Well, although this is an old topic, I couldn't help noticing it.
It seems natural that most people in a U2 forum would prefer Bono to Freddie Mercury. Both are/were great singers, entertainers and frontmen. And they were in two of the biggest bands in the world. But they had different styles as well.
Now, while Bono is a great singer, his voice is nowhere near Freddie's. You may have your personal preference, but you have to agree that Freddie Mercury's voice is really unique and something else (You are not allowed to view links.
). This can be especially noticed in the songs of the late era. Just listen to How Can I Go On, I Was Born to Love You or The Show Must Go On.
As for songwriting, Queen and U2 have different styles as well, but I am not sure whether Freddie Mercury or Bono are to be blamed for all the songs of their bands.
The lyrics in U2 songs are somewhat more consistent, but some are also very cliché: You could have flown away / A singing bird / In an open cage / Who will only fly / Only fly for freedom. Some of them also show a similar verse structure, such as: All that you fashion / All that you make / All that you build / All that you break / All that you measure / All that you feel / All this you can leave behind (which seems taken from Pink Floyd's Eclipse).
Some of Queen songs have really stupid lyrics (Bicycle Race). But some of them are really genius, such as Innuendo (If there's a God or any kind of justice under the sky / If there's a point, if there's a reason to live or die / Ha, if there's an answer to the questions we feel bound to ask / Show yourself, destroy our fears, release your mask) or The Show Must Go On, which has some lyrics very difficult to fit in any kind of tune (Empty spaces, what are we living for / Abandoned places, I guess we know the score / On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for / Another hero, another mindless crime / Behind the curtain, in the pantomime / Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore) and some metaphors (My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies / Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die / I can fly, my friends).
It is of course a matter of personal preference, but Queen's songs seem more complex, elaborate and sophisticated to me.
Now, on stage, Bono is a beast, one of the best frontmen in rock, along stellar guys such as Jim Morrison, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Axl Rose, Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain and even Elvis Presley. But the fact is that in every list of world's biggest frontmen in rock history, three names almost always come at the top, and among them Freddie Mercury is usually #1, followed by Robert Plant (#2) and Mick Jagger (#3), although sometimes they are interchangeable, but they rarely leave the top 3. Of course this is really very hard to measure, as all of them are great. Bono fronted the highest-grossing tour ever, with an average attendance of 66,000 people in 110 concerts. Freddie Mercury was the showman as Queen performed for some of the largest audiences ever, including stealing the show in some large scale rock festivals (Live Aid, Rock in Rio). You cannot measure or compare greatness.