Following News Of The World, an album of raw energy that spawned the mega-hits We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions, on top of their previous successes, was always going to be a very tall order for Queen. But, as always, they weren’t deterred by that, and opted to explore a variety of musical styles on their 7th album (though not including jazz itself as the title might suggest). And it didn’t do them any harm, as the LP peaked at Number 2 in the UK charts (held off the top spot by the Grease soundtrack), and Number 6 on the US Billboard Chart, going Platinum in both countries.
Overall the album perhaps isn’t as stunning as some of their previous work, but only because of the incredibly high bar they’d set themselves, and it’s still really good in its own right. For a start, it gave us their well-loved songs Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race and Don’t Stop Me Now, a trio that makes it worth the price of entry alone (although surprisingly the latter wasn’t a big hit to begin with). And the other ten tracks are an enjoyable mixture too, with some relatively obscure gems amongst them as usual.
The heavy criticism it received in the music press at the time was certainly unwarranted, with the band even being described as “fascist” and “creeps” with “polluting ideas” by Rolling Stone reviewer Dave Marsh. But it was often fashionable for music critics to bash the band, and reviewers tended to be thrown off guard whenever Queen tried something different (which was always), not knowing how to react to it and simply not ‘getting it’. Queen’s humour and sense of fun often went over journalists’ heads.
Hindsight has been kinder though, with retrospective reviews often being more favourable, such as Loudersound ranking it as their 4th best album, and Rolling Stone magazine admitting they were wrong. It is now rightly acknowledged that the album is rather underrated, as it’s never had as much attention as some of their earlier work.
And so, as the latest instalment in my Queen At 50 series, this post is my personal run-through of all the tracks on Side 1 of the album, including the usual mixture of alternate versions, live performances, covers and more. Freddie Mercury dominates here, with 4 of the 6 songs written by him, while Brian and John contribute one each. Then in my next post I’ll share my review of Side 2. I hope you enjoy!
The album was recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland and Super Bear in Nice, France. The move was partly for tax reasons, but Freddie also loved Montreux anyway, including the Montreux Jazz Festival. So much so that he decided to buy Mountain Studios on behalf of the group, as well as the Mountain View apartment for himself overlooking Lake Geneva. A bronze statue of Freddie has stood by the lake since 1996 to reflect his love for the area, and is constantly adorned with flowers, poems, drawings, photos, etc by visiting Queen fans. I’d love to take a visit one day. The band also brought back producer Roy Thomas Baker for one last time, who had worked on their first 4 albums.
The album and the associated Jazz tour (which resulted in an album of its own, Live Killers, from its European shows), was then launched with one of the band’s lavish parties on 31 October 1978, held at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans. 80 reporters and 52 EMI Managing Directors were among the hundreds of guests in attendance. The partygoers and the entertainers covered a huge range of nationalities, ethnicities, sexualities, body shapes and sizes, etc. Everyone was welcome at Queen’s parties as long as they had a good time, Freddie always made absolutely sure of that.
According to Queen themselves, along with UDiscover, Classic Rock magazine and various other sources, the many unusual forms of entertainment included dwarves covered in meat (surprising anyone who tried to take a serving!), naked female mud-wrestlers, fire-eaters, jazz and steel bands, Zulu and voodoo dancers, transsexual strippers, drag artists, unicyclists, and a fat nude lady who would smoke cigarettes from a rather intimate area. Several bars on Bourbon Street reportedly had to close for the night because all of their entertainment was taken. The rumours about dwarves carrying trays of cocaine on their heads have been dismissed as nonsense by some of those involved, but nevertheless it was clearly an expensive and excessive night of delightful debauchery, with lots of food, drink, nudity, music and extreme entertainment. The album may simply have been called Jazz, but Queen knew how to live the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle!
The tracks on Side 1 of the album are as follows. Click their names to jump to the reviews:
You can see all the videos I mention in this post 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!
Written by Freddie Mercury
In this rather unusual opening track, it sounds like Freddie is making a Muslim call to prayer during his powerful a cappella intro, before it becomes a catchy rocker with some nice piano and guitar work. The lyrics cannot be fully translated and understood, so it’s not clear whether there’s a deep meaning to the song, or if Freddie’s just messing around, or some combination of both. But he sings powerfully in a mixture of English, Arabic and Persian, including some apparently made-up or obscure phrases. And it clearly ties in to his Parsi background, as he was born in Zanzibar to parents with western Indian roots who practised Zoroastrianism.
It was released as a single in 1979 in Germany & Spain (with Dead On Time as the B-side), along with Bolivia & Yugoslavia (accompanied by In Only Seven Days), but in no other countries.
The song was performed in full at several concerts between 1979 and 1981, with Freddie at the piano after his powerfully sung intro. There are no official professional recordings of it unfortunately, but some of the reasonable quality bootlegged examples include:
- Hammersmith Odeon, London on 26 December 1979
- Oakland Coliseum Arena, California on 14 July 1980
- St. Paul Civic Center, Minnesota on 14 September 1980 – Possibly the only video footage of the band performing the whole song, shot by a crowd member, whereas the other examples in this list are audio only.
- Rosemont Horizon, Illinois on 19 September 1980
- Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 12, 13, 16 & 17 & 18 February 1981 – During the intro of the 13 February performance, Freddie instructs the crowd to “sing in fuckin’ tune!”
- José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina on 28 February 1981
Meanwhile at various other concerts, Freddie’s a cappella intro served as the lead-in to other songs, for example:
- Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany, on 2 February 1979 – Sung instead of the intro section of Bohemian Rhapsody, available on the Live Killers album.
- Pavillon de Paris, France on 1 March 1979 – Before If You Can’t Beat Them.
- Cidade do Rock, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 12 January 1985 – Leading into Hammer To Fall.
- Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan on 11 May 1985 – Introducing Hammer To Fall, released on the video We Are The Champions: Final Live In Japan.
- Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria on 21 July 1986 – Preceding Who Wants To Live Forever?
There’s also a very rare performance of Brian May singing the intro, as a lead-in to Back To The Light, during a show at Wildparkstadion, Karlsruhe, Germany on 22 June 1993.
There are a fair number of varied covers for this song.
