1977 could have been the year that Queen’s reign came to an end. With punk rock very much in the ascendancy, having gained traction over the previous few years, there was a greater appetite for raw power and simplicity in rock music, rather than elaborate and fancy progressive rock. And Queen’s last album, A Day At The Races, despite being an excellent collection of songs, hadn’t sold quite as well as its behemoth predecessor A Night At The Opera, with some critics and fans feeling that it was more of the same without any notable improvement. So it was going to seem too repetitive if they did the same kind of thing yet again.
The band were perfectly happy to adapt and take on the challenge though, and indeed were already keen to try something different from the multi-layered, complex productions they felt they’d done enough of by this point anyway. So even without the emerging competition from the punk scene, it was already the evolutionary path they were heading down.
As a result, News Of The World marked a shift towards a purer hard rock sound, and took just 2 months to record (compared to 5 for A Day At The Races). The tracks still had some beautifully arranged harmonies and instrumentation thrown in, but not as lavishly and prominently as before. There was also a change in how evenly the writing credits were distributed, with 4 tracks now written by Brian, just 3 by Freddie, and an increase to 2 each for Roger and John. And the band produced the album themselves, with assistance from engineer Mike Stone, now they had the experience and confidence to do so themselves.
It all worked out very well, resulting in another great selection of songs. And so, as you’ll be accustomed to by now if you’ve followed my posts to date, this is my personal review of each of the tracks, including a look at alternate versions, music videos, live performances, covers, etc, along with other bits and pieces that I’m aware of.
In this first post, in addition to more general discussion about the album, I’ll be focusing specifically on the first 2 tracks – We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions – as they’ve had such a colossal cultural impact and there’s a lot to discuss in relation to them. In Part 2 I will then move on to the other great tracks on the album. So I hope you enjoy!
The topics and tracks covered in this post are as follows. Click their names to jump to each section:
- Album Notes – Including its release, Frank The Robot, 40th Anniversary box set, documentaries & interviews.
- We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions – Including the development of each track, alternate versions, music videos, live performances and cover versions.
As well as references to the 40th anniversary box set, documentaries and interviews discussed below, the song reviews in this post also include references to BBC sessions from the On Air collection, and tracks from other live albums.
You can see all the videos I mention in this post and more on my Queen & Covers playlists for this album. So do feel free to check them out (along with my other Queen playlists) and see which versions of each song you like best!
The album was released on the same day as the legendary LP Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, which the punk band had been recording in the same studios as Queen some of the time, and so inevitably they had crossed paths on numerous occasions. During one encounter, Sid Vicious taunted Freddie about an NME interview he’d given by asking “Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?”, to which Freddie calmly replied: “Oh, yes, Simon Ferocious. We’re trying our best, dear”. And the Sex Pistols also have Queen to thank for one of their most famous moments. If it weren’t for Queen having to pull out of Bill Grundy‘s Today show in 1976, when Freddie had his first emergency dental appointment in 15 years, the Sex Pistols would never have been invited on to make what became a very memorable appearance that went down in TV history.
In any case, while the Sex Pistols did leap to number 1 in the UK, News Of The World still reached a very healthy and respectable number 4 (staying in the chart for 20 weeks and going Platinum), as well as number 3 in the USA, 2 in Canada, and the top spot in the Dutch and French charts. It sold 7 million copies worldwide, making it their most successful album to date. So Queen clearly didn’t need to worry about punk or what the critics thought!
Frank The Robot
The album’s cover art was a stark contrast to the Queen crest used on the previous 2 LPs. Roger had found an image of a robot holding a dead man in the October 1953 issue of American comic Astounding Science Fiction, which the band really liked. So they got in touch with the renowned sci-fi artist responsible for the image, Frank Kelly Freas, and he agreed to produce a customised version especially for them.
In this version, the robot – who the band called Frank after the artist – is holding the dead bodies of Freddie and Brian, while John and Roger fall to the ground. And inside the album Frank can be seen clutching at people who are running away from him screaming.
The sight of Frank does have some potential to scare people, particularly children – evidenced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who was terrified of the album cover as a youngster, and passed that fear onto Stewie for a storyline in the Killer Queen episode of the show in 2012.
54-inch plastic models of Frank were also made to promote the album in 1977, which are now very collectable. And in 2017, he was one of the counters in Queen Monopoly. That same year the comic X-Men Gold #11 celebrated the album’s 40th anniversary with a cover homage by artist Mike del Mindo, showing a Sentinel holding Old Man Logan and Kitty Pryde while Colossus falls through the air.
But most notably in 2017, Frank was reborn in 3D animated form to celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary during Queen + Adam Lambert’s 2017-18 tour. He punched through the screen at the start of each show and held Brian during his solo spots, among other impressive visual effects, as can be seen on the Live Around The World DVD & Blu-ray.
40th Anniversary Box Set
A deluxe box set was released in 2017 to mark the album’s 40th anniversary, containing:
- A vinyl copy of the album (a pure analog re-cut of the original LP)
- A CD of the album (the 2011 remaster)
- A Raw Sessions CD, with alternate takes, rough mixes, etc from the original recording sessions.
- A Bonus Tracks CD with alternate mixes, BBC sessions, live versions, etc, all of which were previously released but sometimes hard to find.
- A DVD of The American Dream, a new 1-hour documentary filmed during their 1977 US tour. More on this below.
- A 60 page book.
- Replica memorabilia including 3 posters, a tour laminate & stickers.
- An Elektra press kit with newspaper, 7 photos and 5 biography pages.
I’ll mention the relevant tracks from the Raw Sessions and Bonus Tracks CDs as I progress through my song reviews.
I didn’t buy the box set personally as it was too expensive, particularly because I have no way of playing the vinyl LP, I don’t need another CD copy of the album, and many of the bonus tracks are already in my collection from the 2011 album remaster on iTunes, the On Air box set and some live albums. So it wasn’t worth the price tag for what was left. And I can hear the remaining tracks online if need be, particularly the Raw Sessions that were of most interest. But die-hard Queen collectors may still appreciate the set.
Documentaries & Interviews
The American Dream documentary – also known as Rock The World, an alternative edit that was shown on BBC Four in 2017 – uses footage recorded by radio DJ Bob Harris in 1977 for a programme he never completed at the time. It shows the band rehearsing, sound-checking and performing their live show at The Summit in Houston on 11 December, along with backstage clips from The Omni in Atlanta on 8 December, footage of the band working on various songs in the studio (We Are The Champions, My Melancholy Blues, Get Down Make Love & It’s Late), interviews with the band from the time of filming, and new audio interviews with Brian and Roger.
The Rock The World version of the documentary has footage of Queen’s 2017 US tour with Adam Lambert at the start and end, additional narration by Bob Harris, some colour versions of footage that was black and white in The American Dream, and other small changes.
All in all it’s a fantastic behind the scenes insight into the development of the album and the band’s North American tour. You can tell they’re really enjoying the experience, which comes across to the audience when they perform, and it’s very cool to see them at work in the studio.
Both versions of the documentary can be found in full on Youtube, but naturally they keep being taken down for copyright violations and then re-uploaded, so I won’t bother linking to them. It’s well worth looking up though.
You can also hear the band members discussing the album in various other recordings:
- Queen Interview – BBC Radio 1, Christmas 1977 – This fascinating hour-long chat with presenter Tom Browne was included on a CD with the 2011 book 40 Years Of Queen. A 40-minute edit was then included on the first interview disc of Queen’s On Air box set in 2016.
- Freddie Mercury Interview – Countdown, November 2, 1977 – An interview by Molly Meldrum on the Australian TV music show shortly after the album’s release, where Freddie talks briefly about the band’s evolution, the impact of Bohemian Rhapsody, the release of the album News Of The World and the single We Are The Champions, and the competition from the emerging punk movement.
As these songs are heavily connected and often performed together, I’m combining my reviews for both of them.
- We Will Rock You
- We Are The Champions
Despite all of their exquisitely elaborate, highly-polished, over-produced, multi-layered, creatively complex and utterly delightful masterpieces to date, these songs above all others show how Queen are just as capable of having a massive impact with minimal production. Everybody will have heard them on several occasions, as they’ve been sung at sporting events and concerts, covered by many artists, used in TV, radio and films, etc, and they regularly feature in polls of the greatest songs of all time.
Scientists have even shown that Champions is the catchiest song ever – although it does have a form of Mandela Effect on many people, who are certain that it finishes with the lyric “of the world”, when it actually doesn’t. Sure, Freddie sings it during the earlier choruses, and he does indeed end with it during concert performances. But the track itself doesn’t end that way.
The single release was originally led by Champions, with Rock You as the B-side. But given the popularity of both songs it quickly became a double A-side. Rather amazingly, however, the single never got to number 1 in the UK chart, despite shifting millions of copies. It stayed in the chart for 12 weeks, 3 of them at number 2, held off the top spot by ABBA’s Name Of The Game for the first fortnight, and then by Mull Of Kintyre from Wings in the third week. In the USA, however, the single did reach number 1 in the Cashbox chart, and number 4 in the Billboard chart. And it stayed at number 1 in the French chart for 10 weeks.
But irrespective of the charts, these rousing anthems have become such an integral part of British and international culture, that it seems impossible to imagine a time when they never existed. They’re joyous, triumphant and unifying, because they’re so easy to join in with and give you a deep sense of belonging when sung as part of a crowd. And that was the whole intention. Even though they were written by different members of the band, they were kept together on the album, and on the single release, and at the end of their live shows. The songs have always been intrinsically linked.
“We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions had a very definite genesis. We played this great hall in the Midlands [Bingley Hall, Stafford] and it was packed, it was heaving. Those gigs that you love – it’s all sweaty and hot, the atmosphere’s great, everybody’s in it, everybody’s jumping up and down and making a noise. And what they were doing was singing along. They didn’t stop, they sang every note of every song.
