Forums > Queen - General Discussion > The story behind the song "Sheer Heart Attack"?

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DEVO user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 09 Sep 07, 22:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I heard that the song "Sheer Heart Attack" was originally written and recorded for the album Sheer Heart Attack, but was left off. Does anyone know the story behind this? Why would they have left this off the album, and why would they include it 3 albums later on News of the World? Any insight? Thanks!

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Posted: 09 Sep 07, 22:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"It sounds like a punk, or 'new wave' song, but it was written at the same time as the Sheer Heart Attack LP. Roger played it to us then but it wasn't quite finished and he didn't have time to complete it before we started recording. That was three years ago and now almost all these records you hear are like that period."

-Brian May, 1978

"We came up with the title for the Sheer Heart Attack album and it was a song that I had an idea for, but I hadn't actually finished the song yet. By the time I had finished the song we were two albums later, so it just struggled out on the News Of The World album. It's quite interesting because we were making an album next door to the Sex Pistols, and it really fit into that punk explosion that was happening at the time."

-Roger Taylor, 1999



"Fuck today, it's tomorrow." - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 00:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"We gotta left this track for our album which we'll record... Umm... Err... Well, in 1977!"
"But why Rog?"
"They will need to discuss about something on QZ in 2007!"

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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 06:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=FF0033 face=symbol>Freddie wrote:


"It's quite interesting because we were making an album next door to the Sex Pistols, and it really fit into that punk explosion that was happening at the time."

-Roger Taylor, 1999


Which led to the story I still enjoy of Johnny Rotten sneaking into Queen's studio, crawling up Freddie's piano, saying, "Hello, Freddie!", and then crawling back out the door.


"Do you think I should keep this mustache? Did you say no? F--- off."
Raf user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 11:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's funny how it took them a few weeks to finish Bohemian Rhapsody, and a couple of years to finish a punk song.


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We got the Cosmos rockin'!

We got the Cosmos rockin' to the mighty power of rock'n'roll!
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 13:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It doesn't really have much with punk, more heavy metal

.DeaconJohn. user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 14:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To the topic starter...

Are we not men?

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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 15:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thunderbolt<br><h6>Courtesy of God wrote:

<font color=FF0033 face=symbol>Freddie wrote:


"It's quite interesting because we were making an album next door to the Sex Pistols, and it really fit into that punk explosion that was happening at the time."

-Roger Taylor, 1999


Which led to the story I still enjoy of Johnny Rotten sneaking into Queen's studio, crawling up Freddie's piano, saying, "Hello, Freddie!", and then crawling back out the door.


i thought it was Sid Vicious?
with the story being that Sid walked into the studio room and said "oi,Fred,so you bringing ballet to the massses then?" and Freddie replied "ah,Mr Ferocious.well we are trying our best dear!"


isnt innuendo an italian suppository?

im gonna ride the wild wind!

its_a_hard_life wrote:you nutcase you rule!

joxer replies: but in a nice way :-]

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 16:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Another Roger track, 'Modern Times Rock 'n Roll' also has a strong 'punk' feel to it - so to write 'Sheer Heart Attack' shortly after - isn't that revolutionary.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 17:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sid Vicious was the one with the "Mr Ferocious" story, but Johnny Rotten was the one that interrupted Fred's piano playing.

The fact they met one of the Pistols doesn't mean they couldn't meet another.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 17:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pittrek wrote:

It doesn't really have much with punk, more heavy metal


No, it's punk... though properly played ;)

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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 18:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Speaking of Sheer Heart Attack, I never really did like the ending. I wish Queen, or more in particular Roger Taylor, had made a more insane ending rather than the weak ending that already exists.

Oh, it is punk in my opinion. Besides, the song is indeed inarticulate much like the punk scene was at the time. It was a good way to poke fun at bands like the Sex Pistols who were so full of themselves that they made no attempt to create more sensible music than the rubbish they produced. The punk scene is a joke if I'm giving my honest opinion. It was and still is an embarrassing moment for rock and roll.


"Fuck today, it's tomorrow." - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 10 Sep 07, 18:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To .DeaconJohn.

A: We Are Devo!

