The bands 12th LP "Hot Space" is released in May while they are on an extensive tour of Europe. The album was different to other albums in that it had an emphasis on funky-disco type music. Fans from the very beginning were unsure as to what Queen were up to.
Much of Brian's guitar seemed to be replaced with synthesisers - and most people considered Brian's guitar an integral part of Queen's music. Brian admitted publicly that he wasn't that keen on the album - however did say that Queen needed to try different things. Queen were always experimenting with different sounds and this 'disco' type of sound was just part of their kaleidoscope of music.
Curiously the album is received quite well by the music press with NME saying that the whole production was a peach and Sounds telling its readers that they will love "Hot Space".
Importantly this album marked a turning point in the bands appeal in the United States. Queen were seen as a hard rock band, but the disco content on "Hot Space" helped to disprove that. DJ's didn't like the songs on the album and didn't play them, so the public never really got to hear them.
The tour includes a scheduled date at Manchester which was scrapped due to a lack of portable toilets as the pope was touring the UK at the time. The last show of the tour is at the Milton Keynes Bowl which is filmed and later shown on Channel 4 in the UK. Though not a sell out, it still attract 37 000 fans.
None of us thought that it was a particularly good gig at the time, we were wishing that they had filmed Leeds. I particularly found that it was hard to get the sound right, and couldn't hear the monitors very well. But Tyne Tees filmed it, and mixed it themselves, with no help from us; and we now think that it's one of the better videos of our live shows.
Queen have a party to celebrate the end of the tour, in the usual flamboyant style. The theme is shorts or stockings and suspenders. Queen held it at the Embassy Club - which sets them back ten thousands pounds.
"Under Pressure" goes to number 1 in Argentina. Queen appear on Top of the Pops for the first time in years performing a special version of "Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love)". Unfortunately at this time the UK is in a state of conflict (war) with Argentina. In England the release of "Las Palabras de Amor" isn't really seen as appropriate. In Argentina Queen's popularity annoys the government who bans the bands songs from being aired on radio.
In Argentina we were number one when that stupid war was going on and we had a fantastic time there, and that can be only for the good. Music is totally international.
That year, Freddie also spends some time recording with Michael Jackson. Several tracks were recorded, however none have been released.
I'd like to release something with Michael because he is really marvellous to work with. It's all a question of time because we never seem to be together at the same time. Just think, I could have been on "thriller". Think of the royalties I've missed out on
Michael has been a friend of ours (the bands) for a long time. He's been to our shows and enjoyed them. We make a great team.
After the European tour the band head for America. The band had been a little apprehensive as to the reception they might get - however were relieved when the tour sells out. The tour was an unmitigated success with the city of Boston declaring a whole day as 'Queen Day'.
Within the first weeks of the tour, Queen's private plane is damaged and they need to hire another one. The one that they find available is the "Lisa Marie" - Elvis Presley's own private jet, named after his daughter. Queen find the plane unsuitable though, due to Elvis' apparent aversion to sun light. At the next available opportunity they switch to a different plane.