We're continuing to work our way through the set list of Queen on Fire: Live at the Bowl. Last week we killed two songs with one post since our boys opened the concert with a medley of Flash/The Hero from the Flash Gordon soundtrack.
The next song on the set list is a fast version of We Will Rock You. For years, Queen closed their concerts with a We Will Rock You/We are the Champions medley, but during that time they often incorporated a fast version of their stadium staple into the set list.
We Will Rock You was written by Dr. May. It appeared on Queen's 1977 album News of the World. The song appeared as the B-side to the single We are the Champions. However, once the single was released, We Will Rock You became so popular and so frequently played by radio stations that the band decided to film a music video for it.
Dr. May wrote the song in response to the increased audience participation and interaction at Queen concerts. He wanted a song that the audience could mimic the instruments in addition to singing along. In reality, Dr. May's guitar is the only instrument used on this song: the famous stomp-stomp-clap was recorded from the boys stomping their feet on a drum podium. In concert, RT plays the beat on his drum kit.
The original version of the song was much more produced before Dr. May ultimately decided to strip the song down to it's bare bones, thus creating the instantly recognizable beat that we all know and love. The song remains in the public consciousness nearly 35 years later: last year the song was the most played song in NHL, NFL, and MLB stadiums. And the musical based on the music of Queen borrows it's title from the song.
The version from the Live at the Bowl show is great: full of energy and crazy fast! Queen usually played this version early in the set list and it's pretty obvious why: it sets the stage for the complete awesomeness that is to come!