Queen begin the year touring America - again. They add four new songs to their list from "A Day At The Races". This tour also marks the first time that Queen paly Bohemian Rhapsody in its entirety. Up until now it had been played only as a part of a medley.
In support they have Thin Lizzy, and as it is Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee year the tour is dubbed the "Queen Lizzy tour". The American critics enjoyed themselves immensely by deliberately slating Queen and praising Lizzy to the skies. The strategy backfires though with the public coming to see Lizzy and being blown away by Queen's exemplary performance.
Thin Lizzy went on tour supporting Queen during the Seventies and we had a great time. Some nights we blew them off stage, and some nights they did the same to us. Brian May was a big fan of ours and we really got on well together.
Scott Gorham (of Thin Lizzy)
Thin Lizzy as a support band is a real challenge. They'll want to blow us of stage, and that can be a very healthy thing. You feed of the energy of others and I know that if they go down a real storm then we're gonna go on feeling that much higher. It makes for good concerts. We've had it the other way around. I think that we gave Mott The Hoople a hard time on our first tours of Britain and America.
The combination of Queen and Thin Lizzy was tremendous - both fed of off each other. That tour has gone down in history as one of the finest ever. The tour was also a land mark for Queen as it is the tour that they realised a dream. They played Madison Square Gardens for the first time.
March sees the release of their next single, "Tie Your Mother Down" - a real rocker, written by Brian. Also in March, they are in Los Angeles, and Groucho Marx invites them to visit. Queen present him with a tour jacket and a engraved gold disc.
From the US they go on to Canada and then back to the UK for more touring. They play two nights at the prestigious Earls Court as part of the official celebrations of the Queens Silver Jubilee year.
The Jubilee's quite fun isn't it? I love the Queen. I'm very patriotic. I love all this pomp, of course I do. I love it. She does outrageous things!
At Earls Court they unveil their famous 'Crown' lighting rig - costing fifty thousand pounds. Unlike other rigs of the time this one actually moves - ushering in the age of interactive, 'living' lights. Queen put on a lavish show - whit the profits from the second night going to the official Jubilee fund - all in all Queen 'lose' seventy five thousand pounds.
All of this sort of thing doesn't go down with the music press. Many so called journalists are championing newer bands like the Sex Pistols. They see Freddie Mercury - someone who toasts his audience with champagne - as all that is wrong with rock.
NME runs what is less of an interview than a confrontation between Freddie and 'journalist' Tony Stewart under the heading "Is This Man A Prat?". Communication between the two is almost impossible. All this leads to a further downgrading of the relationship Queen has with the press.
In August Roger astounds everyone by releasing a solo single "I Wanna Testify", which immediately sets the press tongues wagging about the imminent demise of Queen. According to the media Roger was testing the water, because he can no longer handle being the third songwriter. However rumours of Queen splitting had been circulating since 1973...
"We Are The Champions" backed with "We Will Rock You" is released. The video has live feel, with the band playing to an audience. The audience aren't paid extra's though, they are members of the fan club. After the video filming is complete, the band play a improptu 45 minute set to say "thanks". The single becomes a massive international hit, but more impressively they develop into permanent fixtures of popular culture. The songs are sung at major sporting events around the world - regardless of the countries language.