Sheer Heart Attack was the first real Queen album, in that it was the first one that sounded like all of the records would sound from then on: whipsaw mood shifts during side-long medleys, and several songs that–while wonderful–make no fucking sense at all.
This is what they looked like:
Freddie enjoyed showing his penis to crowds. That’s what it comes down to; you can dress it up any way you’d like, but among the questions Freddie Mercury asked of his trousers was, “Can everyone see the detailed outline of my cock?” Also, Brian stole his cape from Little Red Riding Hood, and the only defense John Deacon has is that Saturday Night Fever wouldn’t come out for two years when this picture was taken, so he wasn’t stealing the look.
You will also note that Freddie’s shirt did not have a front to it. Just as Freddie Mercury asked questions of his trousers, he queried his tops: “Do you have a front?” And if the answer was “Yes, of course: a front is inherent to a shirt; I think you want a vest,” then Freddie would say something witty, and not buy that shirt.
If both questions were answered to his satisfaction: voila, an outfit. Don’t believe me? Look:
See? Chest, cock. Cock, chest. Add the teeth and you got Freddie Mercury. STILL don’t believe me?
Let’s just not talk about this one.
But we were talking about Sheer Heart Attack: it’s lighter than the previous two albums, with the big hit Killer Queen right up front, and a music hall number prominently featuring Brian on the ukulele.
There’s also this, maybe the prettiest melody they ever wrote–Brian wrote this one–and one of Freddie’s sweetest vocals. Don’t worry about the whole album (or go listen to it, do what you want) but give this a chance:
God save the Queen.