I was a huge Queen fan from their first album to The Game. I finally got to see them in Baton Rouge early August 1980 during The Game tour. The band had gotten their first number one single in the US a few months earlier with Crazy Little Thing Called Love. I was wondering what their follow-up single would be, and not in a million years would I have guessed it to be Another One Bites the Dust. As the concert approached, no new song had been released. The local station who was promoting the concert decide to start playing Another One Bites the Dust. I was shocked to see it became the #1 requested song on the station for days leading into the concert. Queen was not playing the song in their setlist yet, but during the concert between songs they played the guitar riff from the song and the crowd went wild. The band didn't seem to get it that it was a huge hit already in BR, so they went to the next song in the playlist. Not long after the concert, it was released as a single and within two months it became their 2nd #1 US hit and eventually became the biggest song of the year in the US according to Cashbox. As you probably know, it went to #2
on the US soul chart, which was almost unheard of for a rock band. In any case, it was the most surprising Queen hit to me, especially how huge it was in the US. It was fun to be part of the initial uprising.
Good to hear about their steady climb in America.Big albums and tours and finally a number one.I get the Hot Space decline thing,The Works did OK as there was no tour,but what happened to A Kind Of Magic? especially as it was so huge in Europe.And British bands like Genesis,Tears for Fears and the Pet Shop Boys were doing well.Perhaps you thought they had split up?number 46 on billboard or something? what happened!
Well honestly, I thought they lost their way for a bit following all the success of the two atypical singles from The Game. I was glad for the success of the two singles but was never crazy about them. With Hot Space, the two singles left a bad taste in my mouth. Staying Power seemed to me their attempt to get back on the Soul stations in the US but it just seemed contrived to me and ultimately failed. Body Language also just seemed hollow to me. I had loved Queen for their creativity, harmonies, and melodic hard rock, so when they released 4 straight single that were far away from this I felt at the time so disappointed (teenaged fanboys can be rigid!). I gravitated to other artists that appealed to me more, especially Prince. In recent years I came back to their classic albums with renewed appreciation. When I started streaming music about a year ago, I decided to give all their subsequent albums a chance. I was surprised how much I liked the album Innuendo and I also liked Made in Heaven, though I understand why some fans don't, With the remaining albums, I made a very long playlist of the best songs. This playlist has been my favorite thing to listen to since then. I am so glad they still made some worthy music later in their career, and I was pig headed not to give them a chance earlier.
Sinceyou mention The game album & its singles and then jump into Hot Space Era.
I wonder how US received Flash single and album, the latter had great music reviews well deserved, in terms of music is beautiful. But only two song. It was nominated for best soundtrack (I don't remember well)
Very underrated by many fans.
Also under pressure.
I always wanted to ask and American why Flash Gordon and Under pressure were somehow "ignored" and body language was a success compare to Flash and under pressure.
A good question. One possibility is it was part of a common trend (at least in the US) that monster albums and singles are often followed by albums and singles that are dramatically less successful. This happened to Queen when their three most commercially successful studio albums with huge singles on them (A Night at the Opera, News of the World, and The Game) were all followed by albums that didn't generate much interest here. I also thought that Flash was not that big of a hit in most places, but I could be wrong? As far as Under Pressure, it amazed me that it didn't do well here. Such a brilliant song! Unlike most places, David Bowie's contributions on the track probably didn't help it commercially. He was more of a major cult figure here rather than someone who had mass appeal and significant radio play except for his Let's Dance album. Go figure American tastes!
@ gandorb Thanks for these thoughts, that's a very interesting read indeed. And I think I get what you're saying re sudden shifts in American audiences' tastes, no wonder everyone is so semi-paranoid over there, lol. It seems like Americans make up their mind real quick ;-)