After 50 years and 150 million records sold worldwide, Queen’s decadent glamour, flamboyant theatrics and incredible songbook have established the group’s god-like status as one of the biggest bands in the world. Provocateurs and musical virtuosi, Queen’s undeniable magnetism still continues to fascinate and excite music lovers around the world.
Arriving at the 30th anniversary of Mercury’s passing in November 2021, Mark Blake’s new biography Magnifico: The A to Z of Queen dissects the ingredients that have made Queen the musical institution that it is.
Using a unique A to Z format to shed new light on the band through anecdotes, trivia, humour and tragedy, Blake’s biography offers an insightful and accessible look into the band’s past and the present. Based on three decades of interviews Blake has conducted with the band, the book offers a complete portrait going beyond the bestselling records and chart-topping hits. Jumping across decades, the A to Z approach gives the reader an access to lesser known yet significant characters, events and spaces in the band’s life, breathing new life into the story of Queen.
Through a series of essays, lists and mini biographies, the author shares a plethora of detail while investigating what the band’s songs have to say about their creators. The entries offer light-hearted trivia – from a list of LPs the band was listening to in 1970 to tales of the fifteen Jimi Hendrix gigs Freddie Mercury hitch- hiked around the UK to attend – as well as serious analysis, including the truth behind Mercury’s funeral, which was effectively controlled by Queen’s management, and a reflection on the ways in which the flamboyant frontman confronted the twentieth century’s sexual mores and prejudices. Addressing the phenomenal success of Bohemian Rhapsody, while challenging the fictionalised account it sold to cinemagoers, Blake builds on the band’s enduring audience appeal in order to provide a fresh and unparalleled take on Queen’s music, story and legacy.
Magnifico! The A to Z of Queen offers a multifaceted account of the band’s legacy as one of the most influential British rock institutions of our lives. Blake tells the story of the group in an effective way that goes beyond the glitz and glamour without shying away from the details behind Freddie Mercury’s death. The unique format allows the reader to dip in and immerse themselves inside the enigmatic and electrifying world of Queen.