20 Times Queen Was Covered By Other Rockstars
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While most know Queen for titanic hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You”, the band’s illustrious catalog goes way more than the demographic painted by the aforementioned songs. Considered as one of the most innovative rock bands of all time, Queen broke the notion that a band should only stick to one genre.
With the fascination surrounding Queen, it isn’t uncommon to find admirers even in their contemporaries and successors. Here are some of the timeless Queen covers by other rockers that show the immense influence the band has over the artistic sphere.
“Innuendo” – Robert Plant
Since it’s common knowledge that Led Zeppelin was the inspiration for Queen’s “Innuendo”, it was only right for the former’s frontman to return the favor by performing the song at the late Freddie Mercury’s 1992 memorial concert. He was assisted by Queen’s Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor, who dished out a mix of the song incorporated with Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Thank You”.
“Stone Cold Crazy” – Metallica
Queen’s very own thrash metal number “Stone Cold Crazy” hit home at the hand of heavy metal titans Metallica. The band already tried their luck on “Sheer Heart Attack” and won a Grammy for it, which gave them the confidence to tackle another Queen metal cut. While the original version was charged enough, Metallica took their cover to a whole new level.
“Tenement Funster/Flick of the Wrist/Lily of the Valley” – Dream Theater
Dream Theater wasn’t content in just one Queen cut but created a medley with three, delivering an epic neoclassical metal version of “Tenement Funster/Flick of the Wrist/Lily of the Valley”. While the praise around their cover was a testament to their awesomeness, Brian May’s compliments came down like nectar from the gods. “Bloody Hell! Dream Theater seems to be amazing. Beautifully done,” said the Queen axman.
“Tie Your Mother Down” – Lemmy Kilmister/Ted Nugent and others
The 1997 Queen tribute Dragon Attack: Tribute To Queen saw many promising covers from top rock acts in the industry, but one was a cut among the rest. “Tie Your Mother Down” was delivered by Lemmy Kilmister, Ted Nugent, Bob Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, and Tommy Aldridge.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Bruce Dickinson
Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson formed an unlikely alliance with Spanish operatic singer Montserrat Caballe for his own take on the epic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This wasn’t Caballe’s first experience working with Queen, however, as she did a duet with Freddie Mercury for the official 1992 Olympic Games, “Barcelona”. Metal and opera intertwined in an unorthodox fashion on this particular Queen cover.
“We Are The Champions” – Green Day
Modern punks Green Day showed their love for Queen by integrating the arena rock anthem “We Are The Champions” into their setlist since 2004. While their performances of the song have amounted to over 150 instances, their Live 8 Berlin version of the song takes the cake and was rightfully aired around the world much like the original rockers did on 1985’s Live Aid.
“Love of My Life” – Scorpions
While it might be surprising how Scorpions managed to convince their management to go unplugged on their 2001 album, Acoustica, Scorpions aren’t exactly newcomers when it came to romantic ballads. Here is the German heavy metal act’s take on “Love Of My Life”.
“Dragon Attack” – Testament
Queen’s “Dragon Attack” was given the true thrash metal treatment by Testament, forgoing the original funk groove and hammering it down with a gritty textured metal arrangement. Adding more grit to the equation was frontman Chuck Billy’s signature growl.
“Son And Daughter” – Corrosion of Conformity
Producer John Custer insisted that Corrosion of Conformity do a Queen cover, hence their 2019 rendition of “Son And Daughter”. In an interview with The Aquarian, guitarist Woody Weatherman said: “He had been trying to get us to do a Queen cover for a number of years. Every time we showed up and made a record, he would be, like, ‘You know that Queen song ‘Son and Daughter’? That’s the one you guys should do.’ We just never did it. This time, he buckled down and was, like, ‘You guys are doing this.’ We showed up one morning, started working on it and learned it, and slapped it on tape. I think John’s contribution to that was immense. He is a massive Queen fan, which we all are.”
“Tie Your Mother Down” – Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters wear their love for Queen on their sleeves, regularly performing numbers like “Under Pressure” or “We Will Rock You”. Their cover of “Tie Your Mother Down” was one for the books, however, as they were aided by Brian May and Roger Taylor at Queen’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2001.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Puscifer
It’s safe to say that taking on “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a career suicide if one isn’t equipped with the chops to do so. Tool’s Maynard James Keenan shows up for it, however, covering the song in 2013 with his side project Puscifer on the Donkey Punch The Night EP. The music video is a bizarre stimulator of the senses, even featuring drag queen Dina Martina in the entirety of its run.
“Under Pressure” – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance was joined by another emo rock act, the Used, for the Queen-David Bowie duet, “Under Pressure”. The two bands performed the song for the Taste of Chaos tour but eventually recorded it in the studio for Music for Relief, with the song’s proceeds going to tsunami relief in Indonesia.
“We Will Rock You” – Warrant
Warrant covered the rock anthem “We Will Rock You” for the 1992 boxing flick Gladiator that starred Cuba Gooding Jr. It’s a proud moment for Warrant as their cover of the song eclipsed the movie’s impact, which was snubbed for the most part, and became a minor radio hit that reached number 83 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“You’re My Best Friend” – Melvins
Indie rock act Melvins released a catalog of cover songs in 2013 which was called Everybody Loves Sausages. The band professed their admiration for their musical influences, which included Queen who was honored with an upbeat version of the John Deacon-written song, “You’re My Best Friend”.
“Don’t Stop Me Now” – The Vandals
Queen’s catalog seems to have been a hit with punk rockers as evidenced by The Vandals’ interest in their song, “Don’t Stop Me Now”. The energy of the original was matched by the punk-infused version of the group but with a pretty obvious headbanging twist.
“Radio Gaga” – Electric Six
As Queen fans, it was up to Electric Six to show their devotion to the band with their cover of “Radio Gaga”. While their version stays pretty faithful to the source material, the music video was a magnet for controversy as frontman Dick Valentine taking on the late Freddie Mercury’s appearance, even dancing on his gravesite in the process. While many called the band out for its “disrespect”, it was reported that Brian May was a fan of the cover.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – The Muppets
The Muppets took their time to honor Queen with their rendition of the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2009. The group was made up of Gonzo, Animal, Beaker, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, going viral and raking over 100 million views on Youtube.
“Radio Gaga” – Red Hot Chili Pipers
Yes, Pipers as in bagpipes. The Red Hot Chili Pipers blew their own version of “Radio Gaga” in 2010, with a lot of listeners undecided on what to feel of the record.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Panic! At the Disco
P!ATD frontman Brendon Urie has made it known that his obsession over Queen, Freddie Mercury, and the album Night At The Opera greatly influenced his musical aspirations, even revealing in a 2018 interview with Kerrang! that the said Queen record was “the album that saved my life.” The band started performing covers of the song in 2014, while they finally recorded a studio version two years later for the soundtrack of Suicide Squad.
“Tie Your Mother Down” – Shinedown
2005’s Killer Queen tribute record has Shinedown paying homage to Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down”, staying faithful to the original, as you don’t really need to fix what isn’t broken.