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Biography > Queen Biography 1985

Queen return to South America to headline the enormous “Rock in Rio" festival in front of 250 000 people. On January 12th at 2 am Queen take the stage to deafening applause and a crowd that spread as far as the eye can see.

Everything went well that night, until Freddie came on in drag for the encore and sang "I Want To Break Free". It was then that the audience stared to throw rubbish or anything they could get their hands on at the stage. Freddie quickly ripped of his false boobs and carried on. After the show the local people explained that the song "I Want To Break" free had become somewhat of an anthem of liberation for them and they didn't want to see it being 'denigrated'.

On the night of the concert, EMI held a huge party for the Rio artists at the Copacabana hotel for the artists. During the party it became known to Brian that a number of fans had gathered outside, and had spelt out the word "Queen" with 1 500 candles. Brian left the party and went and joined them - having some fun in the process.

Queen were back on the stage on the 19th of January again, this time though, to close the event. After the concert Queen and many of the other acts pursued the rights to release a video of their performance. Queen are the only band given permission to do so. "Live In Rio" is released in May and goes to the top of the UK video charts.

At the beginning of the year, the British Video Awards were held and Queen did not go unnoticed. They picked up two awards - best compilation for the Works EP ( a collection of their videos for the album) and best promotional video for "Radio Ga Ga".

In April Queen head for New Zealand for the first time. At the airport they were greeted by a party of Anti-apartheid protesters, and even more were to be found outside their hotel. Nevertheless, Queen manage to spend a few days seeing the sights. It is during this time that Bob Geldoff approached Spike Edney about sounding out Queen about a possible appearance at a charity event in aid of the people of Ethiopia. Queen at first refused, but Spike encouraged Bob to call them direct, and eventually wore them down into saying that they 'may' appear.

The concert at New Zealand went well, with the band having an ecstatic audience to play to. They were also joined on stage for the encore by Spandau Ballet's singer Tony Hadley - a keen Queen fan - who had flown over from Australia to see them.

From New Zealand they went to Australia for a series of eight sell out concerts. One of the concerts went disastrously - in the bands eyes at least. There entire light rig wouldn't work and all the microphones seemed to be failing. Phil Collins, who was there on the night, said that it was fine though.

On April the 29th Freddie releases his long awaited solo album, "Mr Bad Guy". The title was perhaps Freddie being a little coy about how some people perceived him. The album wasn't what a lot of people expected though, as most songs were gentle ballads. Freddie was very proud of this album and said at the time that it was very "him". The press reaction was mixed.

Freddie:

I've put my heart and soul into this album. It's much more beat orientated than Queen's music, and it also has some very moving ballads.

They're all love songs, things to do with sadness and pain. At the same time they're frivolous and tongue in cheek; that's my nature.

I've wanted to do a solo album for a long time, and the rest of the band have encouraged me to do it. I wanted to cover such things as reggae rhythms and I've done a couple of tracks with a symphony orchestra.

After Australia Queen go to Japan for a short tour. Again they are received very enthusiastically by the Japanese people.

After a brief break from all the touring, Queen start rehearsing for their next show - this time at Live Aid. The project that Bob Geldoff had spoke to them was going to happen and it was going to be big. It was billed as the global juke box, with bands from all persuasions given 20 minutes to perform to the world - all in aid of the starving in Ethiopia. Queen wanted to make sure that their show was as good as it could be and practised quite hard for it. In the end result they were in everyone's opinion, the band of the day.

John:

We didn't know Bob Geldoff at all. When "Do They Know It's Christmas" was out, that was a lot of the newer acts. For the gig, he wanted to get a lot of the established acts. Our first reaction was, we didn't know - 20 minutes, not sound check...!

When it became apparent that it was going to happen we'd actually just finished touring Japan, and ended up having a meal in the hotel discussing whether we should do it, because obviously they wanted our answer, and we said yes. We didn't get involved in the running order thing, but strangely enough we did well coming on when we did... It was the one day that I was proud to be in the music business - a lot of days you certainly don't feel like that! But the day was fabulous, people there forgot the element of competitiveness... It was a good morale booster for us too, because it showed the strength of support we had in England, and it showed us what we had to offer as a band.

The Live Aid experienced refreshed the band and they go back into the studio and record "One Vision", which makes it to number 7 in the UK, and is used for the theme song for the movie "Iron Eagle". The press release stated that the band were encouraged to go in and record after the success of Live Aid - somehow this transpired to music journalists that the song was written about Live Aid and they believed that the royalties should go to charity.

Roger:

I was absolutely devastated when I saw that in the press. It was a terrible mistake and I was really annoyed about it. Some public relations person got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I went absolutely bananas when I saw that.

Roger plays on the Keith Moon tribute album "Under a Raging Moon". He also finds time to co-produce with David Richard's Fergal Sharkey's single "Loving You".

EMI release "Queen: The Works" a box set featuring all the Queen albums, (except Greatest Hits), and also a new album, called "Complete Vision" that features all the non album b-sides.

The end of the year and "Queen" is engraved on an obelisk in Antarctica for their donations to Greenpeace. Queen also, reluctantly, release a press statement categorically denying any plans to return to South Africa. <% response.write "

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