 27. "Great King Rat" - 'Queen' (1973)

    On their first album, Queen was a band of long-haired heshers under the influence of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. But on this jam, written by Freddie Mercury, you can hear a bit of the show tune influence, and the backing vocals behind Freddie when he sings, “Wouldn’t ya like to know?” were a hint of the complex arrangements to come in later Queen albums.

  • 26. "Sweet Lady" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    Yes, we’ve already mentioned how Queen liked to explore rock’s subgenres on many occasions, but even on “Sweet Lady,” they made straightforward rockers sound special. That opening riff from Brian May is minimalist but incredibly effective. Also, “You call me sweet like I’m some kind of cheese” is an underrated rock lyric and just delightful.

  • 25. "Hammer to Fall" - 'The Works' (1984)

    As glam metal was gaining traction in the ‘80s, Queen was looking more toward new wave and pop for inspiration. But Brian May wasn’t going to be left out of the fun. “Hammer To Fall,” originally written for the film Highlander, gave the guitar wanna-be heroes something to geek out about. It also has the distinction of being part of their legendary Live Aid set.

  • 24. "Breakthru" - 'The Miracle' (1989)

    The rhythm track on “Breakthru” gets your foot tapping instantly. That was likely the idea since drummer Roger Taylor co-wrote this track with Freddie Mercury. It didn’t “Breakthru” onto the charts in the U.S., but it still showed that later in their career, Queen could still write an outstanding love song.

  • 23. "Bicycle Race" - 'Jazz' (1978)

    Jaws was never my scene, and I don’t like Star Wars!” (Freddie, same!) “Bicycle Race” is yet another example of Queen not being fond of traditional song and meter structures. Sure, it’s a jaunty classic now, but examining “Bicycle Race” from a songwriting standpoint and the way the chorus/verses/bridge are organized makes you realize just how weird it is. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention its controversial music video of nude women riding bicycles. Obviously, we didn’t embed it here, but if you really want to see it, search for it yourself. It’s rather tame by today’s standards.

  • 22. "Save Me" - 'The Game' (1980)

    A heartbreaking plea, “Save Me” is a song that hit you “right in the feels” before that turn-of-phrase was even a thing. It has the type of chorus you belt in the car while going through a terrible breakup, which we imagine many people have done in the decades since its release. Heck, even if you’re happily in love, its booming chorus is still a blast to scream-sing, especially for those who lack Freddie Mercury’s range, which is most people.

  • 21. "Now I'm Here" - 'Sheer Heart Attack' (1974)

    Freddie was such a focal point of the band, sometimes people forget what a total guitar god Brian May was, but “Now I’m Here” (which Brian wrote) is a good reminder of that.  This song also has nice shout-outs to Mott The Hoople, who Queen used to open for (“Down in the city, just the Hoople and me”), and Chuck Berry (the “Go, go, go, little queenie!” at the end).

  • 20. "Seven Seas of Rhye" - 'Queen II' (1974)

    Freddie Mercury’s piano opens this track, but Brian May’s guitar — particularly his solo after the bridge — is the true star. “Seven Seas of Rhye” was Queen’s breakthrough hit, reaching number 10 on the U.K. singles charts. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • 19. "Love of My Life" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    Written by Freddie Mercury in tribute to his longtime confidant Mary Austin, this beautiful ballad hits on multiple levels. The studio recording is stunning, and the live version below from 1979’s Live Killers with the Frankfurt, Germany crowd singing along always brings the chills. However, if you feel like being emotionally wrecked for a few hours, seek out a video from Queen’s recent tours with Adam Lambert of Brian May doing a virtual performance of the song with Freddie Mercury. May sits on a stool with his guitar, while a video of Mercury and his vocals play along. It aches in the most stunning way possible.

  • 18. "'39" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    It was from A Night At The Opera, but it sounds more like something you’d hear at the Grand Ole Opry. It’s Queen’s folkiest song, even though it’s about space explorers who return home and a hundred years have passed. It was written by Brian May, who had been working on a thesis in astrophysics (and would eventually earn his Ph.D. in 2008). It’s one of the few Queen songs featuring May’s lead vocals.