And when we went off stage, they sang You’ll Never Walk Alone to us. And in those days, it was really new, I have to tell you. You just didn’t go to concerts where people sang to rock bands. So we went home that night thinking “What do we do here? What does this mean? What does this mean for our future?”
Obviously the audience is as big a part of the show as we are now, so let’s embrace it. What can an audience do, what could you ask them to do? They’re all crammed in there, they can’t do much, but they can stamp their feet, they can clap their hands and they can sing. And they would be leading the song rather than the singer. So I woke up with We Will Rock You in my head. I sang the song to Freddie and he went “Yeah, it’s gonna work.” He twigged that it was a kind of rallying song.
In my head it was a song of the three ages of man. The first stage is a boy who thinks he can change the world, the second stage is the man who thinks he is changing the world, and the third stage is the old man coming to terms with the fact that there’s only a certain amount he can do. It’s a bit like a serenity prayer, you know – change what you can change, but get used to it that you can’t achieve everything.”
There has also been a look back at both songs as part of the band’s 50th anniversary Youtube series Queen The Greatest:
- We Will Rock You – Part 1 & Part 2 – Brian gives an exclusive new interview here, talking about the song’s composition and impact, and giving some revealing insights into the guitar solo.
- We Are The Champions – This video celebrates the song’s enduring popularity and legacy, given the ease with which it unites huge crowds of people, despite claims that the lyrics were arrogant when it was first released.
And the songs have been mentioned in various other interviews of course. A lot of information is duplicated between them, inevitably, but they’re still worth a listen:
- Freddie Mercury Interview – Countdown, November 2, 1977 – Freddie discusses the reason for writing Champions and the general meaning of some of the lyrics.
- Queen Interview – Radio 1, Christmas 1977 – Here Brian explains that “We Will Rock You was just an experiment… it’s designed to simulate is the effect of an audience just stomping and clapping, and the singing and nothing else, so there’s not supposed to be any bass or drums or guitar or anything. The guitar comes in the end and plays along with it. It’s just an experimental thing really, and we’re waiting to see what’s gonna happen on stage. And then Freddie jokes that Champions is “the most egotistical and arrogant song I’ve ever written”, before laughing and blowing a raspberry!
- Brian & Roger provided commentaries for both tracks on the Absolute Greatest Hits compilation and the Greatest Video Hits I DVD, and have also spoken about Donald Trump using Champions without their permission.
- On Absolute Radio, Brian also gave very brief insights into Rock You & Champions.
- Brian has also said elsewhere that he was initially upset by the demo of Champions that the others had prepared without him, and questioned the apparent arrogance of the lyrics at first, but quickly relented when Freddie explained his intentions.
We Will Rock You
The simple video for this song was recorded in just a couple of takes, in Roger’s cold and snowy garden in Surrey in January 1978, after they’d filmed Spread Your Wings. Freddie looks very cool (while no doubt also feeling very cold!) in his star-shaped sunglasses, while Brian uses a copy of his guitar to avoid any weather damage to his original Red Special. Roger and John only have to stomp, clap and mime the chorus in the background.
The official version of this video on Queen’s Youtube channel is taken from the Greatest Video Hits I DVD. But the original promo released on the old Greatest Flix VHS has some different shots and camera angles.
There was also a re-edited version produced in 1998 for the Queen Rocks VHS, and more recently included with the 2011 iTunes reissue of the album, which mixes black and white footage from the promo video with colour visuals of Queen performing in various live shows.
We Are The Champions
The promo video for this song shows the band doing a mimed stage performance, with Freddie in a very low cut black and white bodysuit, and was filmed at the New London Theatre (now called the Gillian Lynne Theatre) in Drury Lane, London on 6 October 1977. It’s the first of many promos to feature lucky members of the official fan club, who were rewarded with a 70-minute impromptu concert by the band and a free copy of the vinyl single. The video has appeared on various official releases, including the Greatest Video Hits I DVD and the old Greatest Flix VHS – although early copies of Greatest Flix had a slightly different mix with alternate angles and a bit of extra guitar.
There was also an alternative edit for Top Of The Pops, starting with a close-up of Freddie in black and white, before switching to colour in the first chorus. It has many different camera shots and a few different guitar elements, plus you can hear the audience clapping and singing along. There’s also a fan-made edit that colourises the intro.
The Days Of Our Lives DVD & Blu-ray has an interesting video of the band recording the song in the studio, which has some of the vocals omitted, and some of the instrumentation differs to the final version. Additional footage of the studio recording is included in the American Dream documentary, which also looks at the making of the promo video and discusses the meaning behind the song.
Bohemian Rhapsody Movie
Queen’s biographical film inevitably featured these songs. There’s a scene where Brian introduces Rock You to the band, and then for the Live Aid sequence there were great performances of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. For Rock You there’s also a side-by-side comparison with the original Live Aid footage.
Fascinating alternate takes of We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions were released in the 40th anniversary box set. It’s really interesting to hear the different vocals and guitar parts by Freddie and Brian respectively, some of which are very subtle changes, while others are very different to the final mix (e.g. Brian’s improvised Hendrix-style solo in Rock You). There’s also a bit of chatter included at the start, indicating in Rock You that it’s Take 1, while in Champions it’s jokingly announced to be Take 37,000 after a false start! Champions is also notably longer than the album version, adding extra choruses and another guitar solo at the end, after which Freddie voices his approval of the performance (as you also hear him do in the American Dream documentary).
We Will Rock You
This of course involves nothing more than powerful stomps and claps (using just stomps for the count-in), great vocals and a cool guitar solo. Obviously Brian and Freddie are of most interest here, it’s always nice to hear them on their own. One interesting fact about Brian’s solo, revealed recently in Episode 12 of Queen The Greatest, is that the 3 guitar phrases at the end are each from different takes stitched together, with a scratch in between that they decided to keep in.
We Are The Champions
There appear to be 2 versions of this multitrack in circulation among the fans. While I have the more readily available 8-track version, there’s also a full 24-track master out there with additional vocal and guitar parts not used in the final mix.
- Vocals – There’s fabulous power and energy from Freddie here, and great harmony with everyone together. The 24-track multitrack includes alternate lead vocal takes, separated chorus backing vocals, and additional backing vocals at the end, including a random fleeting snippet from It’s late.
- Piano – A lovely composition by Freddie that provides a wonderful foundation for the song.
- Guitar – Nicely performed by Brian as you’d expect, spread over 2 tracks to isolate the solo parts in the latter stages, and you can hear various little touches and solos that go relatively unnoticed in the final mix. The 24-track multitrack has unused guitar parts as well. In Rolling Stone Magazine’s 10 Things You Didn’t Know about the album, it’s interesting to note that Brian wasn’t happy with the original guitar solo that he came up with, believing it to be too weak, even though everyone else felt it was fine. He explained in Guitar For The Practicing Musician in 1993 that: “I redid everything, and there’s a little piece towards the end when I was trying to make the guitar sing along with Freddie’s vocals. He was really pushing himself on the vocals at the end, so I tried to push the guitar and express the way I felt. It’s hardly audible on the record. It’s not like a major feature, but you can hear the guitar and the vocal are kind of straining against each other. … It’s a nice moment which is captured.”
- Bass -A solid track by John as usual. There’s nothing overly fancy about it, but he accompanies Brian’s guitar melody very nicely.
- Instrumental – Putting together all the non-vocal parts allows you to appreciate the song’s structure much more clearly. You can also hear a fan-made extended instrumental that includes the unused guitar parts noted above.
We Will Rock You – Fast Version
The fast version of Rock You is a very different and enjoyable arrangement, featuring the full band and a faster tempo. The only studio recording known to exist was recorded during Queen’s 6th BBC session, broadcast on 14 November 1977 on John Peel’s Sounds Of The Seventies, on BBC Radio 1. It’s included in the 40th anniversary box set for this album, and as part of the On Air collection, plus it’s on The Best Of King Biscuit Live Volume 4 for some reason.
It’s preceded in the same session by an abbreviated rendition of the slow version, and the tracks are linked by a lady reading a short extract from the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Queen archivist Greg Brooks explained why to Record Collector magazine in June 2011: “At that time, only master tapes survived from BBC sessions, while the actual tapes used to compose them were recorded over later. When Queen assembled in the control room for a playback, they discovered remnants of a Radio 4 programme on their tape. The band incorporated a segment of this unusual material into their own work.”
- We Will Rock You – Rick Rubin ‘Ruined’ Remix – This was included on the 1991 Hollywood CD of the album in 1991, the No-One But You single, the 4th Queen Singles Collection set, and on other US promo releases. It adds percussion and sound effects over the main song, then loops the final section of Brian’s guitar solo to extend the song by a further few minutes, adding extra instrumentation (including bass and drums by Flea and Chad from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers). Variations of this mix were released on American promo discs, including a Big Beat A Cappella Mix, a Ruined Instrumental & a Zulu Scratch A Capella, among others.
- We Are The Champions – Rick Rubin ‘Ruined’ Remix – This was released on various US promo discs, but not in the UK. It changes the rhythm of the song and adds little vocals during the verses, and includes some extra percussion and guitar elements throughout. I’m not a fan of Rick’s remixes for Rock You or Champions personally, but there are some people who like them.
- We Will Rock You – DMC Remix by Paul Dakeyne – Sometimes incorrectly attributed to Fatboy Slim, this dance mix from 1991 incorporates sped up vocals and an extract from Bohemian Rhapsody, and while it’s obviously not a patch on the original, I do find it strangely catchy. It appeared on a US Hollywood Records promo CD of Queen remixes entitled The Unauthorized Club Record, and has appeared on other DJ and club compilations.
