My favorite band in the world is, without a doubt, Queen. For as long as I can remember, I just love how they can produce music in multiple different styles and genres while still containing a familiar feel across it all. Not to mention their music is just very good in general. In celebration of the Frida’s Drive-In screening of the band’s biographical film, Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), I’ll be presenting my personal top five favorite Queen music videos:
#5 Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
First up is the project that essentially created the modern day music video as we know it. While it’s definitely a bit primitive looking nowadays, and while it wasn’t the first one to exist out there, you have to give it credit. Just like the song itself, it’s definitely one of these experiences that just needs to be witnessed, as it’s such a ride through multiple different sounding verses of various different tones that somehow just clicks in really well by the end. I’m also a fan of the lighting choices and effects–they just add to the experience that the original song wouldn’t be able to accomplish on it’s own.
#4 A Kind Of Magic (1986)
In a mysterious and abandoned theater, we watch the iconic Freddie Mercury as some sort of magician-like character that encounters May, Taylor, and Deacon (playing a trio of homeless sleeping hobos) and uses magic to transform them into rock stars. What I really like about this is the interrogation of both the band members as well as the animated depictions of them from the album’s cover. As a bonus, we get some very classy backup singers with extremely striking designs. As you’ll probably see both in this video as well as in the entries, I really enjoy when different forms of media, in this case live-action and animation, can lead to some amazing results and I think this video is no exception.
#3 The Invisible Man (1989)
Two of my favorite things in the world are video games and retro 80s aesthetic. This video satisfies my love for both of them at the same time. I think what I really love about this video is just how the music not only works with the action itself, but it also sounds like it belongs in a retro game from that era. It’s a perfect time capsule. The bandmates appearing as nothing more than just simple silhouettes within the game also adds to the simplistic but retro feel of the video. I also just really like the setting of a kid’s room from the 80s, as it feels oddly nostalgic despite me not being born during that time. I guess what I’m trying to say is I just really like the 80s aesthetic.
#2 Save Me (1980)
Here we have one of the band’s more unique songs and videos. It’s definitely one of their most emotional videos, as it’s about the struggles of moving on from a past relationship that just didn’t work out. In the end, how do we move on from something like that? Do we hope that things can get better later, or is it just better to just start taking the tough path on trying to move on? All these questions are brilliantly displayed via the animation segment featuring a young woman and golden dove that represents what the theme of the song is while also giving it a nice dream-like vibe. This was accomplished via rotoscoping–a technique that fuses live action and animation. It’s the same technique that A-ha would use for their iconic music video, Take On Me.
#1 Innuendo (1991)
It’s pretty hard to explain why Innuendo is my favorite of Queen’s music videos, but I think what I love about it is the unique approach it decided to take. With Freddie being too ill to film, old video footage of the band was brilliantly morphed into stylized animation based on different artists – with Mercury drawn in the style of Leonardo Da Vinci, May in the style of Victorian etchings, Taylor in the style of Jackson Pollock, and Deacon in the style of Pablo Picasso. Alongside that is footage from multiple different forms of expressionism–dark baroque artistry and piling scary dolls to different historical moments via stock footage like WWII and the Gulf War while being showcase in a setting very much like the film adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s such a breathtaking experience that’s worth analyzing and experiencing for the masterpiece it is.