Freddie Mercury Showcase: Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’

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The picture sleeve of the U.K. single

By 1976, Queen were bona fide rock stars, developing a fast-growing fan base based on their first four albums and steady touring. In less than two-and-a-half years, they had released Queen (1973), Queen II (1974), Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (1975) and their success was evident by their upward progress on the album sales charts. In the U.K., the pattern was 24-5-2-1. In the larger U.S. market: 83-49-12-4.

When it came time to record a fifth studio LP, they chose to produce it themselves. The result was A Day at the Races, their second album named for a Marx Brothers movie. Four weeks before its December 10, 1976 release, Queen put out the first single, “Somebody to Love” on November 12, featuring a (no-surprise!) stunning vocal from Freddie Mercury, and in three weeks it reached its U.K. chart peak of #2.

This ad – “Rock & Roll in the Royal Tradition” – appeared in the Nov. 20, 1976 issue of Record World

Top 40 radio programmers in the U.S. were still a bit slow on fully accepting Queen. A year earlier, the band’s classic rock masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” had peaked at #9 and “Somebody to Love,” which debuted on the U.S. singles chart at #70 on Nov. 27 would reach only #13 in America.

As for A Day at the Races, the album became Queen’s second consecutive title to reach #1 in the U.K. It hit #5 in the U.S.

Queen released the official lyric video for the song on May 8, 2017 and it features terrific studio footage of a band hitting their stride. This time, though, you can sing along karaoke style!

Watch and sing along to “Somebody to Love”

Mercury died November 24, 1991 at age 45.

Related: Mercury’s private funeral

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  1. JCB
    #1 JCB 13 November, 2021, 08:59

    Musical perfection.

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