- We Will Rock You – Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Mix – This featured on the soundtrack to Queen’s 2018 biographical film. It starts as the original studio version, but then segues into a live performance during the second chorus.
- Queen or individual members have also briefly sampled or referenced We Will Rock You in various other tracks. The beat appears during the song Still Burnin’ by Queen + Paul Rodgers on the Cosmos Rocks album. Brian sings the title of the song in the lyrics of his solo track The Dark, and the beat momentarily appears in his song One Night In Hell. And the Air Guitar Edit of Tie Your Mother Down, on The Best Air Guitar Album In The World… Ever!, uses the beat and the last part of Brian’s solo as an intro.
We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions quickly became the signature audience participation finale for Queen’s live concerts, and have been regularly performed by Brian and Roger since Freddie’s death. The fast version of Rock You was also performed by Queen near the start of their concerts during the 70s and early 80s, and has sometimes been resurrected in more recent years. All of which means there are many live examples of these songs in the lists below.
- The Summit, Houston, Texas on 11 December 1977:
- European Tour 1979 – From the Live Killers album:
- Forest National, Brussels, Belgium on 26 January 1979:
- Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland on 4 February 1979:
- Rock You & Champions – Including a bit of backstage footage.
- Pabellon de Deportes del Real Madrid, Spain on 23 February 1979:
- Pavillon de Paris, France on 1 March 1979:
- Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 25 April 1979:
- Hammersmith Odeon, London on 26 December 1979:
- Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, Argentina on 1 March 1981:
- Morumbi Stadium, São Paulo, Brazil on 20 March 1981:
- Poliedro de Caracas, Venezuela on 27 September 1981:
- Montreal Forum, Canada on 24/25 November 1981 – From Queen Rock Montreal:
- Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria on 12 May 1982 – Rock You & Champions are among 4 tracks from this concert included as extras on the Queen On Fire – Live At The Bowl DVD.
- Milton Keynes Bowl on 5 June 1982 – From Queen On Fire – Live At The Bowl, and the latter 2 are also in the 40th anniversary box set for News Of The World:
- Seibu Lions Stadium, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Tokyo, Japan on 3 November 1982:
The fast version of Rock You was eventually dropped during the early 80s, so doesn’t appear in the following concerts.
- Rock In Rio Festival, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on 12 January 1985 – From Live In Rio:
- Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan on 11 May 1985 – From Final Concert Live In Japan:
- Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, London on 13 July 1985 – Available on the DVDs for Live Aid & Queen Rock Montreal:
In 1986, Friends Will Be Friends was added to their concert finales, in between Rock and Champions, so I’ve listed it below to preserve the sequence.
- Wembley Stadium, London on Friday 11 July 1986 – Available on the 2011 DVD edition of Live At Wembley.
- Wembley Stadium, London 0n Saturday 12 July 1986 – Available on all editions of Live At Wembley.
- Nepstadion, Budapest, Hungary on 27 July 1986 – From Hungarian Rhapsody: Live In Budapest.
- Knebworth Park, Stevenage on 9 August 1986 – Included on the Live Magic album.
- Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London on 20 April 1992 – Available on DVD & Blu-ray.
Queen + Paul Rodgers
- UK Music Hall Of Fame, Hackney Empire, London on 11 November 2004:
- 46664 Concert, Fancourt Country Club & Golfing Estate, George, South Africa on 19 March 2005:
- Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield on 9 May 2005 – From Return Of The Champions.
- VH1 Rock Honors, Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada on 25 May 2006
- Rock You & Champions – With Taylor Hawkins & Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters joining Roger on drums.
- Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Series 2, Episode 13 on 4 April 2008:
- Freedom Square, Kharkov, Ukraine on 12 September 2008 – From Live In Ukraine.
- Santiago, Chile on 19 November 2008:
Queen + Adam Lambert
- American Idol, Season 8 finale, Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles on 20 May 2009:
- Champions – This pivotal TV moment was the very first time that Queen and Adam performed together. Adam was battling it out for victory, by duetting on the song with fellow contestant Kris Allen, while Brian & Roger backed them up as guest stars. Kris won the final, but Brian & Roger had become very interested in Adam, who had undoubtedly given the stronger performance, and had originally auditioned for the show using Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen had to wait a couple more years before they could work with Adam again, but after that things quickly took off, and the rest is history.
- Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev, Ukraine on 30 June 2012:
- Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, Russia on 3 July 2012:
- Summer Sonic, QVC Marine Field, Chiba, Tokyo on 17 August 2014:
- Rock Big Ben Live, Central Hall Westminster, London on 1 January 2015:
- Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield on 27 February 2015:
- Rock In Rio, New City Of Rock, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on 18 September 2015:
- Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain on 22 May 2016:
- 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland on 25 November 2017:
- Rock You – At the start of the show, after Frank The Robot.
- O2 Arena, London on 2 July 2018:
- Marlay, Dublin, Ireland on 8 July 2018:
- Strictly Come Dancing, Series 16 Quarter-Final on 1 December 2018:
- Oscars Ceremony (91st Academy Awards), Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles on 24 February 2019:
- Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Canada on 10 July 2019:
- Rock You & Champions – Preceded by a bit of call and response with the audience, led by Freddie on screen.
- The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles on 19 July 2019:
- Rock You & Champions – Performed on Brian’s 72nd birthday.
- Fire Fight Australia, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia on 16 February 2020 – From Live Around The World:
Other Queen Performances & Guest Appearances
A selection of other live performances featuring Brian & Roger together, sometimes with guest vocalists or other musicians.
- Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, New York in 2001 – Available on the US-only download Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Volume 6: 2000-2001:
- Rock You – Sung by Brian & Roger, in a different arrangement with the traditional guitar solo in the middle.
- Queen’s Day, The Musumplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands on 30 April 2002 – This was available on the Heineken Queen’s Day CD-ROM:
- Pavarotti & Friends For SOS Iraq, Parco Novi Sad, Modena, Italy on 27 May 2003:
- 46664 Concert, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa on 29 November 2003:
- The Foo Fighters at Hyde Park, London on 17 June 2006:
- Rock You – Brian & Roger were guests for this performance.
- Prince’s Trust Rock Gala, Royal Albert Hall, London on 17 November 2010:
- Rock You – All-star finale led by Brian and Roger.
- London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, Olympic Stadium, London on 12 August 2012 – Available on the London 2012 Olympic Games DVD & Blu-ray.
- Rock You – With Jessie J, after some audience interaction with a recording of Freddie and a great extended guitar solo from Brian. Much more recently, in 2021 Jessie J dressed up as Freddie and performed Rock You on Your Face Sounds Familiar on Chinese TV, briefly mentioning her Olympics performance in the interview afterwards.
Brian May Solo
- Guns N’ Roses at Wembley Stadium, London on 13 June 1992:
- Rock You – Just a couple of months after Axl’s performance at Freddie’s tribute concert, Brian returned the favour by appearing at one of their concerts to perform both the slow and fast versions of the song.
- Brixton Academy, London on 15 June 1993:
- Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Series 1, Episode 2 on 15 June 2002:
- Rock You – In a brief surprise appearance, Brian joined in with a fan who was playing the guitar solo from the song. She had been chosen after writing to Jim’ll Fix It many years ago.
- Tangerine Dream at Starmus Festival, Magma Art & Congress Centre, Tenerife, Spain on 24 June 2011:
- My Chemical Romance at Reading Festival on 26 August 2011:
- Rock You & Welcome To The Black Parade – The band were joined by special guest Brian May for the finale of their set.
- Dappy’s Radio 1 Live Lounge Session, Maida Vale, London on 27 February 2012:
- Rock You – Sung and rapped with new lyrics by the former N-Dubz star, with Brian as a guest. You can hear the audience reactions plus a brief chat with Brian & Dappy afterwards on the full audio recording as well. It was released on the deluxe edition of Dappy’s album Bad Intentions, and on the compilation BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge 2012.
- Rockstar – Brian also joins in with this live performance of Dappy’s second single, having already performed on the studio version.
Brian May & Kerry Ellis
- Proms In The Park, Hyde Park, London on 11 September 2010:
- Rock You & Champions – Abbreviated renditions of both songs, backed by an orchestra, including a rare instance of Brian playing the opening to Champions on guitar instead of the usual piano intro.
- New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth on 16 November 2012:
- Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 23 June 2013:
- Rock You, with The Liverpool Show Choir.
- Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland on 30 June 2013:
- La Cigale, Paris, France on July 8, 2013:
- Stravinski Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland, on 19 July 2013:
- Arena di Verona, Italy on 1 June 2015:
- Rock You – Backed by an orchestra during Brian’s solo.
- The Pheasantry, Chelsea, London on 19 January 2016:
- National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria on 16 March 2016:
Roger Taylor Solo
Roger sometimes performed his own unique and enjoyable arrangement of Rock You during his solo shows in the 90s, of which there are a couple of examples online.
- Teatro Verdi, Genova, Italy on 18 October 1995
- Rock You – Performed during his Happiness? tour.
- Live At The Cyberbarn, Roger’s Garden, Surrey on 24 September 1998:
- Live Earth Concert, Wembley Stadium, London on 7 July 2007:
We Will Rock You Musical
Queen’s smash-hit musical ends with the cast performing Rock You and Champions, followed by an instrumental fast version of Rock You for the curtain call. They then perform Bohemian Rhapsody for the encore, as explored in my Night At The Opera review. The cast have also performed Rock You & Champions on TV shows and at concerts, often with Brian & Roger, as illustrated by the examples below.
- London Cast:
- Parkinson on 18 May 2002 – Brian & Roger join the cast to perform Somebody To Love, We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions, while Michael Parkinson interviews show writer Ben Elton, who is brought on with the Hammer To Fall intro.
