Biography > Queen Biography for 1979

Last updated: March 04, 2009
Early January see the band touring Europe. Whilst on tour their next single 'Don't Stop Me Now' is released which reaches a number 9 in the UK. The entire tour is recorded with the thought of a live album later in the year.

During the year they stop of at Mountain Studios in Montreux to work on their next album. They like the studios so much they buy them! When the resident studio engineer David Richard's asked what they intend to do with the studio, Freddie replies 'dump it in the lake, Dear!'.

In June Queen release a double live album 'Live Killers', which reaches number three on the UK chart. The album manages to spark controversy in that Roger goes on the record in saying he doesn't like it - in that the sound isn't up to his standards. It attract criticism from the press as well for the inclusion of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', as during the operatic section Queen leave the stage and play the pre-recorded tapes.-

Brian:

Rhapsody is not a stage number. A lot of people don't like us leaving the stage. But to be honest, I'd rather leave than have us play to a backing tape. If you are there and you have got backing tapes, it's a totally false situation. So we'd rather be up front and say 'Look, this is not something you can paly onstage. It was multi-layered in the studio. We'll play it because we think that you want to hear it.

The fans love it though, as they had been making do with poor quality bootlegs up until this time.

The album was pieced together at Musicland Studio's in Munich. There Queen discovered the resident engineer Reinhart Mack - or just Mack as he is commonly known. His ideas appeal so much to the band that he is credited with co-producer on the next album.

In August Queen headline a huge open air concert in Germany. That day Roger decided to bleach his hair, something he had been doing for quite some time now. Unfortunately things went a bit wrong and it went green. Freddie proceeded to make fun of him all night... At the end of the show Queen cooled down the crowd with some water cannons - welcome relief on a very hot day.

Dino Di Laurentis commissions the band to write music for his new movie, 'Flash Gordon'. When Queen were first suggested as a possible band for the soundtrack, Laurentis replied 'who are the Queen's?!'. After learning a bit more about the band he readily agrees that they are the right people for the job.

Roger's Ferrari blows up in the South of France. Roger was just driving along, apparently quite fast, and the engine caught fire. Roger quickly disembarked the vehicle safely - the car however was a write-off.

The next single released, form the new album 'The Game', is 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', written by Freddie.

Freddie:

I wrote 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' in the bath. I actually grabbed an upright piano to my bedside table once. I've been known to scribble lyrics in the middle of the night without putting the lights on.

Brian:

We're not a singles group. We don't stake our reputation on singles and we never have done, but I think that it's brought a lot of younger people to our concerts.

The single is a huge success reaching number 2 in the UK and giving the band their first US number 1.

Roger:

'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' - it's not rockabilly but it does have that early Elvis feel, and it was one of the first records to exploit that. In fact I read somewhere - in Rolling Stone I think - that John Lennon heard it and it gave him the impetus to start writing again. If it's true - and listening to that last album it certainly sounds as if he explored similar influences - that's wonderful.

Around this time Freddie performs with the royal ballet. He practised for a few weeks and eventually danced and sung to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. Freddie also commandeere