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Dragon Attack by Queen
Album: The GameReleased: 1980
Most of the track evolved from a jam session the band had at the studio while they were bladdered. That's how the basic loop of bass and drums came out. Brian May then added lyrics and melody, the latter being surprisingly similar to "We Will Rock You
" (compare "Buddy you're a boy make a big noise playing in the street" with "Take me to the room where the red's all red take me").
It came as quite the musical surprise in the running order on the album - both that the rock-orientated May wrote it (as opposed to the more funk/disco leaning Deacon and Mercury) and after the very traditionally Queen "Play The Game
." However, it does work on easing the listener in to "Another One Bites The Dust".
"Dragon Attack" is one of several songs on The Game which best demonstrates Queen's experimentation with more minimal recording techniques during this period. They had a new producer, Mack, and were working in high-tech studios in Munich, away from their regular producer Roy Thomas Barker (with whom they had developed their hugely complex sound) for the first time.
Brian May spoke about this new approach: "Yeah, that was when we started trying to get outside what was normal for us. We turned our whole studio technique around in a sense, because Mack had come from a different background from us. We thought there was only one way of doing things, like doing a backing tracks: We would just do it until we got it right. If there were some bits where it speeded up or slowed down, then we would do it again until it was right. We had done some of our old backing tracks so many times, they were too stiff. Mack's first contribution was to say, 'Well you don't have to do that. I can drop the whole thing in. If it breaks down after half a minute, then we can edit in and carry on if you just play along with the tempo.' We laughed and said 'Don't be silly. You can't do that.' But in fact, you can. What you gain is the freshness, because often a lot of the backing tracks is first time though. It really helped a lot. There was less guitar on that album, but that's really not going to be the same forever; that was just an experiment."