  • 17. "Stone Cold Crazy" - 'Sheer Heart Attack' (1974)

    Among their many accomplishments, Queen can list being one of the biggest influences on thrash metal. This two-minute-thirteen-second jam seemed like an experiment in seeing just how fast and loud the band could play. Amazingly, it existed on the same album as “Killer Queen,” a piano-driven tune that sounded like it could have been from a Broadway musical. “Stone Cold Crazy” took on a new life in 1990 when Metallica covered it and won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. Meanwhile, believe it or not, Queen has never won a Grammy.

  • 16. "You're My Best Friend" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    If you don’t know this song from just the first two notes John Deacon plays on the Wurlitzer, who even are you? Jokes aside, Deacon wrote this sweet love song for his wife, Veronica Tetzlaff, whom he married in 1975, and they’re still married to this day. Also, that drum fill from Roger Taylor before the first verse is just perfection.

  • 15. "I Want It All" - 'The Miracle' (1989)

    By the late ‘80s, hard rock jams from Queen were rare: they enjoyed doing more accessible songs (with rare exceptions like “Hammer To Fall”). But “I Want It All” was heavier than anything that they’d done in more than a decade. Brian May wrote the song and has said that it’s about someone’s personal goals.  But there’s nothing more personal than your politics. And even though Queen have never been a political band, the song became an anti-apartheid anthem in South Africa and a gay rights anthem.

  • 14. "The Show Must Go On" - 'Innuendo' (1991)

    The final song on the final (real) Queen album, it’s a lovely, powerful, and uncharacteristically sentimental ballad. Written by Brian May, but he was clearly writing it about Freddie Mercury. As May told Rolling Stone, Mercury was in pretty bad shape by the time the band recorded this song.  “I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing.’ And he went, ‘I’ll f—ing do it, darling’ — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.” It’s a beautiful and tragic final bow from one of the great singers of all time, in any genre.

  • 13. "Tie Your Mother Down" - 'A Day at the Races' (1976)

    One of Queen’s best hard rock jams, it was written by Brian May. He had the riff first and came up with the lyrics, which he thought were throwaway.  And If Brian May was the lead singer of Queen, they may have been thrown away. But thank you, Freddie Mercury, for selling us on lyrics like “Get your party gown/Get your pigtail down!” He might have been making fun of party-oriented hard rock, but in the process, this song became a huge party anthem.

  • 12. "Keep Yourself Alive" - 'Queen' (1973)

    As Queen’s debut single, it was the world’s first introduction to the dynamic band. Unfortunately, the world didn’t think too much of the song or Queen at first, as the track failed to chart anywhere. Thankfully over time, fans caught on to the song’s break-neck lyrics and its overdubbed guitars.

  • 11. "Don't Stop Me Now" - 'Jazz' (1978)

    Here’s an idea for a new social media challenge: Try and maintain a scowl while listening to “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Frankly, we’d like to see what kind of sad bastard is able to pull that off in the presence of such buoyant joy. Freddie Mercury’s piano is the backbone of this classic.

  • 10. "I Want to Break Free" - 'The Works' (1984)

    Written by bassist John Deacon, “I Want to Break Free” caused controversy in the U.S. due to its video featuring the Queen members dressed in drag impersonating characters from the classic British soap opera Coronation Street. As has been stated in the years since its release, “God knows” the soap reference was clearly lost on American audiences. However, the uplifting tune is now considered one of the most essential LGBTQ anthems of all time.

  • 9. "Radio Ga Ga" - 'The Works' (1984)

    Is the ranking of “Radio Ga Ga” impacted by the powerful image of Wembley Stadium clapping along to the song’s chorus at Live Aid? Perhaps, but you really can’t blame us for being sentimental about this song paying tribute to the power of radio.

  • 8. "Killer Queen" - 'Sheer Heart Attack' (1974)

    Never has a song about a sex worker sounded so classy! Yes, the “Killer Queen” at the center of this classic is a refined lady of the night, according to Freddie Mercury, who penned the hit tune. The lead single from Queen’s third studio album, Sheer Heart Attack, “Killer Queen” was the band’s first major hit in the United States peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. In case you were wondering, Mercury is the one credited for the finger snaps that open the song.