- Music Videos:
- Other Group Performances:
- Solo Performances:
- Aib Mercury – With a backing track
- Lucie Halamíková – At the piano.
- Michal Šeps – To prove not everyone can pull it off, this is a cringeworthy performance from the talent show Česko Slovenská SuperStar (a Czech-Slovak version of Pop Idol), where he randomly repeats Mustapha, Ibrahim and Allah throughout, without attempting the other lyrics.
- Instrumental Covers:
Written by Brian May
This classic and catchy rock song is a very enjoyable and cheeky celebration of the larger lady. It did cause a little wave of controversy among a few music critics and other people who felt it was sexist or objectified women – but Queen didn’t intend any harm by it, and the overwhelming majority of Queen fans love it.
Brian May, who shares lead vocals with Freddie on the track, once explained: “It brought us a lot of flak, but it’s a piece of fun. It was meant to be very complimentary, I mean, that’s the way I certainly felt about it.” And in an interview with Mojo Magazine in 2008, he said: “On the face of it, it’s a heterosexual song because it’s called ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, but I was totally aware of Freddie’s proclivities and the fact he was going to sing it. Plus, some of the inspiration for the song came from stuff that I saw in Freddie’s life as well as my own. So it’s actually not so much of a heterosexual song as you might think. It’s a sort of pansexual song. There are so many ways you can take it.”
The track was released as a double A-side single with Bicycle Race, because both songs make reference to each other – in Fat Bottomed Girls, Freddie declares “Get on your bikes and ride!”, whilst in Bicycle Race the band sing “Fat bottomed girls, they’ll be riding today”. The single reached number 11 in the UK (spending 12 weeks in the chart, 4 of them in the top 20) and number 24 in the US – so not as successful as some of their other singles, but still a fairly decent result.
It’s interesting how there are sections during the first 90 seconds of the full track where the guitar is focused purely on the left channel, which is of course most noticeable when listening with headphones. It’s an odd effect, but it makes the complete mix feel all the more powerful when it kicks in seconds later.
When the album version of the song was remastered by EMI, it suffered from a tape glitch, where a pop or click sound can be heard at the start of the second line in the intro. This appeared on the 1994 CD release of Jazz, the Queen Rocks compilation and on the B-side of the Let Me Live CD single. The anomaly was finally repaired for the album’s 2011 reissue, which I was glad about as it had always niggled me when hearing the song!
Alternate Edits & Remixes
The single edit (included on Greatest Hits in the UK and as a bonus track on the 2011 reissue of the Jazz album), is shorter than the album version by almost a minute, trimming a lot of the great guitar sections to get to the vocals faster, and fading out before the end. It’s very effective for those who want to get straight into the meat of the song, and works better for radio airplay for that reason. But the album version is undoubtedly better, as the additional guitar work is of course great.
Other versions that have been released include:
- Instrumental – This slightly trimmed version of the single edit, retaining the backing vocals in the choruses, appeared on Greatest Karaoke Hits.
- Brian Malouf Remix – This was included on the 1991 Hollywood Records reissue of the album. It doesn’t mess around with the track too much, just adding some minor effects to the vocals, guitar and drums. It’s the outro section that’s of most interest, however, because it features additional vocals from Freddie that aren’t on the original version, which were either unused parts from the multitracks or have been lifted from an alternate take.
- Organized Konfusion Remix – A remix by a New York hip hop duo, included on Basic Queen Bootlegs, a very rare Hollywood Records promo CD that never had a full release in the end. While it appears to use some alternate vocal takes by Freddie, giving it some level of interest, it’s ruined by the rapping and the hip hop beat. The remix also includes samples from We Will Rock You and Bicycle Race.
The multitracks for this song that have been shared online consist of the usual elements. The vocals consist of powerful delivery from Freddie as always, and there are nice harmonies in the chorus, while Brian gives a solid and exciting performance on guitar (and this is one of only a few Queen songs to be played with Drop-D guitar tuning). Roger’s steady percussion is the least exciting track, as it’s very basic until it gets to the chorus, and doesn’t have much of major interest thereafter, apart from a few nice fills. But John’s bass is the catchy, rhythmic, hidden gem amongst it all, as it gets so buried in the final mix you barely pay it attention, which is a shame as it’s very cool with nice variations throughout. There are also some fascinating alternate vocals and guitar parts out there as well.
The music video for this song was filmed at the Dallas Convention Centre in Texas on 28 October 1978, during rehearsals for the 1978 North America & Canada tour. With a bare-chested Freddie in shiny PVC trousers taking centre stage, the band play under their huge ‘Pizza Oven’ lighting rig from the tour, so named as it gave off a lot of heat.
The video uses the single edit of the song, and has been included on a few different releases, ending with either a fade-out (on Greatest Flix & Greatest Karaoke Hits) or the closing drums from the album version (on the US-only Greatest Hits VHS, Queen Rocks & the Greatest Video Hits 1 DVD). The Queen Rocks video also mixes in footage of mud wrestling from Magic Years Volume 2.
Brian and Roger give an audio commentary on the GVH1 DVD, where they criticise how it was directed and edited, as Brian and John don’t get much coverage and it feels very ‘static’ overall, and they explain how the band didn’t have much control over the video production process.
The song was, and still is, a fabulous rocker live on stage, and Queen performed it between 1978 and 1982. Freddie does a great job on lead vocals as usual, while Brian and Roger provide lower and higher harmonies respectively during the choruses. This is a slightly different arrangement to the studio recording, where it’s actually Brian who sings the lead vocals during the chorus. Freddie often dedicates the song to the girls in the audience, or tells them that it’s about “great big tits and a great big ass”, eliciting a cheer from the crowd as he gives his own backside a slap.
Examples of their performances include:
- Pavillon de Paris, France on 27 February 1979 & 1 March 1979– After the song was featured in the American Tour section of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, the full Paris performance from 27 February 1979 was a surprise and welcome inclusion on the soundtrack album, the first of 3 consecutive nights at the venue.
- José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina on 1 March 1981
- Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, São Paulo, Brazil on 20 March 1981 – Broadcast live on Brazilian TV. Freddie introduces the song by saying it’s about “great big tits and a great big ass”, and the slapping of his own backside draws an emphatic cheer from the crowd.
