Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

This series is in its 17th week and we’re finally addressing music. Its not that we didn’t have ideas for bands those other weeks, we just needed the first one to be special. Queen is that band.

Formed in 1970 and celebrated to this day, Queen were a band that transcended genres, nations, and sexual identity like none other. They made songs loved by metal heads. The gracefully sang romatic ballads. They made rock so operatic, that it became opera itself. They’re made up of Brian May on guitar, Drummer Roger Taylor, Bass player John Deacon, and the legendary front man Freddie Mercury.

Queen rose to international fame and acclaim in the mid 70s. Early hits “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Killer Queen” led the way to one of the most successful singles of all time: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

The single stayed at the top of the British charts for 9 weeks. The above video is one of the first music videos ever produced and is held as an example of how the medium could expand musical performance. The song has remained a classic rock radio staple since its 1975 release.
Queen’s enduring success in large venues inspired them to write a pair of songs tailor made for arenas: “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.” If you’ve ever been to any sporting event ever, you likely know both of these songs by heart. They’re so tied together that most radio stations will play them back to back.

In the 1980s, Queen continued to release massive hits. “Another One Bites The Dust” took the band into the clubs with a disco hit. A chance meeting in a recording studio with David Bowie turned into “Under Pressure,” which immediately became a number one hit in Britain.
Queen contributed several songs to the soundtrack of the cult classic Highlander
including “Princes Of The Universe” which became the theme song to the TV series inspired by the film.

Queen performed two sold out shows at Wembley Stadium in 1986, followed by a performance in Knebworth park, bringing their tour attendance to over a million. It was the most successful tour they’d ever performed, and broke records. However, it would be the last time Freddie Mercury stood on stage with the band.
By 1988 friends and fans noticed Mercury was looking ill. He continued to contribute in the studio, with the album releases “The Miracle” and “Innuendo”
On November 23, 1991, Mercury released a statement confirming he’d contracted AIDS, and died from complications a mere 12 hours later.

After Freddie Mercury passed, his legend only grew. Aside from being one of the most beloved singers and performers in rock history, he was now a symbol of awareness of AIDS epidemic.
On April 20, 1992 the surviving members of Queen returned to London’s Wembley Stadium for a tribute concert.

George Michael, Elton John, Robert Plant, Axl Rose, David Bowie, and Roger Daltrey were amoung the dozens of performers who joined Queen on stage for a benefit concert. Over a billion people watched on television, and millions were raised through the sale of concert tickets and donation.

Queen’s music continues to be an important part of pop culture, featured in films, television, and commercials. Recently their music has gained prominence in video games. The original Guitar Hero featured a version of Killer Queen. In March of 2009, Sony released SingStar Queen for Playstation 2 and PS3 consoles. Finally the game Rock Band
released 10 songs by Queen just this week.

Guitarist Brian May has expressed interest in a full Queen video game like The Beatles: Rock Band, but was very pleased to see his band recreated in Lego Rock Band, which features “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”

Queen has never officially disbanded, and continues to perform with other singers and for charity work.