- Party At The Palace, Buckingham Palace, London on 3 June 2002 – Available on Party At The Palace. Clips aren’t readily available, but it’s worth noting regardless. Brian & Roger, plus Phil Collins on the drums, joined the musical cast to perform Radio Ga Ga (sung by Roger), We Will Rock You (sung by Brian), We Are The Champions (sung by Will Young) & Bohemian Rhapsody (sung by Tony Vincent & the musical cast).
- Party In The Park, Hyde Park, London on 7 July 2002 – The cast of the musical (without Queen) perform We Will Rock You, Somebody To Love, We Are The Champions & Bohemian Rhapsody.
- Children In Need on 15 November 2002 – Brian & Roger joined the cast to perform Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions, plus a full encore performance of Champions at the request of the hosts.
- Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Series 1, Episode 9 on 10 March 2007 – Brian & Roger make a surprise appearance during the cast’s performance of We Will Rock You, at which point the song is extended using a brief refrain from Tear It Up and then several repeats of the Rock You chorus. There’s a brief sketch after the credits too.
- Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Series 7, Episode 6 on 13 October 2007 – For the final game of the Ant vs Dec contest, they each had to sing a Queen song dressed as Freddie. Ant did We Will Rock You, while Dec performed Another One Bites The Dust.
- London 2012 Olympics Handover Party, The Mall, London on 24 August 2008 – The cast of the musical (without Queen) perform Rock You and Champions.
- Children In Need: Pop Goes The Musical, Dominion Theatre, London on 13 September 2010 – Spice Girl Melanie C joined Brian May and the cast of the musical to perform Rock You & Champions.
- Edinburgh Playhouse Cast:
- German Cast (in English):
- Cast Recording – Rock You, Champions & Rock You (Fast) – Only the end of the fast Rock You track is included on the album.
- Wetten, Dass…? (German TV show) on 11 December 2004 – Brian & Roger (who were appearing to announce their upcoming tour with Paul Rodgers), joined the cast to perform Radio Ga Ga, Somebody To Love, We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions, plus a little encore of Rock You after a short chat with the host. This live medley was released on the 10th anniversary edition of the UK cast album, and on the downloadable EP We Will Rock You: Around The World.
- New Year’s Eve performance at Brandenburg Gate, Berlin – A performance of Rock You & Champions, with a little of the fast Rock You to finish.
- Australia Cast:
- Brazil Cast:
- Holland Cast:
- Rock You, Another One Bites The Dust & Champions – With Anastacia at the Sport Gala 2019.
- Hungary Cast:
- I Want It All, Fat Bottomed Girls & We Will Rock You – A flashmob medley at the Continental Hotel in Budapest.
In addition to the live performances above, Queen have also collaborated with other artists on new releases of these tracks.
We Will Rock You – Five + Queen
Five’s cover of this song, incorporating new rap verses, was released in 2000, and was the 4th single from Five’s Invincible album. Brian and Roger play guitar and drums without contributing vocals. The music video – which rearranges the verses, and makes a few other changes to the rapping and chorus vocals – features Five performing the song on stage, while Brian and Roger are projected onto buildings, and crowds fill the streets.
This was the first time that Rock You had been released in its own right, without Champions attached, and it went straight to number 1 for a week. It was in the top 10 for 4 weeks altogether, and spent a further 4 in the top 40. It was the second number 1 achieved by Five, but more significantly it was Queen’s 6th chart-topper, one of 4 songs to enter the chart at that position.
Brian & Roger joined the boyband on stage to perform the song at:
- The Brit Awards, Earls Court, London on 3 March 2000
- Top Of The Pops on 7 July 2000
- Party In The Park, Hyde Park, London on 9 July 2000 – Brian & Roger also performed Tie Your Mother Down with Five, and joined in the all-star finale of With A Little Help From My Friends.
- The Millennium Dome, London on 25 September 2000 – A free event for a Japanese TV special, bringing together a variety of music acts.
We Will Rock You (Pepsi Commercial) – Britney Spears, Beyoncé Knowles & Pink
This epic Gladiator-style video was filmed in Rome on 26 September 2003 and premiered on 26 January 2004. Each of the ladies takes a verse each, while Enrique Iglesias plays an emperor watching over the arena. Brian and Roger, who produced this new version of the song, also make a fleeting cameo for a couple of seconds.
This version was released on a Pepsi Music 2004 CD entitled Britney Exclusive or Dare For More Music. You can also watch interviews, behind the scenes footage and clips from the premiere online, all featuring glimpses of Brian and Roger, particularly in the interviews.
Pink also performed a short version of We Are The Champions at Rock In Rio 2019, the audio of which is available on the documentary soundtrack album All I Know So Far: Setlist, along with a performance of Bohemian Rhapsody from 2009.
We Will Rock You – Queen + John Farnham
John Farnham’s version, produced by Brian May and Justin Shirley-Smith, was released on True Colours – The Official Album Of The Rugby World Cup 2003, and as a single, and on John’s Greatest Hits album One Voice. It starts with John singing over Queen’s original backing track for a couple of verses and choruses. Then at the end of Brian’s solo, additional guitars come in and the track is extended with a heavier feel.
You can also see John performing the track live at Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony in 2006 (from the DVD of the concert) and in Ballarat in 2017. Meanwhile, Brian May was among the musicians for John’s performance of You’re The Voice at Fire Fight Australia, ANZ Stadium, Sydney on 16 February 2020.
We Will Rock You – VonLichten
This version uses the vocals, stomps and claps from Queen’s original, adds a new guitar part by Brian, and features orchestral and piano music throughout by Helmut VonLichten (including a new intro and outro). It was used in the USA for NFL coverage in 2012 & 2013, including the 2013 Superbowl. It was also released as a download in the US and UK in late 2012, and was used during the Donkey Kong scene in the 2015 film Pixels.
Armageddon – We Will Rock You / I Want It All
Queen + Robbie Williams – We Are The Champions
This cover of Champions appears on the soundtrack for the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale. Queen helped to produce the track, but they don’t appear in the music video, which was an extra feature on the DVD of the movie. The soundtrack also includes Queen’s original version of We Will Rock You from the start of the film.
Robbie later discussed the cover during an interview on Sirius XM, in which he reveals that Queen asked him to be their frontman, but he declined as the prospect was too scary, and he heaps praise on Adam Lambert for taking on the fole.
Robbie has also performed Rock You and Champions live in concert on various occasions, with examples including:
- RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne on 11 August 2001 – Champions (preceded by the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
- Knebworth in August 2003 – Rock You
- Live 8, Hyde Park, London on 2 July 2005 – Rock You (with Let Me Entertain You)
- Let Me Entertain You Tour 2015 – Rock You (with I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll)
Hank Marvin & Brian May – We Are The Champions
Covid & You Are The Champions
During the first year of the Covid pandemic in 2020, Brian May used his mobile phone to record and post several micro concertos online, including a close-up of the Rock You solo on 3 April & a bit of Champions for Freddie’s birthday on 6 September.
Most significantly, however, Brian played the guitar part from Champions on 9 April. This then grew when Roger Taylor added drums on 16 April & Adam Lambert added vocals on 20 April, changing one of the choruses to say “You Are The Champions”.
That proved to be so popular that they worked on it further, adding bass by Neil Fairclough (who plays on tour with them) and remastering the audio. It was released on 1 May as an official download called You Are The Champions, with proceeds going to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for The World Health Organisation.
The accompanying music video features Brian, Adam and Roger performing, but also contains photos and clips from around the world of empty streets, people in face masks and, most importantly, health professionals and key workers to whom the song is dedicated – including Roger’s daughter Rory, who’s a nurse.
Promotional interviews for the single included:
- Adam on BBC Breakfast
- Roger & Adam on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show with Zoe Ball
- Brian on BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast
- Adam on Australian TV show The Project
The song spent a week at number 95 in the UK chart when it was first released as a download, which isn’t bad considering the hurried nature of the release and the global circumstances at the time. But the song did get to number 1 in the physical singles & vinyl singles charts later on, when limited edition CD and 7-inch vinyl copies were released on 5 August, with just 3,000 copies of each available. Those editions also contained an instrumental version of the track.
As an interesting comparison, Youtube user The Miracle Instinct created a version of Brian & Roger’s original jam with Freddie’s vocals, and a complete mix with Freddie’s piano and John’s bass. Other people have also played or sung along with the original jam, as noted below during the list of cover versions.
And on a related note, a fundraising advert for NHS Charities Together, during the early weeks of the pandemic in 2020, had people singing We Say Thank You to the tune of Rock You, in honour of health workers. Short social media clips were also used as part of the One Million Claps campaign.
Apart from the collaborations and live covers already discussed above, there have naturally been many versions of We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions by other artists, as illustrated by the many examples below.
These lists do not include tracks that sample elements of Rock You or elements of Champions, as they’re not direct covers and often aren’t very good, especially the rap tracks. One song that is worthy of note, however, is You And I by Lady Gaga, which not only features the beat from Rock You, but Brian May also performs on it, and it shares its name with another Queen song. See my review of A Day At The Races for details of that.
Remixes & Mashups
PiotreQ Remix Albums:
- Reworks has a Remix combining the vocals and guitar from the studio version with drums and audience noise from a live version.
- On The Common Stage has:
- We Will Rock You (Fast) – A mash-up with Headlong, including introductory elements from One Vision and the album A Day At The Races.
- Tear It Up – A mash-up with the Franz Ferdinand song Take It Out, using We Will Rock You for the choruses.
- Non-Album Remixes has:
- We Will Break Thru You – 2 versions, mashing up Rock You with the 12″ and album versions of Breakthru respectively. The audio from the video version (using the Breakthru 12″ mix plus the railway sound effects) is included with the single download.