- Milton Keynes Bowl on 5 June 1982 – Released on Queen On Fire – Live At The Bowl, and as a bonus video on the 2011 iTunes reissue of Jazz.
Brian May Solo
Brian included the song on the setlist for his 1998 Another World tour. There are only rough quality bootlegs available, but they’re still an enjoyably rare chance to hear him leading the song he wrote.
- Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium on 20 September 1998
- Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, Germany on 3 October 1998
- DK Lensoveta, St. Petersburg, Russia on 6 November 1998
Queen + Paul Rodgers
From 2005-2008 the song was included on the band’s collaborative tours with Paul Rodgers, and it suits his singing style. This is also where Brian starts to play around on the guitar more for this song, extending the intro and outro sections as he sees fit. Examples of their performances include:
- 46664 Concert, Fancourt Country Club & Golfing Estate, George, South Africa on 19 March 2005
- Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield on 9 May 2005 – Released on Return Of The Champions. Live versions have also been officially issued on the 2005 Super Live In Japan and 2008 Live In Ukraine releases.
- Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad, Madrid, Spain on 25 October 2008 – I have the audio of this from one of their European downloads for that year, along with another performance from Berlin.
- Belgrade Arena, Serbia on 29 October 2008
- Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo, Santiago, Chile on 19 November 2008
Queen + Adam Lambert
The song has continued to be a hit with audiences during the Adam Lambert gigs, with examples including:
- Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev, Ukraine on 30 June 2012 – Being the first show of their first tour, Adam’s performance is still rough around the edges here, with occasional mistiming or mixing up of the lyrics.
- Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, Russia on 3 July 2012 – Adam has a better grip on the song in this second show from the tour, having clearly recognised his mistakes. His overall performance and confidence continues to improve as he does more concerts with the band.
- iHeartRadio Music Festival, MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas, Nevada on 20th September 2013 – Featuring guest stars Nate and Jack from fun., who joined them for Somebody To Love and this song.
- iHeartRadio Theater, Los Angeles on 16 June 2014 – From an hour-long concert that was streamed live on the Yahoo! Screen & iHeartRadio websites, before the band started their world tour 3 days later.
- Super Sonic Festival, QVC Marine Field, Chiba, Tokyo, Japan on 17 August 2014 – Released on Live In Japan.
- Central Hall Westminster, London on 31 December 2014 – From the band’s special New Year’s Eve show, Rock Big Ben Live, broadcast on BBC One.
- Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield on 27 February 2015
- Rock In Rio, New City of Rock, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 18 September 2015
- Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 22 September 2016
- The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California on 27 June 2017
- Glasgow Green, Scotland on 6 July 2018
- The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California on 19 July 2019
- American Airline Center, Dallas on 23 July 2019 – Released on Live Around The World. There are a couple of trims in the version on the audio CD, to cut down Brian’s guitar jam and the closing applause, but the Blu-ray contains the full version. The performance is special because it features the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who don’t match the title of the song but are great fun to watch. It was naturally a very special experience for them, as discussed on their website by Director Kelli Finglass and Choreographer Judy Trammell.
- Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia on 3 August 2019 – With the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders.
- Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand on 7 February 2020
The catchy, feel-good nature of this song has inspired a myriad of artists to cover it in a variety of styles.
We Will Rock You Musical
- Musical Dome, Cologne, Germany – Released on the 2005 German Cast Recording, but performed in English, this is the only time the song has appeared on any official soundtrack album from the musical. It begins by playing the opening vocals of Queen’s original track, before the character of Killer Queen takes over, with minor adaptations to the lyrics to suit her character and the story.
- Glee Cast – Performed the song in Season 2, Episode 12: Silly Love Songs in 2011, and live on stage in New Jersey for the 3D Concert Movie. In addition, a complete studio recording was released on Glee: The Music, Volume 5, mirroring the structure of Queen’s original album version with the extra guitar parts.
- Jeffster – A cover by fictional duo Jeffrey Barnes & Lester Patel from the US TV series Chuck, released on the show’s official soundtrack album. The actors Scott Krinsky & Vik Sahay also performed the song in character at San Diego Comic-Con in 2009.
- Al Murray’s Happy Hour – On this comedy chat show, musical guests would join the host to cover a Queen song at the end of each episode. The song was first performed by The Feeling in Series 1, Episode 2 – for which there isn’t a clip available, but you can see them performing it live at the University of East Anglia on 16 February 2007, the first of many times they would play the song during their tour that year. The song was then played again on Al Murray’s show by Bryan Adams in Series 2, Episode 9.
- The Daily Politics – The song made a completely unintended appearance during an episode of this topical discussion show in 2014, when BBC political editor Nick Robinson‘s phone went off, revealing it to be his ringtone!
The song has also been featured or referenced on TV and in movies in various other ways, including:
- Father Ted – Series 3 Episode 4 (The Mainland) – Father Noel Furlong (played by Graham Norton) can be heard singing the song whilst trapped beneath a pile of rocks in The Very Dark Caves, having brought them down with his loud screeching. His character also gave a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody earlier in the episode.
- My Name is Earl – Season 2, Episode 17: The Birthday Party – When Earl is mocking Joy during her pregnancy.
- Nip/Tuck – Season 3, Episode 11: Abby Mays – During a scene of lower-body liposuction.
- Super Size Me – Used as the opening theme for this 2004 documentary.
- This Is Spinal Tap – The track itself isn’t featured in this 1984 movie, but Michael McKean has cited it as the inspiration for the song Big Bottom.
- Samy Fat Home Hair Colour – An adaptation of the song was used for this commercial.
The song has proven to be very popular with country and bluegrass musicians, and is sometimes much faster than the original. The most notable covers have been performed by 2 groups in particular:
- The Band Perry – An enjoyably catchy version with nice harmonies, followed by an interview with the group about why they chose to cover the song. They also performed it live on many occasions, including
- The Late Show with David Letterman on 1 April 2013 – Coupled with Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, as part of an appearance to promote their Pioneer album (on which neither song appears).