I am a huge Queen fan, and always have been, but man Devo came outta left field for me and I have really been into them lately! Did you ever see them?

As far as the punk thing goes, I think News of the World is the closest to punk Queen ever got, with that said, thank god! I like punk, but glad they didnt venture too far into it. I think News of the World was their response to punk at that time...and man, what a kick ass album to shove into the Pistols face. I dont think the Sex Pistols was rubbish, but Public Image Ltd. was way better.

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Posted: 11 Sep 07, 08:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

punk stripped rock down to the bare bones, strapped on Doc Martins, then OD'd on itself. Pop and mainstream rock n roll have always been about reinventing itself; imho the biggest contribution of punk music is not its sound, but its attitude. "Sheer Heart Attack" points in the direction, lyrically and muscially, where the lyrics are about so much passion leading to inarticulation, and the song ends abruptly, almost as if it's cut off. Punk was a better movement than disco or grunge imho, but rock n roll is still here.

hey there D-E-V-O...have you found the Roy Thomas Baker connection? it's a monumental good thing :)




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Posted: 11 Sep 07, 16:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I got into Devo about a year ago, and lo and behold they just happened to do their first european gigs for 15 years a few months back.

Saw them live in Dublin; I was at the very front, pressed up against the barrier, going nuts for the duration of the gig. Oh, and Bob1 gave me some of his guitar picks and signed my energy dome. And we ran into him in a wee fast food place before the gig and had a chat with him.

One of the most amazing gigs ever.

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Posted: 11 Sep 07, 18:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, the Roy Thomas Baker connection was discovered! Did you hear he produced the new Smashing Pumpkins album?

.DeaconJohn. - man I am so jealous of your show and experience! I am only 27, so I never got to see any of the bands I love, atleast in their heyday. I love Devo, and I found a signed Duty Now for the Future LP signed by the band in 1980 that is now framed in my house. I cannot believe you got your energy dome signed! I did get to see the Buzzcocks and Gang of Four though, but would die to see Devo...they never play anywhere near me here in the states, only big big cities.

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Posted: 11 Sep 07, 23:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting that Roger has written more than one song in a punk vein-- and also brought synths to Queen. I guess it goes to the versatility of Queen's songwriting.

As for RTB producing on Zeitgeist, I've heard that "Starz" and "Tarantula" have roots in 70s classic rock, like Bowie's "Gene Genie" and UFO's stuff.

The spudboys never lost their mojo -- never will-- and as far as Queen goes, it seems Greatest Hits III for one example is more evidence that de-evolution is real...I wish Devo could be cloned from 1982. While we work it out, clone Queen from 1977!


and ya cant stop rockin
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Posted: 12 Sep 07, 03:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

never liked the studio version, but as an encore on the "Jazz" tour this song really shines. Love it when freddie went berserk during this song and Brian's Guitar abuse. On later tours the song lost some of his amtosphere..

@Devo : cool nickname, be shure to check out "Man or Astroman" Allthough their origins are sci-fi surf-rock, these guys are totally devo, especially on their later albums (Made from Technetium ; Eeviac ; Experiment Zero..)

DEVO user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Sep 07, 07:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

...and speaking of RTB and SP's new album Zeitgiest, I cannot remember which two songs on the album they are, but I swear Billy Corgan uses a guild Brian May Red Special on them. I dont own the album, and not sure if they would list or give credit to it, but two of the songs on that album are VERY Queen sounding and I am almost positive that they the the Red Special BM guitar on them. Check it out if you have the album!

I will definatly check out Man or Astroman!

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Posted: 12 Sep 07, 13:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

DEVO wrote:

Yes, the Roy Thomas Baker connection was discovered! Did you hear he produced the new Smashing Pumpkins album?

.DeaconJohn. - man I am so jealous of your show and experience! I am only 27, so I never got to see any of the bands I love, atleast in their heyday. I love Devo, and I found a signed Duty Now for the Future LP signed by the band in 1980 that is now framed in my house. I cannot believe you got your energy dome signed! I did get to see the Buzzcocks and Gang of Four though, but would die to see Devo...they never play anywhere near me here in the states, only big big cities.


Only 27? That's ollllllld man, I'm 23! ;-)