In my last post, I wrote about my hatred of the stans, the fanboys, you name it. Toxic fanbases.
If there were anything I came close to fanboy-ing over it would be Queen. I’m hardly alone.
A lot of people love Queen, and some people wonder what the worst Queen songs are. The Queen discography is small enough to hash this over: fifteen studio albums. It’s hard to get a consensus.
A few people will say “all of them”. They can go to hell.
1982’s Hot Space is generally regarded as the band’s worst album, the one where they attempted to expand on their unlikely funk/disco success with 1980’s “Another One Bites The Dust”. That album gave us “Body Language” (a classic of ironic bad taste and actual hit single) but it also gave is the Freddie-penned “Staying Power”.
Let me show it to you yeah
See what I got, I got a hell of a lot
Tell me what you feel
Is it real is it real
You know I got what it takes
And I can take a lot
I’m not ready for any song about Freddie’s dick. Let me show it to you. No thanks. #Metoo
I could choose plenty of songs throughout the band’s career. Roger Taylor’s “Modern Times Rock ‘n Roll” from their debut album is under two minutes long, and sounds like it took less than that to both write and record. Brian May wrote “Sleeping On the Sidewalk” for 1977’s News Of The World. It’s a blues song, and though Queen are legally allowed to perform in the blues idiom doesn’t mean they should.
On purely musical terms, the worst song is “My Baby Does Me” from 1989’s The Miracle. They’re using a drum machine, which is never a good sign. Freddie sings as if he’s saving what remaining strength he has for better songs. The song is credited to the whole group but it sounds like a John Deacon song that everybody else said “fine” and helped out on just to be nice. I’m not linking to these songs because I care about you.
But the absolute worst song that Queen ever did is one that nobody ever talks about. It’s “White Man” from 1976’s A Day At The Races. Just listen:
I’m a simple man
With a simple name
From this soil my people came
In this soil remain
Oh yeah, oh yeah
We made us our shoes
We trod soft on the land
But the immigrant built roads
On our blood and sand
Oh yeah, oh yeah
At the start, there’s a Hollywood-esque Indian riff on guitar while Freddie sings with a trace of Tonto in his voice.
It’s written by Brian May, a white guy from England. The longer you listen, the worse it gets lyrically.
This is a song about the Native Americans and their suffering at the hands of the white Europeans who colonized North America, sung from the perspective of a Native American himself.
Famous white people assuming the voice of the repressed and the voiceless. Queen were hardly the first to do it nor were they the last, unfortunately. Like an actor assuming they truly understand what its like to be poor and impoverished because they played a poor person in a movie. It’s insulting and patronizing.
Musically, it’s a decent rock song. That’s not the issue. It’s Hollywood elitism by way of London, England.
“White Man” is the Washington Redskins of Queen songs and that’s why it is the worst one.
“My Baby Does Me” is actually worse but y’know what I mean.
The band member most qualified to write that song was right there the whole time.
Y’know. The Parsi guy from Zanzibar who had to flee with his family from their war-torn homeland in his teens? What would he know about having his homeland taken from him?
Just to recap: never let your fandom get in the way of the truth. Sometimes your faves make shit. The sooner you realize that, the better you will be able to appreciate when they create something great.