"Queen": The Illustrated Biography

"Queen": The Illustrated Biography

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Phil Sutcliffe

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  • Publisher: Voyageur Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 244mm x 277mm x 30mm | 1,678g
  • Publication date: 22 October 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Stillwater
  • ISBN 10: 0760337195
  • ISBN 13: 9780760337196
  • Edition: 1, Annotated
  • Edition statement: annotated edition
  • Illustrations note: 300 colour, 100 black and white
  • Sales rank: 102,920

Product description

They were renowned for stunning live performances, envied for rumors of their rock 'n' roll excess, and beloved for their music, occasionally anthemic and always virtuosic. Nearly twenty years after the death of their engaging and supremely talented front man, Queen remains the archetypal larger-than-life rock band, comfortably enthroned among rock royalty. Now, to celebrate the majesty of Queen's contributions to rock, here's the first-ever complete illustrated history of the band.With glorious concert and candid off-stage photography from throughout the band's career, as well as concert posters, backstage passes, LPs and singles, and other memorabilia from throughout the world, this is the ultimate visual tribute to Queen. More than 500 photos and artifacts are accompanied by contributions from some of today's top rock journalists from Europe and North America. In addition to a chronological history of the band, there are reviews of all studio albums, notable excerpts from period publications, complete year-by-year tour dates, and a discography, as well as reflections on the band and their music from many of rock's top performers past and present, including Slash, Tommy Lee, and Billy Squier.Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon combined a dizzying array of influences and genres in creating what would become one of the most compelling catalogs and lasting legacies in rock. Here is the book that dares to match that bombast.

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Author information

London-based freelance journalist Phil Sutcliffe has been writing about rock since 1974 and has interviewed greats like Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Nirvana, NickCave, and Queen. His work has appeared in myriad publications, including Mojo," Q," the Los Angeles" Times," Blender," Sounds," and more. Phil's back catalog is mostly available on the world's best archive of music writing: rocksbackpages.com.

Customer reviews

By mat archer 08 Apr 2010 5

The one piece of excellent news for Queen fans arrives in the form of a new coffee table book, Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. I can say without exaggeration that it s the most exciting Queen release of the past 15 years.Lovingly written and compiled by journalist Phil Sutcliffe, Queen: The Ultimate... is 287 pages worth of illustrated beauty, featuring multitudes of photos of the band throughout their career many of them previously unpublished and scores of memorabilia: concert programs, posters, domestic and foreign 45 singles, LPs, backstage passes, ticket stubs...you name it, it s here, and there are over 500 photos in all.It s not just a pretty picture book, however: Sutcliffe has written quite the comprehensive biography of the band. It s not as thorough as the Queen bio As It Began, but it s not meant to be, either. What separates this book from others is Sutcliffe s generous use of band interviews over the years, including many conducted by Sutcliffe himself. And though only the most hardcore of fans would have purchased the books written by Freddie s partner, Jim Hutton, or his personal assistant, Peter Freestone (yes, I own both), Sutcliffe compiles the best supporting information from each of these books, and also gives special attention the final years of Queen an especially touching period where the band rallied around Freddie to help him complete Made in Heaven.Sutcliffe isn t the only contributor to the book; each album in the Queen canon is reviewed in detail by rock journalists such as Jon Bream, Jim DeRogatis, Gary Graff and Greg Kot, while close friends of the band offer personal recollections. One of the most touching essays comes from Reinhold Mack, producer of The Game, Flash Gordon, Hot Space and The Works: not only does Mack recount the band s work ethic in the studio, but offers a number of personal photos of Freddie and Mack s son, Little Freddie (I m not making that nickname up) who was also Freddie s godson. A Christmas card from Freddie to Little Freddie is one of the most touching inclusions. Finally, the book includes 'endorsements' of the band from other artists, such as Geddy Lee, Neil Diamond, Slash, Wayne Coyne, Tom Morello and others. While not entirely necessary (I m not sure why I care what Adele thinks of Queen), they re a nice finish to an breathtakingly beautiful book. Having read numerous Queen books over the years, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this band but Queen: The Ultimate... has provided me with new anecdotes and stunning visuals at every turn. It s probably more than any casual fan of the band will need, but anyone with more than three or four Queen albums in their collection will find it to be absolutely indispensable and a welcome addition to their book collection. It is, quite simply, an absolute dream for all Queen fans. --popdose dot com, November 2009...This beautifully packaged book, a perfect balance of photos and text, arrives on Nov. 15, 2009, and retraces the history of this massively popular and influential group. Brimming with more than 400 photographs and pieces of memorabilia including concert programs, posters, domestic and foreign 45 singles, LPs, backstage passes, ticket stubs, and more QUEEN: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock also includes a discography, and commentary from dozens of admiring musicians and performers. The result is the most complete and captivating portrait of this larger-than-life group, one that captures and celebrates as never before Queen one of popular music s most successful recording artists of all time. Queenmuseum.com has collaborated with images of rare records & memorabilia to this great book. -- -- --Queen Museum, November, 2009...a lovely book, just published. From wild and excessive parties, to professional and mesmerizing performances, -- -- --Playmusic dot com, December 2009