- Les Nortunes with Georges Lang, RTL in December 2013 – During an appearance on the French radio station.
- ACM Music City Jam & CMT Party – In Nashville, Tennessee in 2011.
- Charleston Civic Center, West Virginia in 2013
- Caesars Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2014
- Florida Strawberry Festival in 2016
- Hayseed Dixie – On their album A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love, and an even faster live performance on the compilation album Cool As Folk. You can also see them performing it at:
Other country versions include:
- Adam Brand & The Outlaws – On their self-titled album.
- The Amorettes
- The Andy ‘n Bobby Bluegrass Band – A duo having a fun sing-song with guitar while driving.
- Dr Bluegrass & The Illbilly 8 – On Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. You can also see a live session at Field View Festival 2017, and other live performances from Brighton venues Dover Castle & Prince Albert.
- Eskimo Brothers – On Two, plus you can see a live performance from Memphis and a couple from Nashville here & here.
- The Fargone Beauties – On Dark Side Of The Moo.
- The Flea Market Hustlers – On Live at Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s.
- The Fruity Ukuladies – A trio on ukuleles.
- Kevin Fowler – On High On The Hog. He’s also performed it in concert, for example in Tennessee in 2010.
- The Lady Crooners
- Livy, Matt, & Sammy – An acoustic version on American’s Got Talent in 2014.
- The MacAbilly’s – On Backwater Jam.
- The Mama Bluegrass Band
- Midday Sun – On Wild One: Country Hits Playlist.
- Naked & Shameless – On Dig Big.
- Paul Galaxy And The Galactix – On Cross The Line.
- Remember Monday – Released as a single, plus a behind-the-scenes video of the group in rehearsals and the studio.
- Salt Creek
- Woman – Plus a 40s-style version with the RAF Squadronaires at West End Heroes 2013.
- Yankee & The Foreigners
Rock & Metal Covers
- Marc Martel:
- Marc Martel & Ultimate Queen Celebration – Released as a single.
- Duet with Queen’s version – Clever edited by Youtuber Dany Fil.
- Live in Hammersmith (with Queen Extravaganza) & Tulsa (at Hard Rock Hotel).
- In the description for his version, Marc notes: “It is one of the more polarizing songs in the Queen catalog, from my own experience. It’s almost always included in the set list, no matter where I play with a band. If we are overseas – anywhere overseas – it goes over like some lesser-known deep cut, even in Queen’s homeland of England. But the moment we sing that harmonic intro in the USA, everyone is on their feet and ready to party. I guess maybe we have the American Food & Drug Administration for that. Thanks, FDA! America, especially, loves Fat Bottomed Girls, and they are none too shy to show it. Always a good time. Thanks to Brian May for penning a good ol’ fashioned down and dirty barn-burner!”
- Album Tracks:
- Adam Thompson – On Bohemian Rhapsody (Live In Concert).
- Antigone Rising – On the compilation Killer Queen.
- Anton Botha Band – On Born to be Wild.
- Avid All Stars – On A Tribute to Queen.
- The Beatlesøns – A rock polka version on Goin’ Home.
- The Bohemian Champions – On their Queen Greatest Hits album.
- Bracia – On Tribute to Queen.
- Flies On The Square Egg – On Tributo a Queen.
- Hasnbear Music – On Origins, Vol. 1.
- Heads Or Tales – On Balance of Crime.
- The Hit Co. – On A Tribute To Queen, Vol. 1, plus an instrumental version.
- Jack Brag – On the compilation Horse Feathers & Animal Crackers.
- Jackson Firebird – On Shake the Breakdown.
- Joe Hurley – On the compilation Loser’s Lounge Vol. 18: No Time for Losers.
- Joe Lynn Turner – On the compilation Stone Cold Queen.
- KnightsBridge – On We Will Rock You (Music Inspired by Queen).
- Leo Moracchioli – On Leo Metal, Vol. 30.
- Peter Johansson & Jenna Lee-James – On his live album Champions Of Rock.
- Steve Lieberman (The Gangsta Rabbi) – On Last of the Jewish Pirates.
- YouRock – On Estudio 2010.
- Tribute Concerts:
- Flash Harry – From a 2017 Queen Convention. You can also see an earlier example of a live performance from Dublin in October 2009.
- Jeff Scott Soto – From a 2003 tribute concert. You can also see him performing the song in Rio de Janeiro in 2008, with Queen Nation in 2009 & acoustically with Michael Sweet Oz Fox in 2013.
- Johan Boding – With Night of Queen Band & Choir in Sweden in 2017.
- Killer Queen – From a 2015 concert.
- Mazz Murray & Kerry Ellis – From The Music of Queen: A Rock & Symphonic Spectacular in 2009.
- Queen Symphonic – Live in Liverpool in February 2020.
- Robby Valentine – At the 2012 Dutch Queen Convention.
- Rockville – Posted in early 2020.
- We Are Champion – Live in Stockton in April 2019 & Leeds in August 2019.
- Other rock covers have been performed by The Brodys (a punk version), Cello vs Guitar (with Christian Bruni & LiUK during lockdown in 2020), Cold Hell, James Payze (one-man band), Jeremy Katz (one-man band), King (Queen tribute band), Last Men On Earth, One Last Shot, Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press, The Second Hand Band, Second Hand Buzz Band, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Small Town Titans & Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (A mashup with We Will Rock You).
- On American Idol, the song has been performed by Bucky Covington (Season 5, with supportive opening remarks from Brian May & Roger Taylor), Casey Abrams & Jack Black (Season 10 Finale), Laine Hardy (Season 17 Top 8) and Phillip Phillips (Season 11 Top 3).
- There have also been live performances by rock students from Princeton School in 2015, Oak Park in 2016, Chicago in 2017, Detroit in 2017, St Louis in 2017 & Harlow’s in 2019.
Other Song Styles
- Acoustic versions by Acoustic Power, Ante Cinotti & Ante Milan, Anthony Fallacaro, Dave Witherow, Drake White, Ely Jaffe (on Southern Rock Sessions), The Fine Lads (Irish style), The Flexcats (on Fresh), GABE, George Possley, Grant Keelan, Kiriniji (on Omnibus), Lainey Wilson, Oniric, Steve Acho & Steve Taylor (On I’m With Steve), Wes Smith & Zak Ward.
