Queen - The Game
NME.COM feature on Queen - The Game album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 17 October 1994
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Queen - The Game: Wikipedia Album Entry
The Game is a rock album by English band Queen released June 30, 1980. It was the only Queen album to reach the #1 position in both the United Kingdom and the United States and became Queen's best selling studio album in the US with four million copies sold to date, tying News of the World's US sales tally. Notable songs on the album include the bass driven "Another One Bites the Dust" and the rockabilly "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", both of which reached number 1 in the United States. The Game was the first Queen album to use a synthesizer (an Oberheim OB-X). The album's working title was "Play the Game", but Taylor voiced concern about its possible overtones of conformity, so it was changed to simply "The Game".
Compared to previous Queen albums, the song arrangements are much simpler (the album's sound is more "pop rock" rather than the progressive/hard rock hybrids of Queen's previous albums) but the album is responsible for propelling the band into global megastars. Although the album was recorded over an 11-month period at separate sessions, the album is described as having a "slick cohesive feel" to it. At approximately 35 minutes, The Game is the shortest of Queen's studio albums.
Re-issued in May 2003 on DVD-Audio with Dolby 5.1 surround sound and DTS 5.1. The 5.1 mix of "Coming Soon" features an alternate backing track, because the final master tapes were not found when mixing the album to 5.1.
The photo on the cover of the EMI CD is different from that originally used on the LP and cassette even though the Hollywood CD still has the original photo. The original photo (with Taylor having folded arms and May not having a hand resting upon his exposed hip) is shown in the article. This alternate photo was also used on cover of the DTS DVD-Audio edition of the album released in 2003.
"Play the Game" (Mercury) – 3:30
"Dragon Attack" (May) – 4:18
"Another One Bites the Dust" (Deacon) – 3:35
"Need Your Loving Tonight" (Deacon) – 2:50
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Mercury) – 2:44
"Rock It (Prime Jive)" (Taylor) – 4:32
"Don't Try Suicide" (Mercury) – 3:53
"Sail Away Sweet Sister (To the Sister I Never Had)" (May) – 3:33
"Coming Soon" (Taylor) – 2:51
"Save Me" (May) – 3:50
Bonus track (1991 Hollywood Records CD reissue)
"Dragon Attack (1991 Remix by Jack Benson and R.A.K.)"
Play the Game
Main article: Play the Game (song)
Mercury wrote "Play the Game" after breaking up with his male lover at the time. Mercury played piano and sang the lead vocals. Mercury started smoking cigarettes around this time--creating his husky tenor for the rest of the decade (Though he dropped the habit by 1990 due to his AIDS-related complications). The music video for this song marked the first time Freddie appeared on film with his trademark moustache.
"Dragon Attack" was a jam session by band members and crew, to which May added lyrics and the idea of alternating solos (drums, bass, guitar, and an almost a cappella chorus). The melody is similar to "We Will Rock You": compare "buddy you're a boy make a big noise" with "take me to the room where the red's all red". This song and Another One Bites the Dust are the two funk rock songs on the album. This song was only performed live in a shorter form, until the US leg of the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour, where the entire song was played. It's also the theme song for WWE Legend, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
Another One Bites the Dust
Main article: Another One Bites the Dust
Deacon wrote "Another One Bites the Dust" about cowboys, but then changed it to make it more suitable to the band. Mercury loved it and was instrumental in its inclusion on the album. Their roadies told them it'd be a good idea to release it as a single but they didn't believe them. According to Brian May and Roger Taylor on a 1991 interview with American DJ Redbeard on the show In the Studio with Redbeard about making of The Game, Michael Jackson ultimately convinced the band to release it as a single. They did it and it became their second #1 hit in the US. The song doesn't have any synths, the strange sounds were achieved via reversed pianos, and May's Red Special guitar through an Eventide harmoniser. It stayed at number one for three weeks in the United States. It is the only song to ever top the Billboard rock, dance, and R&B charts simultaneously selling over 7 million copies in the United States.
