Fifty years after their formation, Queen are getting honored with a collection of stamps, courtesy of Britain’s postal agency.
Royal Mail announced that it is commemorating Queen on a series of stamps to be released on July 9, joining Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Elton John who have previously appeared on British postage. The new set consists of Queen’s album covers and images from their live performances, and can be purchased from the Royal Mail website.
“It’s hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps,” guitarist Brian May said via press release. “Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it’s strange to wake up and realize the position in which we are now held – we have become a national institution! And nothing brings this home more than this incredible tribute from Royal Mail.”
The rocker went on to admit the timing of the release made it all the more moving. “It’s particularly poignant to look at this collection of images now – now that we are all in a world dominated by a coronavirus, in which none of this could have happened,” May explained. “I just know that I feel an overwhelming desire to own one of these sets! Somehow it will be a way of persuading myself that it really DID all happen!”
“Wow…….stamps featuring our albums!” added drummer Roger Taylor. “What an honor. We must be really part of the furniture now! Thanks Royal Mail for stamping on us!”
See the new Queen set in the gallery below, along with other rockers who have appeared on stamps.
Eight of the 13 stamps from the Queen collection depict the following records:
Queen II (1974): The group’s second album, featuring the single “Seven Seas of Rhye.” The cover photo was taken by Mick Rock and later recreated for the “Bohemian Rhapsody” video.
Sheer Heart Attack (1974): Queen’s third album contains the breakout hit “Killer Queen” and favorites “Now I’m Here,” “Brighton Rock” and “Stone Cold Crazy.”
A Night at the Opera (1975): The band’s all-time masterpiece, Queen’s fourth album features the signature epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” as well as “You’re My Best Friend” and “I’m in Love With My Car.”
News of the World (1977): The group’s sixth record contains the perennial anthems “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” both of which have always closed their live performances.
The Game (1980): Queen conquered the world in 1980 with their eighth studio album, featuring two of their U.S. number one songs: the rockabilly send-up “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Greatest Hits (1981): A collection of Queen’s memorable songs from their first 10 years, Greatest Hits has gone on to sell over 6 million copies in the United Kingdom—making it the best-selling album of all time there.
The Works (1984): Considered a comeback record upon its original release, The Works contains the smash hit “Radio Ga Ga” along with “I Want to Break Free” “Hammer to Fall” and “It’s a Hard Life.”
Innuendo (1991): The last Queen studio album released during Freddie Mercury‘s lifetime, Innuendo sonically recalls the band’s ’70s albums and features standout tracks such as the title song, “Headlong,” “I’m Going Slightly Mad,” “These Are the Days of Our Lives,” and “The Show Must Go On.”
The remaining stamps are printed on a miniature sheet featuring the individual members on stage throughout the years: Mercury and May from the 1986 Magic Tour; Taylor at Hyde Park in 1976; and John Deacon at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1975. The sheet is accentuated by a black-and-white group portrait from 1974.
“With their truly original, theatrical sound and effortless ability to mix musical styles, Queen are rock royalty,” noted Royal Mail’s Philip Parker in a statement. “We pay tribute to one of the most loved bands of all time with these stunning stamps.”
The connection between Queen and postage stamps has been well documented. Royal Mail previously depicted Mercury on a 1999 stamp as part of the agency’s Millennium series. Additionally, Mercury was a stamp collector during his childhood.
The announcement of the new stamps comes a few days after Netflix began streaming The Show Must Go On, a documentary about the collaboration between Queen and Adam Lambert, which originally premiered on ABC in 2019. The program features interviews with the principals along with an array of fellow artists, including Foo Fighters‘ Taylor Hawkins, Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliot and actor Rami Malek, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mercury in the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.