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Seven Seas of Rhye by Queen
Album: Queen IIReleased: 1974Charted:
This was Queen's first entry in the UK single chart. Brian May in Q magazine March 2008: "Our first breakthrough, made with the idea that if radio was going to play it, everything had to explode. And it did work."
As the song fades out, part of a British seaside song called "Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside," is sung.
Freddie Mercury penned the song basing it on a fantasy world called Rhye that he had created with his sister, Kashmira. They were brought up on the African island of Zanzibar in the Zoroastrianism religion, founded in Iran, and these fuelled Mercury's flights of fancy. Several other of the Queen singer's early songs feature the mysterious land of Rhye, including Lily Of The Valley
, My Fairy King
and The March Of The Black Queen.
The song's success enabled Mercury to quit his day job working at a stall in London's Kensington Market.
The success of the single earned Queen their first ever appearance on Top of the Pops, the musical variety show that The Beatles, and many other British bands, aspired to be on when they started. Judging by In the Days of our Lives documentary Queen appears to have mixed view on their appearance. Roger Taylor was critical: "There was a strike on at the BBC so we recorded it in the weather studio. It was rubbish, no one actually played, just some aging disc jockeys. And the drums were plastic, so they made this 'dook' noise when you hit them."
Brian May on the other hand was more positive: "it was an exciting experience, because hey here you are on Top of the Pops and it's all happening."