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon - A.K.A Queen. They were renowned for electrifying live performances, envied for rumors of their rock n roll excess, and beloved for their music that has brought togther an array of genres. Nearly 20 years after the death of their supremely talented front man and over 190 million album sales worldwide, Queen remains the classic larger than life rock band, enthroned among rock royalty.Packed with glorious performance and off-stage photographs, dozens of which are previously unpublished, as well as tour memorabilia, collectables, LPs, and singles from around the globe, this is the ultimate visual tribute to Queen. More than 500 photos and artifacts in total are accompanied by a band history, album reviews, complete tour dates, a thorough discography and reflections from some of rock s top performers past and present. These include Slash, Tommy Lee and Billy Squier.Queen combined a dizzying array of influences and genres in creating what would become one of the most lasting legacies in rock. Here is the book that dares to tackle the band s towering achievements...Edinburgh Guide, December, 2009....Certainly some of the decisions Brain May and Roger Taylor have made since Freddie Mercury's death in 1991 have been dubious to say the least but the short-lived Paul Rogers collaboration, the 'We Will Rock You' musical and the bands appearences on the X-factor and American idol have bought a whole new legion of fans to the Queen camp. Sure, a majority of peole will associate Queen with their big stadium rock albums rather than the majesty of their their earlier material so waht respected scribe Phil Sutcliffe ahs done is give a handy overview of the band's entire career. There are no reveltaions or anything like that; it's a history of the band that's well-written and informative. i consider myslef ot be a Queen fan and some of the visual material in this book is absolutely stunning. It's a heavy ahrdback that weighs a tonne and is filled to the brim with geat visual treats like ticket stubs, posters, and assorted bits of memorablilia. There are tour dates, press articles and album reviews. The photographs of the bans offstage - especially those with Freddie at home or with friends - are revelaing and quite touching. Even without listening to music, the photographs of the band onstage show them as the rock gods they still are....definatly one to pick up! -- --Fireworks magazine, Janaury 2010. For those who only think of queen in terms of West End musicals and recent half-band reboots, this luxurious tome should act as a potent reminder of the group as titean's of rock's most decadent age. Mojo's Phil Sutcliffe lights a path from their frustratingly early struggles through mid-70's pomp to the hit-packed 80's, and the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. There are Queen Nuggets galore, with images of orignal 8-track cartridges and rare tour merchandise sitting alongside unseen photos and tributes form some of their most famous fans. lest we forget - here were four whipsmart songwrites, each of whom enjoyed Top 3 success throughout the band's lifespan. Not even the Beetles managed that....Mojo, March, 2010...Established rock journo Phil Sutcliffe's tome catalouges the entire length of Queen's career, form thier debut performance at surrey colleague in 1971 to the final show ( with the original line-up at least) in 1968 and is unadultarated coffee-table fare. Split into discernable cahpters, the historical copy is easy to read and comes embellished with qutes form fellow rockers and hangers-on plus a clever series of boxouts that dispel various myths courtesy of luminaries who were actually there. The majority of glossy photos have barely seen the light of day before...the definative work - for now --Guitarist, January, 2010

nearly 20 yaers after the death of their charismatic fornt man and with more than 190 million album sales worldwide, queen remain the classic larger than life rock band. Although they enjoyed their greatest success in the Eigties, stealing the show at Live Aid, and selling out stadiums worldwide, the bands most innovative work came in the Seventies. Now a new book captures the band in their pomp, both offstage and on. Packed with glourious performance and off-stage photographs ( dozens of which are previouslt unpublished), as well as tour memorabilia, collectibles, LP's, and singles from around the globe. More than 500 photos and artiofacts in total are accompanied by a band history, album reviews, complete tour dates, a thorough discography, and reflections form some of rock's top performers past and present... --Choice Magazine, Feb, 2010

