Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock
Phil Sutcliffe (Voyageur Press • hardcover • $40 )
If there is but one truth within the annals of rock 'n' roll, it is this: Queen is awesome. Voyageur Press understands this truth. The publisher released a handful of excellent coffee table titles this year, including one on The Velvet Underground and another on Neil Diamond (very cleverly named Neil Diamond Is Forever), and has now added to its catalog an extensive volume that chronicles Queen's mighty quintessence. With the help of hundreds of photos, record covers and other ephemera, rock journalist Phil Sutcliffe recounts Queen's story from a tiny twinkle in Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon's eyes, to arena-rocking audiences throughout the '70s and '80s, to Mercury's death of AIDS in 1991, to present. The book is supplemented by guest writers on topics like the band's equipment and effects, and how it persists with only two remaining original members. There's also commentary—Slash on Brian May, Rob Halford on Freddie Mercury, et cetera. Even comics about the band are included. It's a worthy package of Queen's regal, majestic, glamourous glory.