Queen's first hit that got the band on the radio

Brian May suggested that "Paradise was a place where Freddie imagined himself to be king". As the story goes, the land of Paradise existed in harmony until an evil being swooped in to conquer the peaceful kingdom..... Read more about the song in our article!

Queen - "Seven Seas of Rhye": All about the song, history and facts, translation

Kingdom of Paradise was surrounded by seven seas where fairies and other mystical creatures lived together. But the land is threatened by an imminent overthrow of power. Something terrible and unknown is coming... This was a fictional world that Freddie Mercury created with his little sister Kashmirwhen they were children. Their fantastic land later inspired the band Queen to create their very first hit, which brought them first to the Top of the Pops and then to the charts....

So: let's remember the story of Queen's very first hit, which nobody believed would succeed.

A love of the piano played a key role

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury

Freddie wrote this song based on a fantasy world called Paradise that he made up with his sister Kashmir. They grew up on the African island of Zanzibar in the religion of Zoroastrianism, founded in Iran, and this fuelled Mercury's flights of fancy. Curiously, the mysterious land of Paradise would later appear in the band's songs ("Lily of the Valley," "My Fairy King," and "The March of the Black Queen.").

At the time of recording. of the debut album Queen song was only half-written - or, more accurately, at first it wasn't intended to be anything more than a instrumental music sketchperfect to close their first album. However, Freddie Mercury had a soft spot for the piano theme, and he kept fiddling with it until the song grew into something beautiful and catchy: "Seven Seas of Rhye" began to take shape, took on lyrics, and when it was finished, it was much more complete than what Mercury had originally envisioned.

"Freddie is a true 'Queen'": lyrical meaning

Freddie Mercury in a royal robe.
Freddie Mercury in a royal robe.

By studying the lyrics of this track, the listener can understand certain features of the world of Paradise. For example, there is a privileged, ruling class that Freddie antagonises and threatens throughout the song. Brian May suggested that "Paradise was a place where Freddie imagined himself to be king." In the story, the land of Paradise existed in harmony until an evil being swooped in to conquer the peaceful kingdom....

"Fear me, lords and ladies preachers.
I'm coming down from heaven to you on Earth.
I command your souls, you unbelievers.
Bring me what is mine
The Seven Seas of Paradise...
I swear that you will be mine."

In this song, Freddie apparently mentions sisterwith which this mysterious fairy-tale land was invented.....

"Sister - I live and lie for you..."

This photograph of Kashmira and her brother Farrokh (later Freddie Mercury) is believed to have been taken around 1955
This photograph of Kashmira and her brother Farrokh (later Freddie Mercury) is believed to have been taken around 1955

Gradually it begins to seem that the appearance of the lyrical hero in Raya demonstrates the omnipotent entity. And his main goal, obviously, is to use that privilege to turn this kingdom upside down:

"I defy the mighty Titan and his troubadours
And with a smile.
I will take you to the seven seas of Paradise..."

When the song fades out, we can hear "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside." - an old popular British music hall anthem, the name of which literally translates as "I like being near the sea.".

Queen's first radio hit and "mixed impressions..."

That song became Queen's first radio hit and played a crucial role in persuading Mercury to truly dedicate himself to what would eventually become one of the greatest bands in history. Now that fame had caught up with his dreamer, Freddie could quit his job at a second-hand clothes stall in London's Kensington Market, and concentrate fully on creating...

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Queen, 1975.
Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Queen, 1975.

In the spring of 1974, Queen did what they had done more than 50 times since then: they entered the British singles chart for the first time. The song reached a maximum of number 10, but above all it took its rightful place in the history of the band itself, both because it was a chart breakthrough and because it represented the band at the height of their heyday. However Roger Taylor didn't expect the album to be successful - let alone the individual singles. But if anything, he thought their earlier debut single, which didn't make the charts, would be more successful.

"I think that's probably the advantage of not knowing exactly what's going to sell, because then you're not limited in your choice of single."

The success of the single brought Queen their first appearance on the Top of the Popsa popular music show that The Beatles and many other British bands were keen to participate in when they first started out. But according to the documentary film "Days of Our Lives."The members of Queen had mixed impressions of the event... Roger Taylor has the floor:

"There was a strike at the BBC, so we recorded the show in a small studio. Top of The Pops turned out to be incredibly... uncool. There were about 75 teenage audience members and you're represented by a bunch of older disc jockeys... the drums were plastic, so they made this 'duk' sound when you hit them."

Guitarist Brian May perceives the event in a more positive light, remembering:

"It was a thrilling experience because - hey, you're at the pinnacle of popularity and all this is happening to you! You thought you were becoming part of the public consciousness in a way..."


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