Only lead singer Freddie Mercury was convinced of the rock band’s royal spell on Billboard charts and radio airwaves, predicting prophetically not just “We’ll be together until we die,” but “I’m not going to a pop star. I’m going to be a legend!”
Mercury demonstrated a true showman’s confidence and command of audiences, belying his buck teeth and bald spot. But surprisingly, Queen’s biggest hit, “Another One Bites the Dust,” may only have hit by accident. Unintended as a single, it barely made the album (“The Game“), and only clicked with the public after a black radio station started playing it … mistakenly thinking Queen to be a black group.
But don’t think Queen’s music was accidental. “Days Of Our Lives” shows Mercury to have a gift for songcraft that even his bandmates could not comprehend fully; for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for instance, he strung together three separate songs, recording the epic track in six different studios.
Made for TV, but by no means slimming for the medium, the documentary is built upon a solid foundation of previously unseen recording sessions, concert footage and candid interviews both old and new, particularly from Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, who continue to hold their act’s crown high, if not its relevance.
Although much terrain is covered in two hours, the doc leaves you wanting more. Luckily, the Blu-ray complies with numerous bonus segments — “Flash Gordon” fans, you’ll get your fix here. In addition, several videos in full can be accessed, including my personal Queen favorite, the David Bowie collaboration, “Under Pressure” — still a note-perfect pop song, in my opinion. —Rod Lott