- On piano, Jacob Tolliver sings a great rock ‘n’ roll version in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis, while Meli Mizrahi sings a ballad cover.
- Jazzy versions by C. Kögel’s Queen Jazz Live (lasting nearly 12 minutes), Keri René Fuller (live at Broadway Sings Queen), The Leisure Kings (on Total Loungification), Shirazz (on Enjoy Responsibly) and Sugarpie & The Candymen (on their self-titled debut album)
- A ska version by The Carstomites on their album Ska Flashes.
- Choral versions by London City Voices (live in 2019), Scala & Kolacny Brothers (on Solstice) & 613 Casual Choir (live in their local pub).
A Cappella Groups
- After Jack
- All Access
- The Binghamton Crosbys – On their album Songs in the Key of Nishole, plus you can see live performances from 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2015.
- The Bishop’s University Chamber Choir
- Brick City Singers
- Broad Street Line
- Columbia Vocal Quartet
- The Cottontown Chorus – Also here.
- The Friars – Also here.
- Grains of Time – A live mashup with Come Together by The Beatles in Spring 2011, and another example from Autumn 2011. A studio version was included on their album Shades of Grain.
- Hofstra Dutchmen – A mashup with Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard, plus live performances from 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019 & 2021.
- The Humber Harmony Chorus – Also here.
- InPulse – On their 2006 live album, combining it with Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. You can also watch a live performance.
- JHU Mental Notes
- Megafon – There’s also a studio recording on their album Mluv se mnou.
- The Michigan G-Men
- The Oggymen – On their album One Morning In May.
- On The Rocks – A mash-up with Feel Like Makin’ Love by Bad Company.
- Out Of The Blue – On their album Music Up!. You can also see performances from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2006 & 2012.
- The Pikers – Live in 2015, plus another performance that mixes the song with Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot.
- Potsdam Pointercounts – On their album Serious Suggestions Only.
- Sonny Vande Putte – A solo multi-tracked barbershop quartet
- Texas Songhorns – A mash-up with Big Girl You Are Beautiful by Mika, and another performance adding in Larger Than Life by The Backstreet Boys.
- UCSC Hightones
- UNC Achordants – Also here & here.
- University of Crete Choir – In a medley with The Show Must Go On.
- Upside Downers Quartet
- Brass & marching bands including Abbey Brass Band, Brass Fest UK (online during lockdown), Dodworth Colliery MW Brass Band, Emley Brass Band, Florida State University Marching Chiefs (on Go, Noles, Go!), Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band, HM Royal Marines Band of Scotland, Household Cavalry, Iserlohner Stadtmusikanten, The Marching Pioneers of UW-Platteville (also here), Neo Brassband, Ohio State University Marching Band (also here), Queen’s Royal Guard (outside Buckingham Palace), RCHS Silver Regiment Marching Band (starting a medley that includes Bicycle Race & Bohemian Rhapsody), Silliman University Band (online during lockdown), University of Texas Longhorn Band (on To the Top of the Stadium), University of Washington Husky Marching Band (on Let’s Groove), Worcester City Brass (online during lockdown, plus concert performances from 2017 & 2018) and York Railway Institute Band.
- A rock cover by The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, with a video featuring children from Haddington Schools.
- An electric guitar performance by Cesar All Guitar
- Acoustic guitar versions by Justin Johnson & Kelly Valleau.
- An orchestral arrangement byThe Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on their album Symphonic Queen.
- String arrangements by Aramis String Quartet (on Tribute To Queen) & Vitamin String Quartet (on VSQ Performs Queen)
- Apologetix – Bad Foreign Girls – A religious parody on their album That’s Too Bad.
- Brad & Alysha – Beer Bellied Dads
- Hillbilly Jay – Fat Body Girls
- There are popular mashups of the song with Come Together by The Beatles, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika.
- There are also other remixes by Costa Music, DJ Topcat (with rapping), Mr Deeznutz & DJ Molo (reggae style), Red Spektrum, Snybone (with saxophone) & Z-Trip featuring MURS (with rapping).
- Jeff Ross – A lip-synced version on Lip Sync Battle in Brazil.
- Niall & Emma’s Wedding – An unusual but fun choice for their first dance!
- Cin City Burlesque – An enjoyably evocative routine by Ginger LeSnapps, Sugar Plum & Lucky Charms.
Written by Freddie Mercury
This is a beautiful little ballad, its theme very obvious from the title. It was released in April 1979, as the 4th and final single from the album, in the USA, Canada, New Zealand & Brazil, with Fun It as the B-side. It was also the only single they released in the USSR, where the flipside was Don’t Stop Me Now. It didn’t get anywhere in the charts though, and they never performed it live either. So it is one of their lesser-known, underrated pieces, which is a shame.
The song has lovely vocals, harmonies and piano playing by Freddie, and also features a nice sitar-like sound on the acoustic guitar, as Brian explained in the January 1983 issue of Guitar Player in the US: “I have a very old, cheap Hairfred which makes that buzzy sound that’s on Jealousy [Jazz] and White Queen [Queen II]. I’ve never seen another one like it. I made it sound like a sitar by taking off the original bridge and putting a hardwood bridge on. I chiseled away at it until it was flat and stuck little piece of fretwire material underneath. The strings just very gently lay on the fretwire, and it makes that sitar-like sound.”
Brian was slightly misquoted there though, as it later transpired he was actually referring to a Hallfredh guitar, which on his website he later confirmed he also used on The Night Comes Down (on their debut album).
However, that clarification is minor compared to a significant correction to the track itself. The original release of the song had the bass drum part accidentally omitted, and the error was only rectified decades later on the 2011 reissue of the album, along with the compilation Deep Cuts: Volume 2. In all other respects the song remains the same. I still have my copy of the 1994 CD release, and in comparison to the 2011 remaster I can clearly hear the difference.
There is also an early instrumental take that was played at the 20th International Fan Club Convention in Prestatyn, which is a different piano, bass and drum track to the final mix. It’s interesting to hear the song in a slightly different form like this, including an unused bridge that partly resurfaced in Play The Game, provided you can put up with the incessant “Property of Queen Productions” watermark they always add at these events.
