You only had to look in ~ the covering of The game to understand things had readjusted since Queen’s critical album.
On their previous studio record, 1978’s Jazz, the tape was quiet sporting shaggy ’70s hair, suspenders, dance shoes, and epically unbuttoned shirts. By 1980, Queen to be coming off prefer a ’50s motorcycle corridor — slicked-back hair, t-shirts, shades, and also lots of black leather. However they weren’t just meeting the ’80s with a new look.
Queen had also abandoned the grand art-rock ice castles that Roy thomas Baker’s manufacturing for the in-your-face technique of a German upstart named Reinhold Mack, that went just by his surname. Recording in Munich, they make the many musically satisfying and also commercially effective album of your esteemed career, reinventing themselves multiple times prior to the an initial side was over.
The herbal move for arena-rockers prefer Queen together they entered a new era could have to be a new Wave move, through synths and drum machines a-go go. They’d get around to the on their following album, warm Space, with enervated results. Instead they enhanced the eclecticism that had constantly been part of their makeup, ratcheting up the urgency follow me the way, for an album as varied as it to be visceral, there is no a moment’s letup. And for the first time, Queen was discovering to do much more with less, make a virtue the simplicity.
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But the wasn’t the only means Queen comment to the musical moment. Though they’d been one of the bands that characterized arena absent in the ’70s, Freddie Mercury was logging many time in gay discos through this point. And when bassist john Deacon came in through “Another One Bites the Dust,” a tune that had major disco potential, Mercury wasn’t about to neglect it. (The disco aspect too would broaden on warm Space).
VIDEO: Queen “Another One Bites The Dust”
The minimalistic production and also funky feeling of “Dragon Attack,” complete with syncopated base solo, arrives together something the a set-up for the equally stripped-down and even more danceable “Another One Bites the Dust,” which automatically follows the on the record. And she spare, visceral vibe of both songs can not have been feasible without Mack’s sonic guidance.
VIDEO: Queen carry out “Dragon Attack” in Montreal 1981
Queen’s undertaking into disco through “Another One Bites the Dust” wasn’t there is no precedent. Both the roll Stones and Kiss had currently gone that course with an excellent success ~ above “Miss You” and also “I Was created Lovin’ You,” respectively. However neither the those approached the phenomenal cross-cultural influence of Queen’s dip into danceability. The song ended up being an worldwide blockbuster, and also in America that hit the pop, soul, and disco charts simultaneously with that is spare, slinky, four-on-the-floor groove and sensually insinuating riff, earning the band brand-new fans in communities previously external their reach.
It would not be the album’s just stylistically anomalous megahit. Mercury’s “Crazy tiny Thing referred to as Love” was a ’50s rockabilly pastiche complete with walking base line, Jordanaires-style backing vocals, and a Brian may guitar solo that felt favor an homage to Gene Vincent’s legend axe male Cliff Gallup. This too became a global smash.
Deacon’s “Need her Loving Tonight” was an additional departure for the band. It’s a straight-up strength pop tune, hooky as all get out, with Queen coming off like a harder-rocking Raspberries.
Queen didn’t sever fully from the previous on The video game though. Songs favor May’s sentimental “Sail away Sweet Sister” and also heart-on-sleeve power ballad “Save Me,” and also Mercury’s outsized, dramatic location track would certainly have been at home ~ above just about any the the band’s ’70s albums. Yet here too, Mack manages to achieve the type of epos proportions Queen was famed for while still making things feel more immediate and tactile.
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VIDEO: Queen “Crazy small Thing called Love”
In general, Mercury, May, Deacon and drummer roger Taylor were every at the optimal of your own personal game in terms of both writing and performance. Even Taylor, whose songwriting contributions were seldom up come the level the his bandmates, reaches a compositional peak, with the sleek rockers “Coming Soon” and also “Rock the (Prime Jive)” numbering amongst his best contributions come the Queen catalog.
Unfortunately Queen’s time ~ above the mountaintop to be limited. After ~ the soundtrack to speed Gordon later on in ’80, your next ideal album, 1982’s hot Space, would certainly be your commercial and also musical nadir, mired in ’80s production clichés and moribund material.