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A collaboration with David Bowie, this is credited to "Queen with David Bowie" because the B-side of the single is Queen's "Soul Brother." It was recorded at an impromptu session in Montreaux, Switzerland.
According to Queen bass player John Deacon, Freddie Mercury did most of the songwriting on this, although everyone contributed. The lyrics deal with how pressure can destroy lives, but love can be the answer. The lyrics are characteristic of Mercury's songwriting. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Brian May recalled to Mojo magazine October 2008. "It was hard, because you had four very precocious boys and David, who was precocious enough for all of us. David took over the song lyrically. Looking back, it's a great song but it should have been mixed differently. Freddie and David had a fierce battle over that."
In the US, this was on Queen's Greatest Hits album and released as a single at the same time. It was not released on a UK album until 6 months later, when it was included on Hot Space.
This was only the second UK #1 hit for Queen. They hit #2 with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "We Are The Champions
," "Somebody To Love," and "Killer Queen," but their only previous #1 in England was "Bohemian Rhapsody
In the early '80s, it was popular for 2 superstars to get together and release a hit single. Other notable combinations include Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder on "Ebony And Ivory
," Diana Ross and Lionel Richie on "Endless Love
," and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton on "Islands in the Stream
." This was the first time Queen collaborated with another artist.
David Bowie performed this with Annie Lennox at the 1992 "Concert For Life" in Wembley Stadium, London. The show was a tribute to Freddie Mercury, with proceeds going to AIDS causes.
Vanilla Ice sampled this on "Ice Ice Baby
," which was a huge hit in 1990. Details are fudgy, but it appears that the sample was never cleared and a settlement was reached with Queen and Bowie long after Vanilla's song hit it big.
This song has been used in a number of movies, including 2002's 40 Days And 40 Nights and 2004's The Girl Next Door. It is also included in the hugely successful Queen tribute show We Will Rock You. (thanks, Jeffrey - Victoria, Canada)
During the Taste Of Chaos tour, the singers from My Chemical Romance and The Used would come out and perform this song at the end of the show. (thanks, Kyle - Montreal, Canada)
Joss Stone covered this for the 2005 Queen tribute album Killer Queen. (thanks, Rachel - South Point, OH)
This all-female group of country rockers were on their way to stardom in the '00s, with a Starbucks deal and major label backing.
Dean Friedman - "Ariel"
Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.
Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James
, and Running On Empty
. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."