There are a small selection of covers out there, including:
- Live performances by Robby Valentine at the 2011 & 2012 Dutch Queen Conventions, and tribute band aQustic.
- Acoustic versions with piano and/or guitar by Camilla Fioretti, Guntur Andaya, Lucie & The Diamonds (plus lead singer Lucie Halamíková singing a solo version at the piano), Sensory Crash, Tony Regent & Yayafara (an acoustic mashup with a song called Kosong by Dewa 19).
- A contemporary jazz version by Alban Darche & Le Gros Cube on their Queen Bishop tribute album.
- A live vocal performance by Rafi Galsa, in the final of The Voice Kids Indonesia in 2016, from which he was eliminated.
- Piano instrumentals by David Saints-Gome, Ilmo The Dude, Jackie Perks, Jazzy Fabbry, Otmar Binder & Yumeddie, and viola with piano by Rie Altiste.
- Acoustic guitar instrumentals by Bonny Krist and Carlos Bonell & The Lara Symphony Orchestra (on his Queen Guitar Rhapsodies album).
- An extended jazz instrumental by C. Kögel’s Queen Jazz Live.
Written by Freddie Mercury
Note: Due to the nudity in the promo video shoot, some videos here are age-restricted on Youtube, meaning you need to be over 18 and signed in to a Youtube account in order to view them.
Another of Queen’s classic hits, Freddie was inspired to write this entertaining, lively, silly song when he saw the Tour de France passing by his hotel in Montreux. It was released as a double A-side single with Fat Bottomed Girls, with both tracks making reference to each other, as explained earlier for that song.
Bicycle Race is a complex composition as well, including wonderful vocal and guitar harmonies, a solo of bicycle bells, unusual chord progressions, and changes in time signature between 4/4 and 6/8. Plus there are several cultural and topical references in the lyrics, which don’t necessarily reflect Freddie’s personal interests, as Brian May explained on his website:
“Did you ever read Moby-Dick? I always remember the first words were ‘Call me Ishmael‘. But of course Herman Melville wasn’t Ishmael. As with a novel, just because a song is written in the first person doesn’t mean it’s in any way autobiographical. As I remember, Freddie liked Star Wars a lot, and he actually wasn’t very keen on riding his bicycle (if he even had one!) – he preferred being driven in a Rolls-Royce! But he created a character in the song, and this character can say what he wants, and he can ride his bicycle where he likes!”
And to prove the Star Wars point further, Freddie even sat on Darth Vader’s shoulders during some of the band’s shows!
- Instrumental Version – This was included in the 2011 reissue of the album, and is really cool to hear, as it omits all the lead and backing vocals so you can focus purely on the music, but you do hear Freddie doing a short count-in at the start. A Karaoke Version that retains the backing vocals had previously been released on Greatest Karaoke Hits.
- Junior Vasquez Remix – This very strange dance remix was included on the 1991 Hollywood Records remaster of the album. It only keeps the vocals, while replacing everything else with a hip hop beat, piano loops and other effects. It gives the song a very different feel, and not in a good way.
- There were also a couple of rare vinyl releases in the US. One was a 1978 12″ promo record that had both Bicycle Race and the single edit of Fat Bottomed Girls on both sides of the record. Side A played Fat Bottomed Girls first, while Side B played Bicycle Race first. Then in 1979 a 12″ Columbia release of Crazy Little Thing Called Love featured a version that was extended by restarting the song when it reached the bell-ringing section, but in all other respects was the same as the original mix.
Given the complexities of this song, it’s fantastic to be able to hear the individual parts from the multitracks in isolation. There are several aspects that get buried or are just easily missed in the final mix, so all the stems hold little moments that you’ve probably never noticed before. The vocals are wonderfully sung and harmonised for starters of course. Meanwhile Freddie’s beautiful piano playing and Brian’s excellent guitar work (including his racing solo) can be much more thoroughly appreciated, as they deserve to be. We also get one of the more interesting percussion tracks by Roger here, as there’s a lot of variation. And John’s entertaining counter-melodies on the bass are fabulous yet, as ever, sadly overlooked by many.
The notorious promo shoot for this song, filmed by Dennis De Vallance on 17 September 1978, featured 65 naked female models cycling around Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium in London. The band had hired the venue and the bikes for the day, but cycling rental firm Halfords insisted that they purchase all the saddles instead of returning them, after learning what they were being used for!
Photos of the naked bicycle race appeared in some newspapers, and a poster from the shoot was included with many releases of the Jazz album. In America, however, to avoid causing offence, an order form was included instead, so that people could send off for the free poster if they wanted it. A small version of the poster was also included with the Crown Jewels box set. Also, in most countries, the covers of the Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race single included an image of a naked woman on a bike, viewed from the rear with a red bikini bottom painted over the top (plus a bra in American editions). An alternate single cover on some releases used a small version of the poster mentioned above.
A few different versions of the promo video have come out over the years:
- Original Version – This is a collage video that was released on the Greatest Flix, Greatest Hits & Greatest Karaoke Flix VHS tapes. It mixes glimpses of the band performing in Hyde Park in 1976 with animated visuals relating to the lyrics, plus footage of the naked bicycle race that has been heavily censored using colourful special effects (though that still didn’t stop the video being banned in several countries, including China).
- Greatest Video Hits Version – David Mallet created a completely new video for the Greatest Video Hits I DVD in 2002, using uncensored footage of the bicycle race from 17 September 1978 that had been discovered in the vaults, combined with visuals of Queen performing the song at the Convention Center in Dallas, Texas on 28 October. The audio commentary with the song mainly features archive audio of Freddie talking about making promo videos for other countries and the chemistry between the band members. There’s no actual discussion of the song or video itself, other than a brief line from Roger saying they wished they were at the shoot because it looked like fun.
- Clean Promo Video – Included with the 2011 iTunes reissue of the Jazz album, this features only the visuals of Queen performing the song in Dallas, excluding the bicycle race entirely, apart from a fleeting glimpse of bicycle bells being rung during that brief solo.
