Albums: News Of The World
Roger, as a big fan of SCI-FI, saw one issue of american magazine with robot on the main page by Frank Kelly Frease in the USA. He thought it could be good picture for new album sleeve. They found mr. Frease and he willingly redrawed the picture by their ideas.
In video clip for We Will Rock You and Spread Your Wings Brian used a copy of his guitar. He supposedly didn't want to commit his Red Special to outside conditions. Duplicate was made by John Birchem, but Brian never felt comfortable with its sound. We Are The Champions was the first promotional video that fan club members were invited to participate in the filming. The video was filmed at the New London Theatre Oct 6th 1977. Everyone got a single and they did a free concert after the shoot.
Some songs were re-recorded for BBC Radio. We Will Rock You was one of them. In this version is little interlude with reading from Siddhartha by Herman Hess. When Queen asssembled 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. The broadcast version began in "News Of The World" fashion, then breaks for the Siddartha interlude.
Queen about the record:
"'Sleeping On The Sidewalk' was the quickest song I've ever written - I just wrote it down, and I'm quite pleased with it as well, because it's not highly subtle, but it leaves me with a good feeling. It was the sort of thing any guitarist who had played a bit of the blues would do, and I could have very well had Eric Clapton in the back of my mind. It was a one-take thing as well - so it had a kind of sloppy feel, but that works with the song. I suppose 'It's Late' is as close to typical Queen as you can get, and there's a kind of style in there, which I've often thought about, which is somewhere between my kind of thing on 'It's Late', and one of Freddie's, something like 'We Are The Champions'. It's so easy for us to do, and we can slip into it almost without thinking, on stage and on record. Once Freddie starts playing E flat and A flat on the piano, which he very often does, it has a particular sound. . . (that) produces something different out of me."
"It's a spontaneous album. I think we've managed to cut through to the spontaneity lacking in our other albums. I have no apologies to make for any of our previous albums. We're proud of them and wouldn't have let them out if we weren't. But I now feel some may have been over-produced, so we wanted to go with a more spontaneous, rock & roll based album. It was nice to do something that didn't need such intensity. For example, with 'Sleeping on the Sidewalk' we did it in one take because it just seemed right the first time. We like to think of the album as a window on an unguarded moment, not a set piece. Each cut seems to do that, from the participation songs to Freddie's mood pieces. Even his numbers on the album are different, from his heavy 'Get Down, Make Love' to 'My Melancholy Blues,' which is just what it says."
Freddie (about We Are The Champions)
"That song, 'We Are The Champions' has been taken up by football fans because it's a winners' song. I can't believe that someone hasn't written a new song to overtake it."
"Certainly it's 'a relationship that could be, but I was thinking about football when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something the fans could latch on to. It was aimed at the masses; I thought we'd see how they took it. It worked a treat. When we performed it at a private concert in London, the fans actually broke into a football chant between numbers. Of course, I've given it more theatrical subtlety than an ordinary football chant. You know me. I certainly wasn't thinking about the press when I wrote it. I never think about the British music press these days. It was really meant to be offered the musicians the same as the fans. I suppose it could also be construed as my version of 'I Did It My Way.' We have made it, and it certainly wasn't easy. No bed of roses as the song says. And it's still not easy."
Brian (about We Are The Champions)
"I can understand some people saying 'We Are The Champions' was bombastic. But it wasn't saying Queen arc the champions, it was saying all of us are. It made the concert like a football match, but with everyone on the same side."
"You know, songs aren't always about what the words say. Messages in songs can appear different. I always see that as the difference between prose and poetry. Prose can mean exactly what it says, while poetry can mean the opposite. That goes for this song. Freddie's stuff is often tongue-in-cheek anyway, as you know. This song is very theatrical. Freddie is very close to his art. You could say, he's married to his music, whether it's 'I Did It My Way' or his 'There's No Business Like Show Business. I must say, when he first played it for us in the studio we all fell on the floor with laughter. So many of the people in the press hate us because we've side-stepped them and got where we have without them. But there's no way the song says anything against our audiences. When the song says 'we,' it means 'us and the fans.' When we did that special concert, the fans were wonderful. They understood it so well. I know it sounds corny, but it brought tears to our eyes."
Brian (about We Will Rock You)
"That was a response to a particular phase in our career when the audience was becoming a bigger part of the show than we were. They would sing allthe songs. In a place like Birmingham, they'd be so vociferous that we'd have to stop the show and let them sing to us. So both Freddie and I thought it would be an interesting experiment to write songs with audience participation specifically in mind. My feeling was that everyone can stamp and clap and sing a simple motif. We did that record at Wessex, which is an old converted church that has a naturally good sound to it. There are no drums on there. It's just us, stamping on boards many times with many primitive delay machines and clapping. A bit of singing, a bit of guitar playing and that's it."
