Queen – We Will Rock You

I just saw a post about the album cover for News Of The World at The Press Music Reviews. It made me think of the first time I saw the cover of this album and when I heard this song.

QUEEN: News of the world LP Gatefold original UK 1977. We Will Rock You, We  Are The Champions etc - Yperano Records

In 3rd or maybe 4th-grade recess we were all going outside playing kickball. A friend of mine named Paul brought this album to school. We all looked at it and couldn’t stop talking about that cool robot cover. That was before I listened to it.

QUEEN News of the World Progressive Rock 12" LP Vinyl Album Gallery  #vinylrecordsNews Of The World

When I first heard We Will Rock You… the guitar solo is what stood out to me. It’s so simple yet catchy like many of Brian May’s solos…it was more like a hook. It turned into an anthem with We Are The Champions.  I made a vow that if I learned how to play guitar one day I would learn that solo. I forgot about that vow until a few years ago and I finally kept that promise to myself.

We Will Rock You was released as a double A-side single with We Are The Champions. Since the songs were released, the band has almost always used “Rock You” and “Champions” as a back-to-back encore number. The album peaked at #3 in the Billboard Album charts, #2 in Canada, #15 in New Zealand, and #4 in the UK in 1977.

On Queen’s next album, they had another set of songs disc jockeys played together. “Bicycle Race” and “Fat Bottomed Girls” were segued together on their album Jazz. Those songs were also released as a double A-side single.

While in the studio they had a visit from no other than Sid Vicious. He berated Freddie Mercury and asked him if he had brought ballet to the masses yet…referring to an earlier Mercury interview.  Freddie said “I called him, I dunno, Simon Ferocious or something, and just pushed him out. I think… yeah, I think we passed that test.” Roger Taylor later called Vicious a moron and idiot.

Brian May: There were two occasions that inspired it. One I’ve spoken about a lot, which was at Bingley Hall [near Birmingham, England] where the audience sang every song and then we went off stage and they carried on singing and then they sang [the de facto Liverpool F.C. football anthem] “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” It was a transitional time in rock. You went to see Led Zeppelin and The Who, you’d bang your head but you didn’t sing along, that wasn’t cool. This was an invitation to sing along.

A light went off and I thought, “We shouldn’t fight this, we should embrace it!” People didn’t do that at the time at rock concerts. I thought, “How interesting — if I wrote something, the audience could participate it to the point that they could lead the band?” I went to sleep and woke up with “We Will Rock You” in my head. When you’re at a show you can hardly move, but you can stomp your feet and chant and clap and lead us.

Roger Taylor: “It only has one instrument apart from the voice: There’s no bass, no real drums — just feet and handclaps and only that guitar at the very end. It’s quite an odd song. It was designed as a sort of song for the audience, a joining-in song. But we never really envisioned that it would be taken up by sports. It’s one of delights of… I’ve spent my life being in a band, so it sidelined all sports. I reckoned I could meet more girls being in a band than playing soccer.”

The single was accompanied by a promo video that saw Queen perform the song in Roger Taylor’s back garden and We Will Rock You quickly became the opening number on the band’s winter tour.

We Will Rock You

Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday
You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singin’

We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

Buddy, you’re a young man, hard man
Shouting in the street, gonna take on the world someday
You got blood on your face, you big disgrace
Waving your banner all over the place

We will, we will rock you, sing it
We will, we will rock you

Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes, gonna make you some peace someday
You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back into your place

We will, we will rock you, sing it
We will, we will rock you, everybody
We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you
Alright

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Queen – We Will Rock You”

  1. Great stuff Max
    Love the gatefold on this one. A few years back I was at an used record shop and I was buying some other vinyl when I seen this one on top of a stack behind the counter. I asked the guy u want to sell that one right now ! Lol
    Went home with it as well

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! I’d never seen the album cover foldout, or other art from it and it is impressive… goes to what we were talking about yesterday with Storm Thorgerson who did so many Pink floyd covers among other things – good album covers really enhanced the whole experience of the record.
    I am tired of hearing this song on radio but have to say, it certainly is a rock classic and they were genius mixing it with “We Are The Champions”. Ultimate jock-rock piece of all-time probably!
    Agree with Taylor about Sid Vicious! Johnny rotten was just playing the part and is actually pretty smart; Jones, Matlock, not virtuosos by any means but adequate musicians but Sid… wasn’t much more there than met the eye I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dave! Yea it was genius combining the two together. They compliment each other perfectly.
      Yea I’ve only heard bad things about Sid…he just couldn’t learn bass and he wasn’t the sharpest pencil in the drawer.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I hate to be a cold sore on the article, but I would be more than delighted if I never heard that song again in my life as well as ‘We are the Champions’. Collective group stomping songs don’t do it for me. Queen to me, are like the ‘Mickey Mouse’ (making everything cute and nice) of the Rock world. I understand why they were popular and they did amazing things mixing classical with rock. I get it. But their music didn’t stand for anything and expressed nothing meaningful. Fantasy rock. Anyway, that’s just my meagre opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see your point, but I also think they drew more into pop/rock than they left out. Up till Queen you were a seasoned Who or Stones follower or a new snotty LOUD punk Pistols fan, but Queen let everyone join in to join in the raucous fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not denying Queen’s influence on popular culture or getting everyone in on the act, but I just don’t like revisiting their music. I just dont get anything under the surface worth hearing again.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah man… there is music I do the same thing… like Men Without Hats and 80s bands like that… I totally don’t like it.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Heh. Everytime I hear this, I am transported back to 7th grade chorus. As one of the taller kids, even back then, I was always on the back row, mostly with the guys. *stomp-stomp, clap* It’s a good thing those bleachers on stage were well made. We had fun stomping & singing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a simple yet pretty cool tune, especially the guitar part. When that song was on the radio in Germany, I remember it was always paired with “We Are the Champions”. I don’t believe that ever happened for “Bicycle Race” and “Fat Bottomed Girls.” Did they connect these tunes on the radio in the US?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not as much but yea they would connect them together at times…at least I heard it. It’s a cool way to play a band…I’m sure they were happy…2 songs for the price of one.

      Liked by 1 person

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