Further extracts from the video shoot were also shown in a couple of documentaries:
- Killer Queen (Channel 4, 2002) – Accompanied by interviews with Halford’s marketing manager, one of the racers, Status Quo and Brian May.
- Days Of Our Lives (DVD & Blu-ray, 2011) – Accompanied by interviews with Brian about the Tour De France inspiring the track and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, and interviews with Roger and Roy Thomas Baker about the video.
Queen played the song as part of a medley during concerts on their Jazz tour, including Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany on 2 February 1979 (released on the Live Killers album) and Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 25 April 1979. It was very popular too, so much so that cycling shops near the gig venues would quickly sell out of bicycle bells, as fans snapped them up in order to ring them during the song.
There were also a few rare instances where scantily-clad women on bikes did actually join Queen on stage, cued by the line “Get on your bikes and ride!” near the end of Fat Bottomed Girls. This happened at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA on 17 November 1978, then the following year at Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle, Munich, Germany on 10 February & 11 February 1979. While there isn’t video evidence from the concerts themselves, there is some fun footage of Queen rehearsing the song with the girls on bikes, in a German TV report about the second Munich show. Only 6 songs from the actual gig were filmed for broadcast on German TV, not including Fat Bottomed Girls or Bicycle Race.
More recently the song has been resurrected in concert by Queen + Adam Lambert. During the 2017-18 tour Adam would sit on a tricycle with a basket of flowers on the back. Then during the Rhapsody Tour from 2019 onwards he straddles a large motorcycle that emerges from beneath the stage. Examples of their performances include:
- Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri on 9 July 2017
- Park Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2018
- Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Canada on 10 July 2019
- The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California on 19 July 2019
- Toyota Center, Houston, Texas on 24 July 2019
- Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio on 13 August 2019
- Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina on 23 August 2019
- Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo, Japan on 26 January 2020
As with its sister song Fat Bottomed Girls, there are a lot of covers for this too.
Tribute & Cover Albums
- Alban Darche & Le Gros Cube – A contemporary jazz version on Queen Bishop.
- Anney Fresh – On the compilation Loser’s Lounge Vol. 18: No Time for Losers.
- Avid All Stars – On A Tribute To Queen: Volume 2
- Avscvltate – On Gregorian Chants: Songs Of Queen.
- Be Your Own Pet – On the compilation Killer Queen: A Tribute To Queen.
- Between The Buried And Me – On their covers album The Anatomy Of, plus a live performance.
- Blümchen / Blossom – A happy hardcore version on the compilation Queen Dance Traxx 1, with a trippy music video to match. It was also released as a single containing the On Air Mix and an extended Long Race Mix, and was included on their German greatest hits album Forever And Ever (The Best Of Blümchen). You can also see live performances here & here.
- Dream Queen – On their Killer Queen album.
- Holmes & Roy Shakked – On their Covers album, with a nice animated video.
- John Hollenbeck – On their covers album Songs I Like A Lot, with Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace & The Frankfurt Radio Big Band.
- Rajaton & Lahti Symphony Orchestra – On Rajaton Sings Queen.
- Richard Kendrick – On We Will Rock You: A Tribute To Queen, plus an a cappella version.
- Unrisen Queen – On their Unrisen Queen album.
Other Single & Album Releases
- The Lounge Kittens & Heavy Metal Truants – A 2017 charity single in aid of Nordoff Robbins, Childline & Teenage Cancer Trust. You can also see a live performance.
- Mamas Gun – A bonus track on their album The Life Ad Soul.
- Ra (Laura Currie) – An acoustic version by this one-woman band from Scotland, released on her album Happy In the Haze of a Drunken Hour.
Other Rock Performances
Liverpool indie band The Wombats performed the song on Series 2, Episode 7 of Al Murray’s Happy Hour on 23 February 2008, but there isn’t a video available for that. Other rock covers you can hear, however, include:
- Videos by Dirty Catfish Brass Band and Vadrum & Elena.
- Tribute bands King (a metal cover), Marc Martel & Ultimate Queen Celebration (a mashup with Seven Seas Of Rhye), Mother Mercury, Night Of Queen (live), Queen Extravaganza (live) & Rockville (live).
- Robby Valentine live in 2011, 2012, 2014 & 2021 (the latter with Johnnie Zwaan), plus other live performances by Jef Neve & Helmut Lotti, St Louis School Of Rock AllStars Team 6, South Plains College Touring Ensemble, and Timothy Beeman & The Vagabond Saints’ Society.
Other Vocal Performances
- The Voice, France – Battle Performance – Featured Pottolk On The Sofa (who won) & Canta Diva, in Season 10, Episode 10 on 10 April 2021.
- A cover by Japanese jazz band The Fascinations & Marhy.
- Live choral renditions by Batavia Madrigal Singers & Resonanz Children’s Choir (with Jakarta Concert Orchestra, also here), New Choir Würselen, Plantations Sound Chorus, Prima Vocal Ensemble & Revv52.
- A cappella versions recorded by The Dartmouth Aires (on Black Tie Affaire as well as a live performance), Serena Pantè (a one woman choir) & Voctronica.
- Other live a cappella performances by Bogazici University Music Club Rock Choir, The Capital Hearings, Divisi, Hastings College Ensemble 1-2-5 (also here), Rhythm Method & The Techtonics (including snippets of the Star Wars theme and USA national anthem).
- Orchestral arrangements by the London Starlight Orchestra (on The Show Must Go On: The Queen Songbook), Mineria Symphony Orchestra & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (on RPO plays Queen Classic).
- String versions by Aramis String Quartet (on Tribute To Queen), Nédó Olga (a violin version on Favorite), & The Cellists (also here).
- Brass covers by The Sir Aligator’s Company (on Algo Hay) & University of Texas Longhorn Band (on To the Top of the Stadium).
- A saxophone & piano cover by The Matthew & Richard Jazz Duo.
- Piano renditions by Jazzy Fabbry, Joshua Burniece, Mi-ko k, Molotov Cocktail Piano (on Greatest Hits of Queen: Volume 1), Nick Wiley & Steven C Anderson (on Piano 4 Life: Queen Reimagined).
- Acoustic guitar covers by Al Wood (ukulele), Lemon Tart (Hawaiian style on Peaceful Aloha Island), The Queen Cover Project & Shaun Murray.
