“I definitely prefer Queen‘s earlier more obscure stuff. Bohemian Rhapsody for instance is just not as rocking, as imaginative, as deliriously wigged out, as good, as the two tracks (joined as one) that that kick off side two (Side Black) of their second album (the imaginatively titled Queen II). Ogre Battle hits first, rocking like something out of a thrash metal wet dream, and featuring actual ogres battling in and around a two-way mirror mountain, with smoke and explosions. And then comes The Faerie Feller’s Master Stroke, better than the opera part of Boho-Rap because it’s not just some multi-tracked excuse for the band to show off their vocal talents, it’s actually about something, it’s about a painting from the 19th Century that Freddy Mercury could not get enough of, by a guy named Richard Dadd — ten years in the making, and all of them spent by Mr. Dadd in an insane asylum where he was serving a life sentence for murdering his dad. It’s true.” (Philip Random)
When Queen’s second album arrived in 1974, it was unlike anything the world had ever heard, unless you’d heard the first one, which very few had. And Queen II was even more of all that — the full metal raunch of Led Zeppelin, the camp 19th Century operatics of Gilbert and Sullivan, the heartfelt harmonic longing of the Beach Boys, the brash pop adventuring of the Beatles, and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, and glam, and prog. And if you were fourteen or fifteen years old, still getting by on five or ten bucks allowance a week – what better album to to buy than the one that had EVERYTHING! In the case of March Of The Black Queen, it was all in the one song.
“In which Queen (before the world had a clue who they were) unleash an astonishing mix of heavy licks, mad harmonies and wild mood swings all in service of some high fantasy concerning a mythical Queendom called Rhye. Which, if you were fifteen years old and stuck in the mid-1970s confused about pretty much everything, was exactly what the Universe needed you to hear.” (Philip Random)