Queen II is a progressive rock album, and the second studio album by Queen. It was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, Robin Geoffrey Cable, and Queen, and published by EMI and Electra on vinyl on 1974-03-08.
The album has a white and black theme to it with the sides being labeled, not A and B, but rather white and black. The white side is mostly Brian May's songs which are softer and more introspective, while the black side is all Freddie Mercury's songs which have a harder sound, and have fairy tale themes. The white side also contains the song White Queen, while the black side contains The March of the Black Queen (Freddie's first epic]], though the two are unrelated. The cover art is mostly black with the interior being mostly white. The layout of the cover would later be used for the video to Bohemian Rhapsody. The black and white style stuck with the band for a few years later, and the cover art of A Night At the Opera and A Day At the Races both feature the dichotomy of white and black.
I believe this was the second album I bought for myself, the first being Sheer Heart Attack, and, being only familiar with Queen's greatest hits and Sheer Heart Attack songs, I remember initially being disappointed by the softness of the songs. I was expecting more of the arena rock and hark rock I was used to but the first songs I heard were the softer white side. After I gave the album another chance, I found that the second half of the album contained Freddie's harder songs and I began to like the album more. However, as my teenage self began dealing with personal issues like relationships and family issues, I began to gravitate towards Brian's more introspection songs. Now I adore the album entirely, and it is one of my overall favorites.
This album has an interesting structure where several songs merge seamless into others. Procession merges into Father to Son, Ogre Battle merges into The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke, which merges into Nevermore, and The March of the Black Queen merges into Funny How Love Is.
The order in which I enjoy the songs from this album:
- White Queen (As It Began)
- The March of the Black Queen
- Seven Seas of Rhye
- Father to Son
- Someday One Day
- The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
- Loser In the End
- Funny How Love Is
- Ogre Battle