- Electric guitar versions by Masters Of The University (a surf style cover), Samurai Guitar.
- Strictly Come Dancing – Victoria Pendleton & Brendan Cole – A paso doble performance in Week 7 of Series 10 in 2012.
- Other nice dance routines by Astra Studio (a group of 12-year-olds) & Future Dance: The Next Generation.
- LipDub performances by Aggie Studios at University Of California, Davis (Bicycle Race and Don’t Stop Me Now impressively filmed across campus in a single take), Lebanon High School, Indiana & Welles House.
- Angry Birds – Freddie For A Day – A special animation to support the Freddie For A Day celebrations, marking his birthday in 2012.
- PiotreQ – Dreaming Remix – A complete rearrangement using the multitrack elements that works rather well.
- Yoyoka – An impressive performance on the drums to accompany the song by this 9 year old girl.
- Screen Themes – A cleverly edited montage video matching clips from 97 different films to the song.
- Parodies by Bob Rivers (about being bisexual, from his Twisted Tunes collection) & Kaiser Willys Jeep (about driving a Willys Jeep).
- Skylar Gray featuring Eminem – C’mon Let Me Ride – During the chorus of this song, Eminem gives a nod to Queen by singing “you want to ride my bicycle, you want to ride my bike”, to the Bicycle Race melody.
Written by John Deacon
This is a fun and catchy rock song by John about getting stuck in and playing others at their own game, particularly in the entertainment industry, with references to being wined and dined and then bound to a legal contract. All of the guitars on the track are played by Brian, which is relatively unusual.
This was a popular song in concert, for the brief period it was in the setlist in the late 70s. While no recordings of it have yet been officially released on their live albums, you can see and hear a few examples online from:
- Madison Square Garden, New York on 16/17 November 1978
- Pavillon de Paris, France on 28 February 1979
- Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, Hammersmith Odeon, London on 26 December 1979
As this is a little-known and thus under-appreciated album track, there are barely any covers of this song. The only ones of any note are by:
- Throw That Beat In The Garbagecan! – On their album Sex Tiger.
- Klaus Cornfield – On his album Comes.
- Lucie & The Diamonds – On their Youtube channel.
Written by Freddie Mercury
Not to be confused with a rather well-known song by a certain Robbie Williams, this very different but fabulous Freddie composition is also about stirring up the crowds, and demonstrates the band’s power as rock gods. It would have worked well as the opening track on the album.
The lyrics contain references to the band’s tour manager (Gerry Stickells, who passed away in 2019) and their record labels at the time – “If you need a fix, if you want a high, Stickells will see to that. With Elektra and EMI, we’ll show you where it’s at.” There are also nods to Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and Teo Torriate from A Day At The Races (“we’ll sing to you in Japanese”).
An alternate mix of the track was played at the 2006 Dutch Fan Club Convention – hence the audience recording available online is poor quality, and there are the regular “Property Of Queen Productions” voiceovers. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to hear, as it has a ‘live’ drum track, and the outro is extended with a group of people singing the chorus of We Are The Champions.
This song was obviously designed with concerts in mind, and so was always a fantastic rocker on stage, heavier and faster than the studio version. It appeared in their gigs from 1978-81, appropriately played near the start each time. It tended to be the second or third song, usually coming after the fast version of We Will Rock You, but it was the opener at a few gigs on their Crazy Tour, including their first night in Newcastle on 3 December 1979.
Examples of their performances are available from:
- Europe 1979 – A recording from an unknown venue on Live Killers.
- Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Spain on 23 February 1979
- Pavillon de Paris, France on 1 March 1979 – The final concert of the European tour.
- Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 25 April 1979 – Originally released as a streaming video with Absolute Greatest, a slightly edited video (that trims out Freddie’s spoken introduction in Japanese) was included with the 2011 iTunes reissue of Jazz.
- Hammersmith Odeon, London on 26 December 1979
- José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina on 1 March 1981
- Estadio Do Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil on 20 March 1981 – Released on the 6 CD On Air box set.
- Poliedro de Caracas, Venezuela on 27 September 1981
- Montreal Forum, Canada on 24/25 November 1981 – A brilliant performance released on Queen Rock Montreal, and as a bonus track on the 2011 reissue of Jazz. There’s a great opportunity to listen more closely to Freddie’s vocals and Roger’s percussion in the Semi-Acappella mix that a fan has extracted from the surround sound tracks. There’s also a commentary by Brian & Roger on the DVD & Blu-ray of the concert. They reflect on the fact that the show was a little bit difficult, not just because it had a few new songs, but also because the cameramen often got in the way, upsetting Freddie in particular. Plus they remark on the lyrics of the song and notice John dancing about.
Being another deep album cut, not many people have covered this song. The few versions that exist include:
- Talisman – On their album Truth. Frontman Jeff Scott Soto released a live version on his solo album Live At The Gods, and can also be seen performing it live with the Leroy Brown Band at Breakthru 2002.
- Marc Martel – Performed with a backing band, followed by an extensive interview with Marc and a deep dive into the multitracks, which you can download for free if you sign up to Produce Like A Pro. The same performance, without the additional material, can also be seen on Marc’s channel, where he just spends a couple of minutes at the start explaining how it came about and crediting the band members. He also released the performance as a single.
- Lockdown performances in 2020 by Cello vs Guitar, Christian Bruni & LiUK and Tyler Warren & Neil Fairclough.
- A live performance by tribute band Lurex Queen.
- A piano instrumental by Molotov Cocktail Piano.
- A fine accompaniment on the drums by 11-year-old Yoyoka.
And that brings us to the end of Side 1 of the album, I hope you enjoyed my exploration of those 6 great tracks. As ever, it just goes to show it’s always worth digging beyond the greatest hits – those fat bottomed girls on their bikes are riding by some other wonderful delights here.
As always, you can check out my Queen & Covers playlists to see the official videos, live performances, rarities, and other versions of the songs collected together. I’ll update them, and this post, 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.
There are still 7 more tracks to go, including the magnificent sing-along Don’t Stop Me Now of course. So join me again soon for my look at Side 2!