- We Will Rock You [Highlander Remix] – A mashup with Gimme The Prize.
- The Mash-Ups has We Will Hang Tough, a short mash-up of Rock You with the song Hangin’ Tough by New Kids On The Block. An alternate version called the Freddie Mashup, using his vocals instead of those by New Kids, is a bonus track on the mash-up single Dancer Step By Step.
- Slightly Mad has We Will Rock The Revolution, a mash-up with the T-Rex hit Children Of The Revolution.
- A Kind Of Miracle has a Scandal Remix, plus an instrumental version, using elements from Scandal.
- God Save The Queen has a Biting Remix, using elements from Another One Bites The Dust.
- Party has a 1984 Remix, using elements of Radio Ga Ga and other songs, along with a 2017 retake (very similar but with updated percussion). There’s also an instrumental with the individual download.
- Orchestral Magic has orchestral mixes of Rock You & Champions, using the recordings by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Blurred Vision also has a 6-minute Mighty Orchestral Remix of Rock You.
Other Rock You Mashups:
- Bill McClintock – We Will Pop, Funk, Rock & Soul You – Includes Let’s Go All The Way (Sly Fox), Shakey Ground (The Temptations), Sad But True (Metallica) & ABC (Jackson 5).
- Daniel Kendall – Legends Will Rock You – Combines Rock You with Legend by The Score.
- DJs From Mars – We Will Kill The Breathe Of Bangarang – Includes Killing In The Name (Rage Against The Machine), Breathe (The Prodigy) & Bangarang (Skrillex).
- Shahar Varshal – We Will Rock You: Bossa Nova Mashup – Includes Bossa Nova Baby (Elvis Presley), Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Whistle (Flo Rida) & Crazy (Cee Lo Green).
- Smash Mashups – Freestyler Will Rock You – Includes Freestyler (Bomfunk MC’s), Just Like Fire (P!nk) & Animals (Maroon 5).
Other Champions Mashups:
- Cassino – We Are The Champions Vs Astronomia – Combines Champions with Astronomia by Vicetone & Tony Igy.
- Kill mR DJ – We Are Champion Believers – Combines Champions with Believer by Imagine Dragons.
- Rock You – Dean Cohen, Devin Martin (Mad Maestro Dubstep Remix), DJ Kaktus (Extended Bassline Remix), Dual Insanix, EDM Squad (Trap Remix), Karpe-DM, myBeatzDR & TuneSquad
- Champions – DJ Chalado (Electro Remix), Robert McDrew, Sideglide & Vandoorea (plus the instrumental).
- Adrian Grimes – You Are The Champions & I Am Essential, both to the tune of Champions.
- Break Free & Friends – We Are The Champions
- Chandler Films – You Are The Champions
- 8e Art Artists & Friends – We Say Thank You
- Preston Residents – We Say Thank You, with a chorus & guitar solo, and percussion on wheelie bins.
- Ravi Bakshi & Rob Harris – We Will Rock You, an instrumental performance for their neighbours in lockdown.
- Budweiser Clydesdale – Rock You, an epic 5-minute commercial from Russia.
- Evian Water – Rock You by KCPK, featuring a choir of children. It reached number 2 in France and 3 in Belgium, and the animated advert won a few awards. There’s also a live action advert where adults are lip-synced to the singing children.
- Halo (Xbox) – Rock You, matching sound effects from the game to the beat of the song.
- Persil – Rock You, performed by children.
- Pocari Sweat – Rock You, a Japanese advert sung in English.
- Purcari Winery – Champions, celebrating the people of Purcari village.
- Sun City – Rock You, using Queen’s track.
- Viagra – Champions, using Queen’s track as people celebrate.
- The Big Bang Theory:
- Season 1, Episode 13 – The Bat Jar Conjecture – Champions is played when Howard rips off his t-shirt to celebrate winning a quiz.
- Season 9, Episode 3 – The Bachelor Party Corrosion – Raj, Howard and Leonard sing “We Will Percussive Shock You” while trying to fix their van, in response to which Sheldon sings a verse from We Will Rock You in a high pitched voice, blaming it on his eidetic memory.
- Drake & Josh:
- The Late Late Show with James Corden:
- Trust Us With Your Life:
- Chicken Little:
- Happy Feet Two:
- John Powell – We Are The Champions on the soundtrack album, performed by an orchestra and chorus, with updated lyrics and a change in musical style part-way through.
- You Again:
- During a car scene in this movie, a character sings along to Champions, while her friend in the back looks unimpressed.
Other Parodies & Comedy
- Annoying Orange – He Will Mock You, a strange animated video involving fruit.
- ApologetiX – We Will Walk Through & We’re More Than Champions, from their album Recovery.
- Avenue Q – Rock You & Champions, sung by the puppets and human stars of the musical in response to Bohemian Rhapsody by The Muppets.
- FC Bayern München & Thomas Müller – Bundesliga Champions, produced to celebrate the team winning the Bundesliga championship a record 6 years in a row.
- Frank Sidebottom – Examples of live performances of Rock You here (in a medley with spoof cover Frank Gordon), here & here. He’s also performed a live parody called I Am The Champion, a studio version of which is also on the above album.
- Garren Lazar – We Are The Champions, nicely synced to animations from the Peanuts cartoons.
- Henry Rollins – I Have Come To Kill You from the album Drive By Shooting.
- Mr Bett’s Class – Teachers’ Summer Anthem, a short parody of Champions for the end of the school year.
- Overcharged Studios – We Are The Miners, a Minecraft spoof of Champions.
Bands & Groups
Album Tracks & Singles:
- Adrenalin O.D. – Rock You, a screamed heavy metal version on the reissue of The Wacky Hijinks.
- Amplified Jazzmen – Rock You on Bossa Lounge & Hot Jazz Today!
- Bassline Boys – Rock You on La Fête Toujours Plus Folle. There’s also a Maxi Version & Hype Mix on the 12″ single.
- The Busters – Champions, an upbeat ska version on Welcome To Busterland.
- Cokehead Hipsters – Rock You, a heavy metal cover on Coverhead Hipsters.
- Dolapdere Big Gang – Rock You / I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, in a Turkish musical style from Art-Ist.
- Gelb Rot Blau – Champions, an acoustic bossa nova version on Rock Suave.
- In This Moment – Rock You, a heavy metal cover on their album Mother.
- J2 & The Triple Killers – Rock You, plus a Stripped version, on The Iconic Series, Vol. 6.
- Killers – Rock You & Smoke On The Water on South American Assault.
- Kirlian Camera – Rock You, an overly long 10-minute cover on Todesengel. The Fall Of Life.
- Ludwig Von 88 – Rock You, a reggae version on 17 Plombs Pour Péter Les Tubes.
- Mizz – Champions on their self-titled album.
- The Moon Loungers – Champions on Acoustic Covers: 70s.
- Nickelback – Rock You, issued as the B-side of Photograph, was also released on the Japanese & 15th anniversary editions of All The Right Reasons.
- NYCC – Rock You, a hip-house version on their Greatest Hits, plus a live version at Rantarock Midsummer Festival in 1998.
- Oh Well – Rock You on their 1st Album, plus an Ullman Remix on the compilation Westside 25 Anniversary Vol. 2.
- Parafunk – Rock You, a funk version on their EP For Rent.
- Pink Cream 69 – Rock You, a heavy metal cover on Food For Thought.
- Pink Turtle – Rock You, a jazz cover on Back Again.
- Scary Pockets & Sarah Dugas – Champions on Funk Walker.
- Scorpions – You Are The Champion, released as a single with updated lyrics, plus an instrumental mix, to celebrate Michael Schumacher’s 7th Formula One Championship victory. It got to number 92 in the German chart, and was included on the 2006 compilation Stand Up For The Champion in honour of Schumacher’s retirement.
- The Struts – Rock You on the Japanese edition of Everybody Wants, plus a solo performance on piano.
- Tater Totz – Give Peace A Chance / We Will Rock You on Alien Sleestacks From Brazil (Unfinished Music Volume 3).
- UK Subs – Rock You (Fast) on Subversions II.
- The Valiant Thieves – Champions on their self-titled album.
- Viper – Rock You (Fast), a heavy metal cover on Evolution.
- Warrant – Rock You on the Gladiator film soundtrack and The Best Of Warrant.
- The Zimmers – Rock You on Lust For Life.
- Baterasso – Rock You featuring 70 drummers playing together in Guarapuava, Brazil.
- Big Blue Wrecking Crew – Champions, a celebration of their success at becoming the World Series Champions of 1981.
- Call – Rock You, an acoustic version for a show called Plugged.
- Flatirons Community Church – Rock You & Champions, as part of a show called Three Crucial Relationships.
- Green Day – Champions at Reading Festival in 2004, Live 8 Berlin in 2005 & Rock am Ring Festival in Germany in 2005.
- New Kids On The Block – Rock You & Champions, plus their own song Summertime, on Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Series 3, Episode 1 on 12 September 2008. You can also see a medley of Rock You & Hangin’ Tough from a live concert.
- Nirvana – Rock You, a brief rendition at Hollywood Rock Fest in São Paulo in 1993.
- Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Scotland The Brave Medley, a special performance with bagpipes, on German TV show NRW Live.
- Rockin’ 1000 – Rock You, performed by 1,000 musicians during a concert at Stade De France in Paris.
- School of Rock AllStars Team 4 – Rock You (Fast) & Champions from St Louis, Missouri in 2018.
- Sum 41 – Rock You (Fast) at Highfield Festival 2016, another festival in 2016, Rock am Ring Festival, Germany in 2018, Hellfest, France in 2019, O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester in 2019 & Le Zenith, Paris, France in January 2020.
- Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra – Rock You & Fat Bottomed Girls (Mashup), plus a performance of Champions, at Regent Theatre, Arlington in Massachusetts.
- Westlife – Rock You & Champions at Croke Park, Dublin in 2019.
- Flash Harry – Rock You & Feel Like Makin’ Love at Helix Theatre, Dublin in 2009, Champions at Odyssey, Belfast in 2009 & Rock You (Fast) at Met Film & TV Studios, Belfast in 2019.
- Funk The Queen – Champions, a live instrumental.
- Galileo – Rock You (Fast) at Stazione Birra & Festa di Colonnetta.
- Killer Queen – Rock You & Champions with Kerry Ellis in Florence, Italy in 2012, plus Rock You & Champions (without Kerry) in Valdagno, Italy in 2018.
- Majesty Queen – Rock You & Rock You (Fast) in concert.
- MerQury – Rock You in Eschweiler, Germany 2010.
- Merqury Legacy – Rock You, a live performance in 2018.
- Night Of Queen Band & Choir – Fat Bottomed Girls & Rock You (Fast) in Switzerland in 2017.
- Queen Kings – Rock You & Champions on their live album Made On Tour, plus Rock You & Champions on their live album News Of The Kings.
- Queen Net – Rock You, recorded by members of the Brazilian fan club from their homes.
- Queen Symphonic – Champions at Salle 3000 Amphitheatre, Lyon, France in 2018.
- Queenie – Champions at KD Mlejn, Prague, Czech Republic in 2011.
- Regina – Champions at Grugliasco, Turin, Italy in 2011.
- The Show Must Go On – Rock You (Slow & Fast versions), from a special show for the 20th anniversary of Freddie’s passing on 11 September 2011, including famed TV composer Bear McCreary.
- Sweet Lady – Champions music video.
- We Are Champion – Rock You & Champions at the O2 Academy, Newcastle.
- ’39 Queen Tribute – Champions in Italy at Boomerang Caffè, Corsico, Milan in 2017 and the latter half of the song in Concorezzo, Lombardy in 2018.
- The Family Sowell – Champions, an acoustic cover.
- Gareth John & Andy Clayton – Champions, performing all the vocals and music between them.
- Groundlift Band & Unity 4 Hope – Champions
- Jatayu – Rock You
- Kaiser Chiefs – Champions, recorded remotely during lockdown in 2020 to celebrate Leeds United being promoted to the Premier League.
- La Central Reggaeactiva – Champions in a reggae style.
- Maati Baani – Champions, involving lots of children.
- Madison – Champions
- Newlux – Rock You in a jazz style.
- School Of Rock – Rock You (Fast) in the studio, and Champions by students around the world.
- Sonix & Valentina B – Rock You (Fast)
- Styx – Rock You & Champions, a studio recording that they performed to at the 2003 Superbowl pre-game show.
- U2 – A video of President George H W Bush edited to fit Rock You, played to open the shows on their Zoo TV tour.
Album & Single Tracks:
- Alvik Basket – Champions on Aalvik.
- Brian Justin Crum – Champions, released as a single. You can also see a live performance with the cast of We Will Rock You at the Mall Of America in 2013, and a live solo rendition from a pre-show event in San Diego.
- Daniel Koek – Rock You & Champions on Self Titled Tenor.
- DJ Hurricane & Scott Weiland – Rock You on Don’t Sleep.
- Florent Pagny & David Hallyday – Champions on Florent’s album 2. David also performed the song with a lady called Kimberose on French TV show Les Duos Inattendus (Unexpected Duets).
- Glenn Hoddle – Champions on the England’s Glory compilation.
- Jean Sebastien Lavoie – Champions on Je Me Souviendrai, plus an instrumental mix on the single release. He also sang it live on French TV talent show Nouvelle Star.
- Jonathan Coulton – Rock You & Champions on Thing A Week Four.
- Marc Martel:
- Champions & Champions (Reprise) on Thunderbolt & Lightning.
- A piano & vocal version of Champions on A One Take Rhapsody.
- He’s also performed Champions live on acoustic guitar for Mashable & on piano for Studio 10 in Australia, and in concert with The Black Jacket Symphony & The Ultimate Queen Celebration (with Rock You).
- And with tribute band Queen Extravaganza you can see him performing Rock You & Champions in Toronto in 2013, and Rock You & Champions in Kiev in 2019.
- Max Raabe & Palast Orchester –Rock You & Champions, jazzy folk versions on Party Time. His version of Rock You has also been remixed by DJ Alquin.
- Pery Ribeiro – Champions, a bossa nova version on Relaxing Bossa Lounge 15.
- Peter Johansson – Rock You & Champions from Champions Of Rock: Live In Concert. And with Bruno Mitsogiannis there’s also a live version of Champions on the Peter & Bruno album Live På China.
- Richie Stephens – Champions, a reggae version on Come To Jamaica, used in a 2009 Jamaican advert for Mitsubishi.
- Russell Watson – Champions on Anthems: Music To Inspire A Nation.
- Snoop Dogg – Rock You on the compilation Fox Sports Presents Game Time!
- Stan Walker – Rock You on Introducing Stan Walker.
- Sylvain Cossette – Champions on 70s.
- Tim Fischer – Champions, a live performance in English on Walzerdelirium.
- William Hung – Champions, a deliberately off-key version released as a hidden track on Hung For The Holidays, and as a single. It was used in a Game Show Network commercial in America during their 2004 Summer Of Champions campaign.
- Alex Aiono – Rock You, mashed together with his own original song called Her.
- Broadway Sings Queen – Rock You by Stark Sands & Champions by Corey Mach, the latter including a little bit of Princes Of The Universe, from the concert on 17 February 2020.
- Cakra Khan – Champions at the Indonesian Sport Awards 2018.
- Jeff Scott Soto – Rock You at an unknown venue & Champions at the 2004 Queen Convention.
- Riki Putra & Bhinneka Orchestra – Rock You at Artpreneur Theatre, Jakarta, Indonesia on 21 July 2018.
- Robby Valentine – Rock You & Champions live at an unnamed venue, plus performances from Queendag Maassluis in 2011 (Rock You & Champions), Grootebroek in 2011 (Champions with Marlies), and Capsloc in 2014 (Rock You – Fast, Rock You & Champions with Maria Catharina).
- Baptiste Defromont – Rock You, also playing guitar, with bass & drums played by Julien Boulogne.
- Black Pug – Champions, a heavy metal version as a one-man band.
- Fernando Ufret – Champions, playing acoustic guitar.
- Handler Rezei – Champions, playing acoustic guitar.
- Lucas Brar – Champions, in a jazz style on acoustic guitar.
- Marty Ray Project – Rock You
- The Opera Guy – Champions
- Phil Maher – Champions, playing the piano.
- Sandaru Sathsara – Rock You, in a Sri Lankan style.
- Sergio Gutierrez – Champions, as a one-man band.
- Takushi Minagawa – Champions, covering Keiko Lee’s version.
Album & Single Tracks:
- Bishop Briggs – Rock You, a non-album single used in a Rouge Artist advert for Make Up For Ever.
- Carol Jiani – Rock You, a dance version on Superstar.
- Deeva – Rock You, released as a single, with an additional Queens Mix.
- Karen Aoki – Rock You, a jazz version on Voyage.
- Katherine Jenkins – Champions on Home Sweet Home. You can also see her singing it live at The Blue Bell Hotel on 31 May 2014, Glasgow Proms in the Park on 13 September 2014, Willkommen 2015 on 31 December 2014 & The London Palladium on 18 May 2019.
- Keiko Lee – Rock You on The Golden Rule, along with a T-Groove Raw Mix. There’s also a Harp Remix on Another Side Of Keiko Lee, and a live version on Live At Jazz Inn Lovely.
- Linda Ronstadt – Rock You, a softly sung cover on Dedicated To The One I Love.
- Macy Gray – Rock You on the Japanese reissue of The Trouble With Being Myself.
- Manfred Mann – Rock You, a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Lone Arranger. This is a very different interpretation using a female vocalist. It also sounds nothing like the Manfred Mann band, or Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – instead, the South African keyboard player, who was a founding member of those groups, released his own solo albums, of which this was his second.
- Mina – Champions on Del Mio Meglio N. 6 Live, in English.
- Naydet Cr0ss – Champions on the compilation Lounge Acoustic Covers.
- Russian Red – Rock You, a bonus track on Fuerteventura.
- Why Mona – Champions, released as a single.
- Celine Dion – Rock You & The Show Must Go On, during her Taking Chances tour.
- Hwasa – Rock You, preceded by a brief extract of Bohemian Rhapsody, at the 2018 MBC Music Festival.
- Katy Perry & Joe Perry – Rock You at the 2009 Video Music Awards.
- Miley Cyrus – Rock You & Don’t Stop Me Now at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis on 3 April 2021, as part of a performance paying tribute to frontline workers at the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball tournament.
- Polly Ivanova – Rock You, performed live by this child star in front of a stadium crowd in 2017.
- Alissa White-Gluz – Champions, with Alex Skolnick from thrash metal band Testament and other musicians, recorded during lockdown in 2020.
- Alyona Yarushina – Champions
- Anahata – Rock You
- Antique Moon – Rock You, a jazz version.
- Carolina Cristal – Champions, an acoustic cover.
- Ella Monroe – Rock You, using Queen’s backing track.
- Eva Rose & The Bottom Line – Champions
- Jennifer Victor – Champions, with a karaoke backing track.
- Joanna Koike – Champions, with piano.
- Koda Kumi – Rock You, plus a live version on her DVD 10th Anniversary: Fantasia in Tokyo Dome.
- Meli Mizrahi – Champions, with piano.
