One in three of British army’s 500 favourite tracks are rock or metal, with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody topping the chart


Front and centre: Queen

The British armed forces are massive fans of rock and metal – they’ve listed 165 tracks from the wide-ranging genre in their top 500 of all time.

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is the number-one favourite, followed by Kings of Leon, Bryan Adams, Guns n’Roses and Aerosmith.

A huge range of musical tastes are represented in the survey conducted by British Forces Broadcasting Service Radio, but exactly a third are rock-oriented. There’s a notable preference for thoughtful slow numbers such as the Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris and Eagles’ Hotel California, alongside high-energy power tracks like ELO’s Mr Blue Sky and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor tells the Guardian: “It’s fantastic – it makes me feel very, very proud. I’d like to wish all the forces the very best from the very bottom of our hearts.”

Outside the confines of rock the forces show an affection for lighted-hearted tracks including Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which was sung by the crew of HMS Sheffield as they waited to be rescued while the ship was sinking during the Falklands conflict.

Anti-war songs including John Lennon’s Imagine and Scorpions’ Wind of Change also make the list.

The BFBS Radio rock top 20 (full chart positions in parenthesis)

1 (1)    Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody
2 (3)    Kings of Leon: Sex on Fire
3 (5)    Bryan Adams: Summer of 69
4 (6)    Guns n’Roses: Sweet Child O’Mine
5 (7)    Aerosmith: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
6 (9)    Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now
7 (11)    AC/DC: Thunderstruck
8 (12)    Bon Jovi: Livin’ on a Prayer
9 (14)    Otis Redding: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay
10 (16)    Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’
11 (17)    U2: With or Without You
12 (18)    Goo Goo Dolls: Iris
13 (19)    Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven
14 (21)    Guns n’Roses: November Rain
15 (22)    U2: One
16 (23)    Eagles: Hotel California
17 (24)    ELO: Mr Blue Sky
18 (26)    Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird
19 (28)    Metallica: Nothing Else Matters
20 (29)    Stereophonics: Dakota

Other notable entries

25     John Lennon: Imagine
32    Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
73     Animals: We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place
242     Scorpions: Wind of Change
258     Monty Python: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
285     Cher: If I Could Turn Back Time
301     Jonah Lewie: Stop the Cavalry
398     Bob Dylan: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
403     Tony Christie: Amarillo
406    Iron Maiden: Aces High
438     The Soldiers: Coming Home
440     Toy Dolls: Nellie the Elephant

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