The year begins with "Spread Your Wings" being released - a superb John Deacon song - it unfortunately only reaches number 34, spending a mere two weeks on the chart.
Queen then go on to a sell out tour of Europe. They play the Forest Nationale at maximum capacity for three nights - something no other band had done before. At the end of the tour Roger, John and Brian flew to Musicland Studio's to start work on their next album. Freddie though, in England, stayed behind and co-produced with Roy Thomas Baker, Peter Strakers album "This Ones On Me".
By July the band were reunited and in full swing going to Switzerland and France to record their new album "Jazz". Whilst in Montreux a violent thunder storm erupts. Brian promptly goes outside and records the whole thing. These sounds appear on the song "Dead On Time".
For this album they are again joined by Roy Thomas Baker - for reasons that remain unclear. This same month sees Roger buy a manor outside Guildford, complete with 20 acres of land. The house used to belong to Dr Crippens lawyer...
Whilst the band are busily recording, EMI International Records are awarded the Queen's Award to Industry. To celebrate the occasion they choose to press three to four hundred copies of their biggest hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Royal Purple vinyl. This has since become the ultimate collectors trophy.
The first single from the new album is a double A-side of "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race". "Bicycle Race" was inspired by the Tour De France. Whilst in France recording the race has been on and Freddie had been inspired by all those men on Bikes.
For the video the band felt that it would be good if they could have fifty naked women riding around on bicycles. This is promptly organised - with an amazing amount of volunteers. A race is conducted in the grounds of Wimbledon Stadium, with the winner being lucky enough to adorn the cover of the single.
The "blatantly rude" cover sparks outrage - and eventually the band agree to have panties painted on the girl. For once the press are lost for words - NME still manage to print an article with a picture of Freddie and the caption "Fat Bottomed Queen"
We lost some of our audience with that . 'How could you do it? It doesn't go with your spiritual side'. But my answer to that the physical side is as much a part of a person as the spiritual or intellectual side. It's fun. I'll make no apologies. All music skirts around sex, sometimes very directly. Ours doesn't. In our music, sex is either implied of referred to semi-jokingly, but it's alway there.
The album "Jazz" is released in November, and reaches number 2 in the UK charts. Never ones to hide from controversy, the album comes with a colour poster of all fifty girls and their bicycles - much to the delight of the male population! Again there is uproar and the poster is later replaced with an application form for the poster - for those that want it...quite a few I would imagine...
Queen hold are party to celebrate the album releasing New Orleans, the home of jazz, featuring mud wrestlers, jugglers, magicians. Both their record companies were invited - with the companies both trying to ensure that they had the most staff at the party. Ever the perfect hosts, Queen provide a 'special groupie' who gave a the record company executive..."a very good time!".
The year is finished with the band announcing that they wish to have a concert on centre court at Wimbledon. They are politely refused permission... <%
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