- Miki Armstrong – Champions, with piano.
- Natalie Aley – Champions, with ukulele by The Ukulele Teacher (who also gives a tutorial). Natalie played Scaramouche in the Russian version of the We Will Rock You musical.
- Bohemian Champions – Rock You & Champions on Queen Greatest Hits.
- The Carstomites – Champions on Ska Flashes.
- Dream Queen – Champions on Killer Queen.
- Holly Wilson – Champions on Queen En Bossa Nova.
- Merqury & Orchestra Opera Leipzig – Champions on Queen Classical II.
- Rajaton & Lahti Symphony Orchestra – Champions on Rajaton Sings Queen.
- Unrisen Queen – Champions on Unrisen Queen.
- Valensia – Rock You on Queen Tribute.
- The History Of The Loser’s Lounge Vol. 18 – No Time For Losers:
- Horse Feathers & Animal Crackers – A Tribute To Queen:
- Killer Queen – A Tribute To Queen:
- Gavin DeGraw – Champions
- Punk Goes Classic Rock:
- Mayday Parade – Champions
- Rhapsody – A Symphonic Spectacular:
- Stone Cold Queen:
- Jack Russell – Rock You (Fast)
- We Will Rock You – A Salute To Queen:
Jamming With Brian (We Are The Champions)
Brian’s micro concerto of Champions during lockdown was an invitation for people to jam along with him, and below are examples of the many people who happily did so. Several videos include Roger’s drums, and as indicated a few include vocals by Adam or Freddie.
- Bands & Groups – Andrea Perrotta (with Freddie’s vocals), Andrei Ilie, Ardie Sarao, Blues Harvest, Cello vs Guitar (with Christian Bruni & LiUK, plus an instrumental featuring Brian & Roger & and an updated version with Adam’s vocals), Christian Bruni, Danny Gomez (with several vocalists, plus a version with vocals by MiG Ayesa and an instrumental backing track), Friends Will Be Queen, Gilberto Marques & Sérgio AB (with Freddie’s vocals), Innuendo, Isao Cato (one-man band, plus a rendition with Morishita Reika & Alya), Krash Karma, Kuky Sanchez & Jeff Scott Soto, Labinot Krasniqi, LSwFF (Live Streams with Famous Friends), Lükő Brothers, Mario Stracuzzi (one-man band), Mark J Adair, Marko Pejčić (with children’s choir & orchestra), Master Stroke, One Vision, Phil Proietti, Pro Tebe (one-man band), Queen’s Guards, Raul Clemente (one-man band), SottoSopra, Spektrowski, Steph & Philippe, VVAA, We Are Champion, We Heart Music & 2B Scuola Verdi Milano Drummers (12-year-old h07s on pianos, xylophone & drums).
- Singers – Aisha, Federica Cardamone, Geng Pasya (with harmonies), Jaroslav Bresky, A Life In Music, Lucas Groch (with a guitar flourish at the end), Marc Martel (created by user Music Live using Marc’s piano & vocal cover), nEscafeX, Rachael Hawnt (plus piano, while Sound Check made a version adding bass & drums), Sahala TPS, Shuba, Steve G. Murdock, VhatoR (plus bass guitar) & Victory Vizhanska.
- Piano – AyseDeniz, David B (with Adam’s vocals), J. Alejandro Martinez, Jon Smith (with vocals), Laura Lawless (with vocals), Magda Nysztal (with vocals), Marcus Trotta (with vocals), MP Music, Peter Andreev, Shane McDonald (with Adam’s vocals), Steven J Robertson & Yuval Salomon.
- Electric Guitar – André Moura, Andrea Spolti (synth guitar with keyboard), Andy Goode, Angelo Delacerna, Antonello Muscherà, Bennerlan, Bonz Nacario, Brian Morua (with Freddie’s vocals, plus a shorter instrumental), Charly Urso & Alex Tamas, Chris Van Duyn, Cristián Castro G, Daniel, David Lauw, Diego Carreño, Dimitri Sardini, Edin Imsirovic, Emre Zengin, Engin AŞCI, Evangelista, Farez Halimy, Gao Xing, Harry (8 years old), Jamie Mallender (with Adam’s vocals), Jose F Teixido, Juani Alfonso (with multi-part harmonies), Kfir Ochaion, Leandro Escandarani, Leandrovai, Manu, Martzivanos Kostas, Mauro Borgogno, Mimmosonic, Myke, Narsar, Nitrostrat2, Paul Marc Tambis, Rado Van, Rafal Tudruj, Recording Chat, Dr Roger Fisher, Sander Lugtigheid, Sheba, Tanguy Kerleroux & Xander Phillips.
- Acoustic Guitar – Colm Cahill.
- Bass Guitar – Bastien Sch, Franco Di Donato (with Adam’s vocals) & Steve Ray Urbanetti.
- Cello – Bruno Belluco & Sugar Cello.
- Violin – Eduardo Gomes.
- Tuba – Mauro Cadei.
- Drums – Eduardo Torres, Kamil Piekos, Kiko Imamura & Santiago Iriarte.
TV Talent Shows
- All Together Now:
- Rachael Russell – Champions – Season 1, Heat 5 on 24 February 2018.
- American Idol:
- America’s Got Talent:
- Czecho Slovakia’s Got Talent:
- Queenie – Champions – Season 1 semi-final in 2010.
- Georgia’s Got Talent:
- David Vashakmadze – Champions – 2020 audition.
- The Sing-Off:
- The Voice US:
- Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine & Blake Shelton – Bohemian Rhapsody / Rock You / Champions – Medley performed by the coaches in the first week of Season 1 in 2011.
- The Voice Australia:
- Frank Lakoudis – Champions – The third live show of Season 3 in 2014.
- Lee Harding – Rock You – The first knockout stage of Season 8 in 2019.
- Karise Eden & The Top 16 – Champions / It’s A Man’s World – Season 8 in 2019. Karise won the first season of the show in 2012.
- Spencer Jones – Champions – The first live show of Season 6 in 2017.
- The Voice Croatia:
- The Voice Ecuador:
- Antonio Guerrero – Champions – Season 2 blind audition in 2016.
- The Voice France:
- The Voice Russia:
- Irina Chuvakova – Rock You – Season 8 blind audition in 2019.
- The Voice Ukraine:
- The Voice Kids France:
- Michel – Rock You – Season 6 Semi-Final.
- The Voice Kids Netherlands:
- Wolf – Champions – Season 8 blind audition in 2019.
- We Are The Stars (Georgia):
- The X Factor UK:
- The X Factor USA:
- Carlito Olivero, Jeff Gutt and Alex & Sierra – Rock You – Season 3 Final on 18 December 2013.
- San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus – Rock You & Champions on SFGMC Does Queen.
- The Ten Tenors – Champions on Wish You Were Here.
- Treorchy Male Voice Choir – Rock You, Champions & Champions (Reprise) on Treorchy Sing Queen.
- Barry Male Voice Choir – Champions
- Boston Gay Men’s Chorus – Rock You & Champions
- Canarinhos de Petrópolis – Champions
- Chicago Children’s Choir – Rock You & Champions
- Choir! Choir! Choir – Champions
- Escola Coral & Orfeó Veus Juntes – Champions
- Mount Rainier High School Choir – Rock You
- Newchoir Toronto – Champions
- Resonanz Children’s Choir – Rock You
- Rock Choir – Rock You
- Young Rainbow Choir – Champions
- Drakensberg Boys Choir – Champions, a special music video in tribute to healthcare workers around the world.
- Rock Choir– Performances of Champions by groups from:
Other Vocal Groups
- Alaa Wardi – Champions, singing multiple parts in a unique Oriental/Arabic style arrangement. He’s also shared a sped-up version and a look behind the scenes.
- BYU Vocal Point – Game Day Medley, includes the Rock You chorus along with the NFL On Fox Theme, Get Ready for This, Chariots Of Fire, Hey Song, Charge & Kemkraft 400.
- Harmonie Lieblos – Rock You
- ITE That Acappella Group – Champions
- Rain Drops – Champions
- Tonköpfe, Willich – Rock You
- UMD Treblemakers – Queen Medley starting with Rock You and ending with Champions.
- Yannie Paul Basical – Rock You, singing multiple parts in his own arrangement.
- Avscvltate – Champions on Gregorian Chants: Songs Of Queen.
- Benzedrine Monks of Santo Domonica – Rock You On Chantmania.
- Chant Masters – Rock You & Champions on Gregorian Queen.
Flash Mobs & Crowds:
- City Rocks – Rock You, featuring 90 drummers.
- Externado University Students – Rock You, singing along with the original track on World English Day 2015.
- Europa Passage Flash Mob, Hamburg, Germany – They Don’t Care About Us / Rock You, a mashup of choruses from the Michael Jackson & Queen hits.
- Galeria Echo Flash Mob, Kielce, Poland – Rock You.
- Musicall Academy Flash Mob – Queen Medley starting with Rock You.
- Ricardo Corona – Champions, in a shopping centre in Cancún, Mexico.
- Unknown Kristoffer – Rock You, sung by a class of students.
- Vancouver Flash Mob – Rock You, a dance group encouraging youth voting in a general election.
- Wallys, Street Performance World Championship, Merrion Square, Dublin, Ireland on 18 June 2011 – Champions & YMCA, by a crowd of 3,872 people who broke the world record for the number of people dressed as Wally from Where’s Wally?, though the record has since been broken.
- Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra – Champions on Dans Les Yeux D’Emilie.
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Rock You & Champions on Symphonic Queen.
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Royal Choral Society – Rock You & Champions on Bohemian Rhapsody: The Music Of Queen.
- Vienna Symphony Orchestra – Rock You on Vienna Symphonic Orchestra Project Vol. 6.