Need Your Loving Tonight
"Need Your Loving Tonight" was the other song by Deacon. Very Beatles-influenced in the melody (the "Oh, I need your loving" chorus is similar to "Eight Days a Week"), although it has a rocking guitar riff, giving the song a more power pop sound. Deacon played both rhythm and acoustic guitar as well as bass. On the live versions May sang backing vocals and Mercury played piano (both absent in the studio version). The song was released as a single in November 1980 and peaked at #44 in the US.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was the band's first #1 single in the United States. It is the last rockabilly song to be number one. Mercury started it in the bathroom in June 1979 and then wrote the chords using his Martin D18 acoustic guitar. He recorded it with Taylor and Deacon after having some drinks, and the entire session lasted about half an hour. Shortly before releasing it as a single, May added backing vocals and a guitar solo using Taylor's Fender Telecaster instead of his Red Special. There are no synthesizers. It was the first time that Mercury's guitar playing made it onto a Queen record. Brian played a black telecaster in the video and live because Taylor's guitar was stolen.
[Rock It (Prime Jive)
"Rock It (Prime Jive)" was composed by Taylor, and it caused controversy in the band. Producer Mack and May suggested it'd sound better with Mercury on vocals. They demoed both versions and Deacon preferred Taylor's version. Finally they decided to leave Mercury doing the intro and Taylor singing the rest. Taylor plays rhythm guitar and bass, Mercury plays organ and Mack plays synth on this track.
Don't Try Suicide
"Don't Try Suicide" is a song by Mercury including some slap-bass playing by John Deacon and piano parts by Mercury. No synthesizers were used. It is rhythmically based upon 1950's classic rock.
[ Sail Away Sweet Sister (To the Sister I Never Had)
"Sail Away Sweet Sister (To the Sister I Never Had)" was composed by Brian May. May sings the verses and choruses, Mercury took over the vocals for the middle eight. This song is based on the soft vocals by Brian May, it's tenure feeling and the sweet melodies on guitar and bass.
During the Use Your Illusion Tour ('91-'93), singer Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses would often sing the chorus of this song as an intro to "Sweet Child o' Mine".
"Coming Soon" is Taylor's song, sung as duet between Mercury and himself, and featuring Taylor on rhythm guitar. It originated from the Jazz album sessions in 1978, although only a glimpse can be heard in the early demo from the final version.
Main article: Save Me (Queen song)
Brian May wrote "Save Me" about a friend whose relationship had ended, and played piano, synths and guitars (electric and twelve-string acoustic) on it. This song, "Sail Away Sweet Sister", "Coming Soon" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" were recorded in 1979, the rest of the album was done in 1980.
Freddie Mercury: Lead Vocals, Piano, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Synthesiser
Brian May: Electric, Acoustic & 12-String Guitars, Piano, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Synthesiser
Roger Taylor: Drums, Electronic Drums, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Synthesiser
John Deacon: Bass, Guitar, Piano
Additional synthesisers by Mack
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"/"Spread Your Wings (Live)" – Elektra E46579; released October, 1979
"Save Me"/"Let Me Entertain You (Live)" – Elektra; released January 1980
"Play the Game"/"A Human Body" (non album B-side) – Elektra E46652; released June, 1980
"Another One Bites the Dust"/"Don't Try Suicide" – Elektra E47031; released August, 1980
"Need Your Loving Tonight"/"Rock It (Prime Jive)" – Elektra E47086: released November, 1980
Country Charts Sales
Peak position Weeks Certification
Australia 1 Platinum (5x) 300.000
Canada 1 Platinum (5x) 600.000
United Kingdom 1 18 Platinum 300.000
United States 1 43 Platinum (4x) 4.400.000
Germany 2 Gold 400.000
Netherlands 2 Gold 50.000
Norway 2 17 40.000
Austria 5 30 Gold 40.000
Japan 5 100.000
Sweden 7 7 50.000
Italy 9 150.000
France 17 300.000
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