Queen Symphonic Highlights (Mercury and May, arr. Sparke)

The British rock band Queen were formed in 1970 and their original line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals) and John Deacon (bass guitar). They recorded their first album, Queen,  in 1973 and first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974; but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 which brought them international success.

Bohemian Rhapsody

This ground-breaking track was from A Night at the Opera and topped the UK singles chart for 9 weeks. It took over 3 weeks to record and involved an astonishing 180 overdubs. The track has become the most-streamed song from the 20th century.

Bicycle Race

Taken from the 1978 album, Jazz, Bicycle Race was written after Freddie Mercury had watched the 18th stage of that year’s Tour de France passing through Montreux, where Queen was recording the album.

Who Wants to Live Forever

The sixth track on the 1986 album A Kind of Magic, Who Wants to Live Forever was composed by Brian May for the film Highlander. Queen were backed by a full orchestra, with the arrangements made by the film’s composer, Michael Kamen.

We Are the Champions

Taken from the 1977 album News of the World, We Are the Champions was a world-wide success. It was voted the ‘world’s favourite song’ in a 2005 Sony Ericsson poll and has become synonymous with sporting events, including being the official theme song of the 1994 FIFA World Cup.