It’s a testament to Queens versatility and boundary-breaking success that the artists who have covered them span the most extraordinary range of styles and backgrounds, from Lemmy & Ted Nugent’s heavy Tie Your Mother Down cover to American comedy rock duo Tenacious D’s cover of the ever classic ‘Flash‘.
From somewhere in between those polar extremes, here are 5 of the greatest ever Live Queen tributes.
Jacob Collier – “Somebody To Love (Live in Lisbon)”
Recognised by audiences, critics, and fellow musicians alike as one of the most gifted young artists of modern times, 28-year-old Jacob Collier already has a seemingly endless list of achievements including five Grammy wins along with 11 Grammy nominations including “Album of the Year” in 2021. In an improvised rendition of a legendary Queen song ‘Somebody to Love’ by a sold-out Coliseu de Lisboa, the viral superstar plays the crowd like an operatic superstar.
Metallica – “Stone Cold Crazy”
This 1974 proto-thrash banger from “Sheer Heart Attack” marked Queen’s first song credited to all four members. Interestingly, it originated from Freddie Mercury’s earlier band, Wreckage. Metallica covered it whilst touring live cleverly, earning the Best Metal Performance award at the 1991 Grammy Awards with this heavier, grittier rendition.
Scorpions – “Love of My Life”
The 2001 unplugged album ‘Acoustica’ found Scorpions dipping into songs from throughout their career, including such classics as “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Send Me an Angel” and “Wind of Change.” But the band also mixed in a handful of covers, including a rendition of Queen’s heart-tugging 1975 track “Love of My Life.”
Green Day – “We Are the Champions”
Punk rockers Green Day started mixing Queen’s classic “We Are the Champions” into their live set in 2004, and, according to Setlist.fm, have performed the song live more than 150 times. Still, arguably the band’s defining rendition came on July 2, 2005, when Green Day delivered “We Are the Champions” as part of their Live 8 set in Berlin. The performance would be broadcast all over the world, though it was excluded from the event’s DVD release.
The Flaming Lips – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Since 2005, The Flaming Lips have frequently performed their cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in concerts. In 2013, they officially recorded the song for the Queen tribute album “Killer Queen”, along with a peculiar music video. This cover inspired the experimental indie rockers to continue reimagining other artists’ music. Over the next few years, they released distinctive versions of entire albums dedicated to Pink Floyd and the Beatles, showcasing their unique musical approach.
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