Roger Taylor, best known as the drummer for Queen, has an unbelievable singing voice. He talks like an angel and sings like a lion; that’s how I would describe it. His songs don’t get enough appreciation, so for this post, I’ll be ranking all of Taylor’s songs he sang lead vocals for in Queen. I’ve excluded songs like “Sheer Heart Attack” and “Action This Day,” where both Taylor and Freddie Mercury share the lead vocals. Without further ado, let’s get on with the music!
12. “A Human Body,” the B-side to “Play the Game” (1980)
Taylor doesn’t have bad songs, just some that aren’t as strong as others. “A Human Body” is the weakest out of the bunch because it’s slow-paced and the lyrics don’t stand out to me. The song describes problems a Lone Ranger can’t fix and the struggles a human endures, and unfortunately, the lyrics get really repetitive after the second verse. However, the song has a beautiful melody and I like the direction Taylor was aiming for. It does have the potential of being a great song if he’d tweak the lyrics a bit.
11. “Tenement Funster” from Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
Speaking of songs that are slow-paced, I cannot get into “Tenement Funster” no matter how hard I try. There are too many instrumental sections, the lyric phrasing sounds a bit awkward. I love the rock vibe, though, and Taylor’s drum parts sound amazing. The only other thing I like about this song is the line, “give me a good guitar, and you can say that my hair’s a disgrace” because it reminds me of the early days when Taylor had long hair.
10. “More of That Jazz” from Jazz (1978)
“More of That Jazz” is interesting because Taylor sings pretty high in that song. It’s about four minutes and fourteen seconds, and it’s another slow one. But then at the three minute and thirteen second mark, the outro contains clips from other songs on the Jazz album. It features parts from “Fun It,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Dead on Time,” “Mustapha,” “Bicycle Race,” and “If You Can’t Beat Them.” So with the surprise clips and drum loops, it’s a decent track.
9. “Fun It” from Jazz (1978)
Mercury does the backing vocals for the track and magic happens when those two collaborate together! “Fun It” has a disco vibe and it’s very similar to “Another One Bites the Dust.” This track can be seen as an inspiration for “Another One Bites the Dust” with the punchy bass line, the groove, and electronic drum parts. The only things that hold “Fun It” back are the lack of transitions between the verses and choruses, and the 30 second instrumental towards the end. Instrumentals, at times, can have negative effects on songs, and cause the listener to lose interest. For a disco track especially, I’m fine with a little bit of disco, but not a lot of it!
8. “Hijack My Heart,” the B-side to “The Invisible Man” (1989)
I heard this song almost two years ago on a fan made compilation video of Roger Taylor titled, “Roger Meddows Taylor will hijack your heart.” I’ve forgotten about it ever since, and only recently started listening to “Hijack My Heart” again. I quite like it now because it’s got a good groove, a nice bass riff, and it’s a great song to sweep any woman off their feet. Now I know why that person used this song for the video. I bet every girl growing up in the 70s/80s wished that Taylor would say to them, “my heart got hijacked by you.” In fact, I bet all those girls that fell in love with him in recent years, thanks to the wonders of the internet, wished that Taylor would say that to them, haha.
7. “Heaven for Everyone” from The Cross’ Shove It (1988)
Originally written by Taylor, he recorded it with his band The Cross and it became a track on their debut album Shove It; only on the American version, though. Taylor sings the lead vocals while Mercury does the backing vocals. “Heaven for Everyone” is also featured on Queen’s Made in Heaven (1995) album, where Mercury sings the lead vocals instead. I prefer Taylor’s voice because he brings an edge to the track with his distinct voice. “Heaven for Everyone” has a good message because it emphasizes how the world would be a better place if everyone was kind to one another. It’s a fine ballad by Taylor.
6. “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” from Queen (1973)
For Queen’s debut album, “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” was a perfect introduction to the crazy, wonderful beast known as Roger Taylor. I enjoy his ballads, but with a growl like Taylor’s, he was born to sing rock ‘n’ roll. The lyrics are carefree and it’s a real rocking tune. My only complaint is that it’s too short, as it is under two minutes. Also, why didn’t Taylor sing lead vocals for “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” when the band performed it at the Rainbow Theatre in 1974? Maybe it was too fast-paced for Roger to play and sing to at the same time? Who knows!
5. “I’m in Love with My Car” from A Night at the Opera (1975)
I have good memories of “I’m in Love with My Car,” from the funny scene in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) to doing a Spanish paper about how Taylor convinced Mercury to put that song as the B-side for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I mean only Roger Taylor would lock himself in a cupboard to prove how passionate he was about “I’m in Love with My Car.” When I first listened to it about two years ago, I thought it was too short and I still think it’s too short, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve accepted the track for what it is, and it is the one Queen song people associate him with. The only problem is Taylor will forever be known as the guy who was in love with his car (despite the song not being about him).
4. “Rock It (Prime Jive)” with Freddie Mercury, from The Game (1980)
Mercury sings the first few lines and then, BAM!!! Taylor is off in a nutshell. Mercury and Taylor have different singing voices, so it made for a good element of surprise. “Rock It (Prime Jive)” is one of my favorite tracks from The Game because again, Taylor has an edge to his voice that is perfect for rock ‘n’ roll. It’s got a solid beat, a funky bass riff, a nice guitar solo by Brian May, and it’s a fun dance track in a way.
3. “The Loser in the End” from Queen II (1974)
I don’t know why I took this song off my Spotify playlist because it’s another solid track of Taylor’s. I also think it’s bada** to have a song called “The Loser in the End,” so there’s that. But I love the punchy bass line, Taylor’s high notes after the chorus, and the lyrics; it’s a fun song to listen to overall. My favorite lyrics are “Forget regrets, and just remember / It’s not so long since you were young.”
2. “Fight from the Inside” from News of the World (1977)
First of all, those screams on the track, bravo Mr. Taylor! It also has a cool guitar riff and another fun bass riff. The lyrics take me back to my high school/early college years when I had little confidence in myself, and tried so hard to keep it together, but I felt like I destroyed everything I touched. There was a lot going on in my head and mentally, I was not in a good place. Taylor’s songs cheered me up, but at the same time, his lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks, which is another reason why I admire the guy.
1. “Drowse” from A Day at the Races (1976)
Not only is “Drowse” my favorite Roger Taylor song ever, but it’s my favorite Queen song, period. Why hasn’t Taylor performed it live? “Drowse” is a masterpiece and it deserves the spotlight. I used to go to therapy and this song always calmed me down; I still feel at ease listening to it. The intro sounds like a car engine, it has a beautiful melody, and Taylor plays slide guitar in the track. I thought “Drowse” was a serious song when I first heard it, but then in the last 20 seconds Taylor starts singing about poached eggs, Clint Eastwood, and Jimi Hendrix, haha.
There you have it! Those are my rankings for all of Roger Taylor’s songs he sang in Queen. Let me know in the comments below how you would rank these tracks or what your favorite Roger Taylor song is!
Take care and see ya real soon!