Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The gleefully flamboyant and pansexual British supergroup Queen rose like a phoenix out of the ashes of the now-forgotten psychedelic act Smile in the early seventies. The earlier band's vocalist Tim Staffell abandoned Smile, which inspired fellow members Brian May and Roger Taylor to follow his lead; May and Taylor formed Queen with lead vocalist (and former Wreckage member) Freddie Mercury and bassist John Deacon. Mercury imparted to the group hefty doses of camp, acid humor, mock-classical arrangements, and an instantly identifiable soaring wail, that brought about an electrifying career, highlighted by such blockbuster efforts as the albums Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night at the Opera (1975) and A Day at the Races (1976), in addition to well-publicized flubs such as the notorious late-seventies nude bicycle race and declining popularity in the States during the eighties (although Queen developed an even larger international fanbase during that period). The group, of course, officially folded after Mercury publicly announced his AIDS diagnosis in late 1991 and died one day later. Now, the documentary Music Box Biographical Collection: Queen uses a skillfully edited combo of one-on-one interviews, backstage footage, and vintage concert performances to tell the story of the band's rise, fall, and sudden resurgence in popularity during the early nineties, much of it catalyzed by Mercury's death. It thus penetrates the myth that Mercury and co. spun around Queen, to examine the truth behind the facade.