Friday, February 18, 2011

Queen Song of the Week: Another One Bites the Dust

The next song in Queen's set list at their 1982 concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1982 was Another One Bites the Dust, which I must admit as far as Queen songs go is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Another One Bites the Dust was written by bassist John Deacon. It appeared on the band's 1980 album The Game and was released as a single peaking at #1 on the U.S. charts and #7 on the U.K. charts. Surprisingly this was not the first time that a Queen single charted higher in the U.S. than in the U.K.: Crazy Little Thing Called Love had faired the same way just one year earlier.

I've been rather vocal in the past on my feelings about John Deacon. His musical tastes are light years away from mine: he was very interested in the funk sound. He tended to minimize (or even eliminate completely) RT's trademark drumming and most of his songs lack the layered harmonies which make Queen's music instantly recognizable. Heck, the man even included a synthesizer solo in one of his songs as opposed to using amazing Dr. May's guitar playing!

But, oh my gosh readers, I love this song! I can't help but sing along and I'm convinced that should ever RT and Dr. May come to New England in search of the next great female vocalist, I could totally wow them with my rendition of this song. That is, if my Rock Band perfromances are to be relied on: the first day I had the Queen track pack (back in October 2009), I sang this song something like four times in a row!

In 2009, RT explained, "I remember laying down the backing track with him [Deacon] and it was... he really wanted the drums as dry as they could possibly be, so I just stuffed it all with blankets and made it as dead as I possibly could and very low tuned and... but it’s that thump that... We never really liked that kind of thing. But this actually turned out... we weren’t going to release this as a single and I think it was Michael Jackson that... actually who actually suggested that we release it as a single and I thought he was nuts, but..."

Supposedly when Deaky first presented the song to the band, the lyrics told a cowboys with each verse ending as that cowboy "bit the dust." Oh dear. Luckily Freddie took over and changed the lyrics, making them slightly more contemporary and less...oh shall we say...ridiculous.

As much as I do like this song, I think I like it outside the realm of Queen. It's not an accurate reflection of their music or what they were about as a band, but the fact of the matter is: it's a great song!

Happy Listening!


  1. Really really random, but this is a song which has a strange and upsetting connection for me. I grew up in a CT suburb of NYC and on Sept. 11 I was a junior in high school. My dad worked in the city (midtown, thankfully) but a huge number of kids in my school had parents who worked in the financial district. Needless it say it was a horrible day with everyone trying to get hold of their parents (which was hard because cell phone service was down) and, like everyone in the country, the whole day playing out on tv.

    In the afternoon a friend and I decided to leave campus and just get somewhere quiet. We got in my car and immediately Another One Bites the Dust was on the radio. I'll never forget how my friend and I looked at each other and how ridiculously inappropriate that refrain felt on that day. I still think of that day and get the same feeling in my gut whenever I hear the song.

    On a totally objective note, it is a great Queen song!

  2. I love this song, too! I found a musical birthday card last year that I sent to my mom (who also likes this song!)