Queen - News of the World
On October 28, 1977, "Queen" released their sixth studio album "News of the World".
The album marked a sharp transition from symphonic and progressive rock of previous albums, to basic and simple rock.
With the rise of punk rock in the UK and especially the success of bands like the Sex Pistols, the band realized it needed to "go with the flow" and made a conscious decision to spontaneously change their musical style to more basic and simple rock, with as minimalist production as possible.
The band enters the "Sarm West" and "Wessex" studios in London to record the album. At the same time, the "Sex Pistols" recorded the album "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" at "Wessex Studios", which was also released on the same day with a great timing. This neighborhood of Oueen's to punk-rock pioneers led to bizarre encounters between members of the two bands, the best known of which is the encounter between Freddie Mercury and Sid Vicious who stung Freddie and asked if he had already managed to bring the "ballet" to the masses. Freddie of course did not remain obligated and during an NME interview called Sid Vicious "Simon Ferocious" and replied that he and the band were doing their best (bringing the ballet to the masses).
The material written for the album is more eclectic and diverse and ranges from a variety of musical styles, from stadium rock of the immortal songs "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", through the punk-rock of "Sheer Heart Attack", blues-rock in the song "Sleeping on the Sidewalk", to Funk influences ("Get Down, Make Love"), jazz ("My Melancholy Blues ") and even Latin ("Who Needs You").
The album features two of the band's greatest hits:
The opening song "We Will Rock You" was written by Brian May following a dream he had. He recalled that during one of the band's performances, the audience sang the anthem of the Liverpool football team "You'll Never Walk Alone". That night he went to bed while pondering what could cause the audience to actively participate while playing the song in performances. The next morning he got up with the idea of a rhythm in his head, that would make the audience stamp their feet and clap along with the band. May thought of a simple 4/4 rhythm that was divided as follows: stamping, stamping, clapping, pausing. How simple and still so amazing! Because this song will become one of the greatest stadium anthems of all time.
Immediately after that, comes another huge stadium hit - "We Are the Champions" written by Freddie Mercury back in 1975. Amazingly Mercury also claimed to have thought of football when he wrote the song. He thought of something fans will be able to connect to. He called this song my version of "I Did It My Way".
Other interesting songs from the album:
"Sheer Heart Attack" which is a pure punk-rock song, written back in 1974 and was supposed to be included on the album of the same name, but the band did not finish writing it. In the demo version Taylor sang the whole song, but the band decided that Freddie would sing the verse and Taylor only the chorus. Roger Taylor, who also wrote the song, also plays bass and rhythm guitar.
"Fight from the Inside" written by Roger Taylor, who also sings and plays on almost all instruments including guitar alongside Brian May. This is one of the songs which Slash was heavily influenced by it's riffs.
"Get Down, Make Love" that opens the other side of the vinyl was written by Freddie Mercury. It is interesting to note that the psychedelic sound heard during the song (starting at about 2:35) is not the result of synthesizers but of Brian May's "Red Special" guitar which was connected to an electro-harmonics effect.
"Sleeping on the Sidewalk" written and sung by Brian May is the only song in the band's catalog that was recorded in one take (except for the singing). Proof of this can be found in a minor slips in John Deacon's playing and Brian May's laughter at the end of the song. The song does not include any Freddie Mercury contribution but he sang it in the band performances.
"It's Late" was written by Brian May and is also the last single released from the album. Brian May can be heard playing "tapping" technique that will be known later from guitarist Eddie Van Halen's playing and is already reflected in "Van Halen"'s debut album which came out four months later. History proves that May did it before, and Steve Hackett of "Genesis" even did it before him. By the way, this song was one of Kurt Cobain's favorites.
The jazzy ending track whose name refers to the blues in general - "My Melancholy Blues". The song written and composed by Mercury and deals with fame and what it brings with it. A personal and revealing song, with no guitars or background vocals. A perfect song to sign the album. By the way, we recommend the live version of songs from this album in the recordings from BBC Sessions, especially this song that features a solo by Brian May that does not exist on the album (we said no guitars). Listen here:
The name of the album came from the name of a newspaper that came out in England. The cover was influenced by the October 1953 issue of science fiction magazine "Astounding Science Fiction", when the character of the man holding the robot was replaced with the characters of the band members. Roger Taylor kept a copy of the magazine and really liked the picture. He turned to illustrator Frank Kelly Freas who painted the cover and asked him for permission to use the image for the band's album. He agreed and replaced the character of the dead man with the characters of the band members. Later the robot was also given the name "Frank".
It is one of Queen's most successful and best-selling albums in the United States along with the album "The Game".