"At concerts, I discovered, people tend to do three claps rather than two stamps and a clap. The amazing thing is to go to football matches, or sports events in general, and hear people do it. It's very gratifying to find that it has become part of folklore, sort of. I'll die happy because of that."
Brian (o Sheer Heart Attack)
"It sounds like a punk, or 'new wave' song, but it was written at the same time of the Sheer Heart Attack LP. He played it to us then but it wasn't quite finished and he didn't have time to domplete it before we started recording. That was three years go and now almost all these records you here like that period."
We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You
Sounds : It seems, that too many popularity and publicity steal the spark and ginger away from the boys.
Disc : Appaling monomany of Mercury's people.
NME : As if this song were indended for football fans, to be good for yelling from the galleries. It's not bad idea.
News Of The World
Record Mirror : It's Queen group, naked to its roots. 'Sheer Heart Attack' song is attempt at new wave, fine version in Sex Pistols style and pompous lyrics, it's not bad album at all, but it'd be better.
Sounds : Queen, have You done to us? Why there is not "No synthesizers" sign? First side is unlucky indication, second side is, after desilusion with 'Get Down Make Love', much better.. but what a nice finale, 'My Melancholy Blues'. Sweet fantasy.
Daily Mirror : In many ways, this album is most interesting after their best one 'Sheer Heart Attack'. Meantime there's no sign, if evident friction in the group will lead to new things or their break.
Spread Your Wings / Sheer Heart Attack
Record Mirror : Whereas the both sides contain songs, which have been released yet, I suppose it's more for new listeners of the group. But I think, there are no of them.
We Will Rock You
BBC Radio Take, 1977
From the 1997 recording session for Alan Freeman (together with other songs - 'Spread Your Wings', 'My Melancholy Blues' a 'It's Late'.) It starts with known slow versions, in the middle it has a break for the reading from Siddharta (by Herman Hess) and than it turns into fast version. Roger's vocal is better to hear in this version.
Known as 'Rock Mix '92' and 'Hip Hop House Mix'. This is 4:45 long version with samples from 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Music Factory Mastermix
Or the 'MFM Mix'. Long about 6 minutes, with heavy bass line, it's slower than usual mixes.
Rick Rubin Remix
Bonus track on Hollywood Records CD. It's 4:47 long dance mix with some samples of Brian's guitar and heavy bass line. Rick Rubin has made next 7 mixes of this song.
Remix to the origina mix (promo 12"). It's just shortened to 2 minutes.
Big Beat A Capella
Zulu Scratch A Capella
1:25 long version, with very little backing vocals.
Effects A Capella
On promo 12".
Clap A Capella
We Are The Champions
Rick Rubin Mix
On the same CD single and promo 12" as 'We Will Rock You' mixes. Just longer with few samples to 3:29.
Featuring George Bush
Released a celebration of the Gulf War victory. It's normal version with 'Gulf War Victory Speech' of George Bush'. It was sent to troops, who had served in Gulf. I has been done without permission of Queen.
Spread Your Wings
BBC Radio Take, 1977
Second song from recording sessions for Alan Freeman. This version ends very fast.
In video, there's an edit, about 40 sec. short than original.
Who Needs You
Fake Demo. Just stereo-switching game of some bootlegers.
BBC Radio Take, 1977
Again from the BBC sessions. There's a mystical interlude from 'Get Down, Make Love' instead of Brian's solo.
Shorted version from 6:27 to 3:49 for single release. On 7" in US and in Japan
My Melancholy Blues
BBC Radio Take, 1977
Different Freddie's vocal, and the most noticeable is Brian's guitar.
Recorded in 1977 for the News Of The World album, probably written by Brian in 1973. (2:03)
This album contains some hits, but it's an averarge release, quite good.
What more to say about 'We Will Rock You' or 'We Are The Champions'? There's no sport event without hearing these hits. Heavymetal song 'Sheer Heart Attac' is a bit in contrast with first melodic songs and arose Your mind. And now comes the 'Spread Your Wings'. Very very goooooood song. Excelent work by our dear John, I'm excited, whenever I hear it. Thanks John!
'Fight From The Inside', Brian's 'All Dead', distinct 'It's Late', and at the end nice melancholy mood from Freddie, all works well.
Thanx to Niek for some information on other versions.