  • 7. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - 'The Game' (1980)

    Ready, Freddie! “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was Queen’s first number-one hit in the States, and it only took them 22 prior singles to achieve this feat. The band spent the ’70s showing they weren’t afraid to take on various rock subgenres, so why not throw rockabilly in there? Freddie Mercury said he wrote this stripped-down classic in about 5-10 minutes, which just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need to overthink things to create magic. Or you just need to be incredibly gifted like Mercury. Perhaps, it’s a little of columns A and B on this one.

  • 6. "Another One Bites the Dust" - 'The Game' (1980)

    Over 40 years after its release, this John Deacon bassline still SLAPS! In fact, Deacon is the sole songwriter on this smash, which was Queen’s second number-one hit in the U.S. Despite its minimalism, Mercury’s vocals are still bold, especially on that vocal run during the bridge. Even with the ’70s in the rearview, Queen showed they weren’t going anywhere in the ’80s.

  • 5. "Fat Bottomed Girls" - 'Jazz' (1978)

    Years before the world was introduced to Sir Mix-a-Lot, LL Cool J and, to a lesser extent, Tom Green, the one, true a– anthem (or “a– -them,” if you will), belonged to Queen. Brian May wrote this cheeky (pun intended) jam that truly is about the finer things in life. And yes, we do make the rocking world go around.

  • 4. "Somebody to Love" - 'A Day at the Races' (1976)

    A rock ballad with a dash of gospel, “Somebody to Love” is a vocal masterpiece. Freddie Mercury sings lead and backing vocals, because he apparently had something to prove. Brian May and Roger Taylor are also singing backing vocals, which were layered heavily with Mercury to create that unique choir-like effect. As if this track couldn’t get more sublime, May comes in with that stunning solo. How incredible it must have felt to head into the recording studio to follow up A Night at the Opera and come out with this gem, which would be the lead single off of A Day at the Races.

  • 3. "Under Pressure" - 'Hot Space' (1982)

    If this isn’t the greatest collaboration in rock history, it’s certainly one of the greatest. If you were wondering how the track came together exactly, Roger Taylor said in YouTube video about the song’s history, “Well, I think the process was we were all drunk, and in the studio, and we were just for fun playing all sorts of old songs … and I think David [Bowie] said, ‘Look, hang on a minute, why don’t we write one of our own?'” That whim led to this iconic track. It didn’t hurt that John Deacon’s bassline absolutely ruled and eventually led to an infamous lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for ripping it off  for “Ice Ice Baby.”

    So, what’s the takeaway here? Sometimes, getting drunk with your friends can lead to something great, and never forget to always give credit where it is due.

  • 2. "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" - 'News of the World' (1977)

    We put “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” at number one on our “25 Best Sports Anthems” list, but it came up just short on our ranking of Queen’s best songs. As we mentioned on that aforementioned list, it’s really difficult to think of these songs as two separate tracks. Like a great couple, they were truly meant to be together. Also, like a great couple, “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” is the perfect yin and yang. “We Will Rock You” is a pure rocker, while “We Are the Champions” is a stunning ballad. On paper, these compositions shouldn’t work, but Queen is just magical like that. They made a career out of making the impossible possible.

  • 1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - 'A Night at the Opera' (1975)

    There’s no denying that “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the quintessential Queen song. It represents everything great about this band. It’s surprising, it’s beautiful, it’s a little strange and it absolutely rocks! “Bohemian Rhapsody” both exists as being of its time while being ahead of its time, especially when it came to its iconic music video, which helped to popularize the making of music videos to help promote a track before MTV was a thing. Also, it’s one of the few non-holiday songs to chart multiple times on the Billboard Hot 100: When it first was released, in 1992 thanks to its inclusion in Wayne’s World and in 2018-19 after the release of the biopic of the same name. Like many iconic songs, it’s hard imagining the musical landscape without it. Because of that and more, it’s our number-one Queen song of all time.

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