The group’s second LP, Queen II, was released in 1974, and features rock photographer Mick Rock’s iconic image of the band on the cover. This image would be used as the basis for the 1975 „Bohemian Rhapsody” music video production.The album reached number five on the British album chart and became the first Queen album to chart in the UK.The Freddie Mercury-written lead single „Seven Seas of Rhye” reached number ten in the UK, giving the band their first hit.The album is the first real testament to the band’s distinctive layered sound, and features long complex instrumental passages, fantasy-themed lyrics, and musical virtuosity.Aside from its only single, the album also included the song „The March of the Black Queen”, a six-minute epic which lacks a chorus. The Daily Vault described the number as „menacing”.Critical reaction was mixed; the Winnipeg Free Press, while praising the band’s debut album, described Queen II as a „over-produced monstrosity”. Allmusic has described the album as a favourite among the band’s hardcore fans,and it is the first of three Queen albums to feature in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
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