Even as a new compilation of Queen hits called Icon is set for release on June 11, 2013, guitarist Brian May looks back in wonder at all of the things he and his childhood friends were able to accomplish.
“I do get up some mornings and think: "God, how did that happen?". “Because we were just boys — and it doesn’t seem that long ago — with dreams and big ideas that we could do something that no one’s ever done before, and sort of go out and conquer the world. And somehow, it happened. Everywhere I go, from Mongolia to Timbuktu, people know the songs. It’s incredible. I feel very, very fortunate. It is like some kind of dream, really.”
Icon provides a single-disc look at Queen’s varied career, from its harder-rocking beginnings with the likes of “Stone Cold Crazy” through its forays into operatic song styles with “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sleek pop of “The Show Must Go On.” Familiar hits like “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “We are the Champions” are paired with fan favorites like “I’m In Love With My Car” and “I Want it All.”
Queen was founded by May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in 1970. They continued as a foursome until Mercury’s death from AIDS-related causes in 1991. Deacon has since also retired, while May and Taylor have participated in a series appearances with guest vocalists, most notably Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.
“It’s great to be in people lives,” May adds, “and a lot of our songs have gone beyond just being records or tracks. They’re actually part of life — like ‘Rock You’ and ‘Champions’ are part of people’s lifetime experiences in sports. That’s an amazing thing, to feel that you are sort of welded into people’s lives, in some ways. It’s a great privilege.”