- BBC Philharmonic Orchestra – Champions, chosen by Perry Groves on a special music show called What’s The Score on BBC 5 Live Sport.
- Budapest Jazz Orchestra – Champions
- Cello-Orchester Baden-Württemberg – Champions
- Concord Orchestra – Champions
- Czech National Symphony Orchestra – Champions at Prague Proms 2012.
- Czech Symphonic Orchestra & Singers – Champions
- Doctors Symphonic Band – Champions
- Slinger Middle School 6th Grade Band – Rock You
- Camerata Jovem – Champions, filmed remotely across Rio De Janeiro by all the members of this chamber orchestra during lockdown in 2020.
- Epic Orchestra – Champions, created by Louie Dewy using software to great effect.
- Device Orchestra – Rock You, using typewriters, hair removers and other electronic devices.
- Paweł Zadrożniak – Champions on the Floppotron, a cleverly programmed computer hardware orchestra.
- Cristina Kiseleff – Rock You
- David Garrett – Rock You on his Music album, plus live performances of Rock You & Champions.
- Karolina Protsenko – Champions, a public performance by the child star.
- Kimberly Hope – Rock You & Champions on electric violin, plus a Rock You tutorial.
- Levent & Bernie – Rock You as a duet.
- Lisa Agnelli – Champions
- Luvienne – Rock You on electric violin with a rock band, from her album Prima.
- Marco Rajt – Rock You & Champions, the latter from his album Master Of Violin.
- Martha Psyko – Champions
- Momo – Champions
- Oleksandr Bozhyk – Rock You, a live performance with an orchestra, plus a duet with piano.
- Priscilla Portales & Alex Pier – Rock You duet with guitar.
- Susan Holloway – Champions from her album Dream On.
- Cello vs Guitar – Rock You, plus a live performance.
- Luka Sulic – Champions on cello, as a live duet with Evgeny Genchev on piano.
String Quartet Instrumentals
- Blú Quartet – Champions
- GTA Strings – Champions
- Vitamin String Quartet – Rock You & Champions on The String Quartet Tribute to Queen.
- Wedding String Quartet – Champions.
Electric Guitar Instrumentals
- Eric Calderone – Rock You, a heavy metal version where he adds some cool guitar to the song.
- Kfir Ochaion – Champions
- Marco G. Di Marco – Rock You guitar solo, on his balcony in Italy during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
- Synthest Jiyoung – Rock You, as a full band instrumental, plus a lady called Kita playing it on synth guitar outdoors.
Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals
- Alexandr Misko – Rock You
- Alip Ba Ta – Champions
- Andrew Axenov – Rock You, plus a live performance and a duet with Maxim Yarushkin.
- Billy Watman – Champions
- Carlos Piegari – Champions
- Claus Krogmann – Champions
- Edgar Cruz – Champions, whose arrangement is used by some other guitar players.
- Gabriella Quevedo – Champions
- Jamie Dupuis – Champions on harp guitar.
- Justin Johnson – Rock You
- Kelly Valleau – Rock You & Champions, the former on his album Musica Para La Guitarra.
- Kent Nishimura – Champions
- Leandro Kasan – Champions
- Martin Rauhofer – Rock You
- Naudo – Rock You & Champions
- Neil Browning – Champions, a Gypsy Jazz Django version for people to play along with.
- Sean Song – Rock You & Champions, and a busking rendition of Champions, by this young lad.
- Ton Venhuizen – Champions
- Tono Blasi – Champions
- Yu Watanabe – Recordings of Rock You from 2020 & 2021, and live performances from 2020 & 2021, plus renditions of Champions from 2020 & 2021.
- Adrian Lee – Champions
- Alexander Lioubimenko – Champions
- Alya Baevsky – Champions
- The Bad Plus – Champions, a jazz version on Blunt Object: Live In Tokyo.
- Cole Lam – The child pianist plays Rock You in St Pancras Station & Westfield Stratford City, and Champions at St Pancras Station, London Bus Cafe in Margate & Westfield Stratford City.
- David Saints-Gome – Champions with Queen’s backing track, plus the piano part in isolation.
- Francesco Parrino – Champions
- Jacob Koller – Rock You, a very elaborate jazz version.
- Jazzy Fabbry – Champions
- Kenneth August – Champions
- Lola Astanova – Champions, plus a duet with Hauser on cello.
- Maucoli – Champions
- Mina Krajnović – Champions
- Molotov Cocktail Piano – Rock You & Champions from MCP Performs the Greatest Hits of Queen, Vol. 5.
- Samer Fanek – Champions
- Sangah Noona – Champions
- VK Goes Wild – Rock You & Champions
- Yohan Kim – Champions, a jazzy arrangement.
- There are also organ recitals of Champions by Mark Lloyd, Nick Ten Caat & The Popcantor.
- Alex Karpov – Champions
- Daehan Choi – Champions
- Daniele Vitale – Champions
- Ismael Dorado – Rock You & Champions, plus live performances of Champions with his band & with vocalist Momo Cortés.
- JK Sax – Rock You & Champions, the latter with piano.
- Nigel McGill – Champions
- The Saxists – Champions on Simply Saxophone.
- Buckingham Palace Guards – Champions, a brief snippet shot by a tourist.
- Canadian Brass – Champions on their Champions album.
- Olympic Brass – Rock You & Champions
- Queen’s College London Brass Ensemble – Champions, a virtual performance during lockdown in 2020.
- Seb Skelly – Champions as a one-man quintet.
- Tokyo Brass Style – Rock You in a jazzy 8-minute arrangement on Brasta Party Explosion!!
- Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra – Rock You (Slow & Fast versions) and Champions on This Is Brass: Queen.
- William Fairey Band – Champions on Fairey’s Play Pop.
Other Wind Instrumentals
- Alex And Music – Rock You on clarinet.
- Chris Castellanos – Rock You on French horn.
- Practice Together – Rock You & Champions, playing multiple parts to form a trumpet ensemble.
- Swarnim Maharjan – Rock You, a flute version with percussion by Devid Maharjan & Nimesh Kapali.
- Sankt Gallen Tattoos, Switzerland – Rock You with Scotland The Brave & Rock You with You Raise Me Up by the International Massed Band with bagpipes and drums.
- Gerry Phillips – Rock You & Champions performed by a manualist (an expert in tuneful hand farting!).
Album & Single Tracks:
- Crazy Frog – We Are The Champions (Ding A Dang Dong) – Released in honour of the 2006 FIFAf World Cup. It went straight to number 1 in France for 5 weeks. In the UK chart it entered at number 50, then peaked at number 11 in its second week. Other versions of the track included a Club Mix, a Club Dub Mix & a House Mix. There’s also a Director’s Cut of the video, which is exactly the same as the original, except the frog’s phallus is visible.
- Excision & Downlink – Rock You, plus a live performance. Includes a simple remix of Queen’s original song before switching to random techno.
- Forever Young – Rock You (Gabry Ponte Remix)
- Snitzer & McCoy – Rock You, a robotically sung cover released as a single. There’s also an Electronic Erection Long Mix & We Will Mix, but both are instrumental with no real connection to Queen’s song.
- Queen Dance Traxx 1:
- Queen Of Rock – An Electronic Tribute:
- Tie Your Mix Down:
- A Chill Out Tribute To Queen:
- We Will Rock You – Adrenaline Dance Of York (hip hop group), Dance Sensation Inc. (tap dancing Queen medley), FitDance Life, Hainstructor Henry Arcila (Zumba group), Hamamatsu Higashi High School Dance Club, Muts Kids, Perlice, Pistoia Country Dancers, Rock Urbano, Swiss Army (marching in the snow), Yvan Leonard (line dancers) & Zumba Danscenter Mälardalen (in a medley of upbeat songs).
- We Are The Champions –Cadance Jazz & Pilates (a medley with Play The Game), JANPAS Dance Team, Pink Sapphires, Zumba SPB
Bardcore (Medieval Style):
- Carlos Díaz Ballesta – Rock You by a Freddie Mercury impersonator, on his balcony during the first Covid lockdown in 2020, miming to the audio from Wembley Stadium in 1986.
- Lego Rock Band – Rock You & Champions by Lego avatars in the video game.
- Team USA – Champions, a lip dub video by Olympians and Paralympians.
8-Bit & 16-Bit:
- PipeFrit005 – Full album
- 8-Bit Misfits – Rock You & Champions
- 8 Bit Universe- Rock You & Champions plus an alternate mix of Champions
- Chiptune Planet – Champions
- Freddie May – Champions
- Rock Bit – Champions
- Tomi Weissbuch – Rock You & Champions
- Meme Music – Rock You & Champions (Sega Mega Drive remixes) and Champions (NES remix)
- Baby Music From I’m In Records – Rock You & Champions
- Billboard Baby Lullabies – Rock You & Champions
- Lullaby Baby Trio – Rock You & Champions
- Lullaby Rock! – Rock You & Champions
- Rockabye Baby! – Rock You & Champions
- Sweet Little Band – Rock You & Champions
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star – Rock You & Champions
- Musicbox Cover – Champions
- R3 Music Box – Rock You & Champions
That concludes my epic roundup of the 2 most epic tracks on the album, clearly illustrating the huge impact they’ve had. Those tracks will be part of everyone’s lives for a very long time to come. So I hope you enjoyed looking through all of that.
Check out my Queen & Covers playlists to explore the official videos, live performances, rarities, and other versions of the songs, which I’ll update in the future as I become aware of new videos. And if there are others I should check out and consider adding to these or any of my Queen playlists, do let me know.
Next time I’ll go through all the other tracks on the album, none of which had as big an impact as the first two songs of course, but there are still plenty of gems there nonetheless. So I’ll see you for that soon!