We Will Rock You: The Best of Queen
We Will Rock You + We Are the Champions
One of Queen’s most popular arena anthems is “We Will Rock You” which has been almost entirely co-opted by the world of sports. The song, which is 90 percent acapella, is often performed immediately before “We Are the Champions” — the song’s abrupt ending is the perfect segue into the piano melody of “We Are the Champions”. The two songs were released together as a single in 1977. “We Will Rock You” is listed as #330 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. These two songs were the last numbers played in Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance.
One of the most popular songs ever written about a high-class call girl, “Killer Queen” was Queen’s first American hit. First released in 1974, the song hit the top of the charts in the UK and managed to reach #12 in the U.S.
This song is unlike many of Queen’s other hits. It’s got a real cabaret, vaudeville feel, which comes from the overdubbed upright piano and poetic lyrics, which were written by Freddie Mercury. However, the high-energy guitar and multitrack vocals keep it firmly in Queen’s wheelhouse.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” marks another departure from Queen’s usual style. The rockabilly guitar line was written by Mercury, and the release of this song in 1979 marks the first time that he played guitar live in concert. Originally intended as a tribute to Elvis Presley, Mercury wrote it in just 10 minutes while taking a bath after one of the band’s long recording sessions.
One of the most unusual aspects of this song is the number of guitars that Brian May used when performing live — an acoustic for the intro, a Telecaster for the solo, and his signature homemade “Red Special” guitar for the outro.