Tramps and Queens

Mike Tramp, best known as the singer with ’80s rockers White Lion, told us about his love for Queen’s sophomore album.


Mike Tramp: Although I didn’t discover my favorite album, Queen II, before I first had been captured by the masterpieces A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races, and only then did decide to track back and find out more about this band who sounded like no one else.

Recorded in 1974, Queen II is groundbreaking in more ways than I can mention. Taking recording techniques to a level no one had done before and introducing the feeling and sense of being taking on an endless journey of melodies and enchanted lyrics with titles, that spoke for themselves. It’s a cheap shot to say that Mozart, Beethoven, and William Shakespeare paid a visit to the studio and Led Zeppelin brought the beer.

Queen II is original all the way, there doesn’t exist any album like it, and even though the giants that I just mentioned were present when the concrete was mixed and poured, the album screams Queen all the way. Many have said this is Queen’s heaviest album, and I personally will add to that this is where Queen is “A Band.”

Even though only on their second album all four band members contributed songs they had written individually. But in every note you can hear the band playing together in the studio, you can feel them building this beast, limb by limb. Songs like “White Queen,” “The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke” and “Ogre Battle” are cornerstones of the band’s sound and style, and the epic of all epics “The March of Black Queen” brings the bacon home.

There are many many great rock singers who one way or another sound alike, but there is only one Freddie Mercury, and while millions of guitar slingers have copied Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen to the teeth, no one has attempted to copy the genius Brian May is!

And I will not forget to mention what drummer (with an exceptional voice) Roger Taylor adds to the band’s sound, and last but never least — the quiet man in the band bassist John Deacon, who composed many of the band’s hits among them “Another One Bites The Dust.” Folks, they just don’t make them like that anymore, haven’t for ages.

Tramps and Queens: Mike Tramp’s Songs of White Lion album is out on April 14.

– • –

NOTE: The advertising disclaimer below does not apply to this article, nor any originating from the Village Voice editorial department, which does not accept paid links.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.