Review quote

The "ultimate" book on Queen, arguably the most underrated (in the U.S.) rock and roll band ever, had to be as bombastic and colorful as the band itself. Everything Queen is here: Rare and not-so-rare black and white and color photos, biographical and chart info, detailed discography and tour info, and album-by-album reviews. The book has an obvious fan appeal, but is objective enough to deal with the most delicate issues in Queen's history intelligently: Paul Rodgers (the former Bad Company frontman who "led" the infamous Queen + Paul Rodgers concoction) ain't no Freddy Mercury, but the music he did with Brian May and Roger Taylor wasn't as bad as we think; that 1982's "Hot Space," justly vilified when it came out, is now a semi-classic; and how Mercury, unfairly criticized for keeping his illness a secret during his last days, became a champion for AIDS-awareness in death. Most importantly, the book understands why Queen was a great band: Yes, they may have betrayed their own "no synthesizers" mantra when it was convenient to do so, but any band that can play and sing that well, and that can produce so many hits ranging from hard-rock to metal, to silly but instrumentally intricate music-hall and operatic gems, has the right to kill its own rules. A must for Queen fans and latecomers. Coffee-table books on rock bands usually fall into one of two categories; either they're chock-full of great visuals with very little textual information, or the book looks like the U.S. tax code with a few snapshots thrown in. Thankfully, music journo Sutcliffe got it right both ways with this work, a must-have under the tree for any Queen fans on your list.Though utilizing mostly previously published interviews, Sutcliffe offers a detailed and comprehensive history of the band from their early days (when three-fourths of the classic lineup was known as Smile) up to their appearance during last season's ""American Idol"" finale. In addition, rock scribes and stars alike chime in on the band's albums, music, and impact....The real treat of ""Queen"," though lies in the 500+ photos of the band in action and memorabilia including vintage backstage passes, T-shirts, record sleeves from around the world, and posters. Ironically, many of the tour laminates - designed by Mercury himself - feature scantily clad or nude women, many of them (of course), fat bottomed girls. -- Houston Press

Back cover copy

Renowned for their electrifying live performances and beloved for their music, Queen created one of the most compelling catalogs and lasting legacies in rock. The first book befitting this larger-than-life rock band features: " "* More than 500 photos and artifacts from around the globe, including stunning performance and offstage photographs (dozens of them previously unpublished), handbills, posters, backstage passes, tickets, T-shirts, LPs, and singles.* A specially commissioned band history and an extensive discography, both by longtime U.K. music writer Phil Sutcliffe.* Sidebars and imagery from top rock writers and photographers like Jon Bream, Jim DeRogatis, Harry Doherty, Greg Kot, Daniel Nester, Denis O'Regan, Neal Preston, Michael Putland, Mick Rock, Sylvie Simmons, and many more.* Exclusive insights, personal artifacts, and ultra-rare photography from the longtime head of Queen's road crew, Peter Hince, as well as producer and personal friend Reinhold Mack.* Plus, specially gathered comments and reflections from longtime Queen and Freddie Mercury friend and collaborator Billy Squier, as well as Slash, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Chris Squire of Yes, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Geddy Lee of Rush, Neil Diamond, Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Adele, Kid Rock, and more!

Flap copy

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon--they were renowned for electrifying live performances, envied for rumors of rock 'n' roll excess, and beloved for music that melded an array of genres. To celebrate Queen's music and accomplishments, here's the first history befitting this larger-than-life rock band.Packed with stunning performance and offstage photographs--dozens of them previously unpublished--as well as handbills, posters, backstage passes, tickets, T-shirts, LPs, and singles gathered from around the globe, this is the ultimate visual history for Queen fans everywhere. All told, more than 500 photos and artifacts are accompanied by specially commissioned works from a host of today's top rock journalists in Europe and North America. A history of the band written by longtime U.K. music writer Phil Sutcliffe spans the pre-Queen years to current work with Paul Rodgers. Complementing this thorough account are reviews of all studio and live albums; complete year-by-year tour dates; an extensive annotated discography; reflections on the band and their music from some of rock's top performers past and present; and exclusive insights from former crew chief Peter Hince, longtime producer Reinhold Mack, and Mercury collaborator Billy Squier.Queen created one of the most compelling catalogs and lasting legacies in rock. Little surprise, then, that forty years after their debut, they are enthroned among rock royalty. Here is the book that dares to tackle their towering achievements.