A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition contains lots of sexual innuendo ("Killer Queen") and plain old bawdy bad taste ("Fat Bottomed Girls"), as well as tragicomic operatic gun violence ("Bohemian Rhapsody"), smoking, drinking, but no swearing -- and it's all delivered with a level of seriousness akin to that of contemporaries Monty Python. You'll also find sweet, romantic pop ballads and the iconic "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions," soundtrack of innumerable athletic and political contests, not to mention commercials. One-of-a-kind, huge-voiced frontman Freddie Mercury (who famously died young of AIDS in 1991) is prancy, posturing, pathetic, or powerful as the occasion demands.
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What's the story?
Critics loved to hate Queen, which didn't stop the band from selling millions of records, in the United States and especially in the UK, in the '70s and '80s. Never ones to take themselves or anything else entirely seriously, Queen had a strong element of campy comedy in some of their biggest hits (notably \"Bohemian Rhapsody,\" \"Killer Queen,\" \"Another One Bites the Dust\"). But whatever their original intent, a lot of these songs helped define the era, and the anthem \"We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,\" took on a whole new life in the following decades.
Is it any good?
GREATEST HITS: WE WILL ROCK YOU EDITION could probably have been pared a bit for U.S. tastes, as it includes a number of tunes that were greater hits in Britain than America. But it includes all the band's defining moments, including those that have worked their way into various corners of pop culture -- notably their biggest hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody," which only got bigger after it turned up in the movie Wayne's World, and stadium rocker "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions," long a staple in sports, politics, and commercials.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the '70s seemed to be a period of such excess in art and personal lifestyles.
What do you think "Bohemian Rhapsody" is about? As one young listener once asked, why are they yelling "Galileo! Galileo!"? What does Galileo have to do with any of this?
Why do you think this band was so popular with fans and got no respect from critics?