QUEEN Album Gets Official Release In Iran

August 24, 2004

BBC News is reporting that QUEEN, fronted by gay icon Freddie Mercury, has become the first rock act to receive an official seal of approval in Iran.

Western music is strictly censored in the Islamic republic, where homosexuality is considered a crime.

But an album of QUEEN's greatest hits was officially released in Iran on Monday.

Mercury, who died in 1991, was proud of his Iranian ancestry, and illegal bootleg albums and singles made QUEEN one of the most popular bands in Iran.

"Authorities approved of the tunes that had a social theme, leaving out the love songs," an executive in the record company that issued the album said.

The cassette, costing less than $1 (55 pence),comes complete with translated lyrics and an explanatory leaflet.

It tells QUEEN fans that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is about a young man who has accidentally killed someone and, like Faust, sold his soul to the devil.

On the night before his execution he calls God in Arabic, "Bismillah", and so regains his soul from Satan. Read more.

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