4 November 1974 – BBC Radio One aired “Now I’m Here”, “Stone Cold Crazy”, “Flick Of The Wrist” and “Tenement Funster” recorded for BBC’s Sounds Of The 70s programme.

Queen headed off to their first American tour, opening for Mott the Hoople. But they were forced to pull out when Brian May came down with hepatitis. During sessions for the band’s next album, May was felled by a duodenal ulcer, which sent him to the hospital. When he recovered, work on “Sheer Heart Attack” was well under way. It was a more straight forward rock album, with a lead single that was irresistible: the sparkling hit “Killer Queen.”

But oddly enough, when the band recorded their next BBC session October 16, 1974, at the network’s studios in Maida Vale, London, they didn’t record a version of their latest single. And they again used the album backing tracks, overdubbing new vocal and instrumental parts, meaning the songs for the most part don’t sound too different from the album.

The band opened with “Now I’m Here,” which was frequently used to open Queen’s live shows during this period (it was also released as a single in the U.K., reaching No. 11). The fast rocker “Stone Cold Crazy” was next, followed by “Flick of the Wrist” (with a different guitar line during the instrumental break compared to the album version), then Taylor taking over on lead vocals “Tenement Funster.” The show aired November 4.

It was the last BBC appearance Queen would make for three years. They didn’t know it, but they were on the verge of a major breakthrough. On October 31, 1975, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released as a single in the U.K. (U.S. release came on December 2).

The song was a worldwide smash, as was the subsequent album, “A Night at the Opera,” which became the band’s first album to top the charts in the U.K. (in the U.S., the album reached No. 4).

Now there was no need to try and build a following through radio appearances. Queen had become a major act, with their December 24, 1975 show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon broadcast live to a nationwide audience; soon they’d graduate to stadiums, selling out Madison Square Garden!

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