Jazz Single from over the world

Bicycle Race / Fat Bottomed Girls (edit)” were released in 1978 as a double A-side; the band staged a famous nude, all-female bicycle race to promote the single. The bicycle race took place on 17 September 1978 at Wimbledon Stadium in London. The picture sleeve showed a rear view of one of the ladies on her bicycle, but a pair of red panties were painted on to avoid public outcry. Legend has it that the band borrowed the bicycles from a store (“Halfords”, according to the liner notes), but upon returning them were informed that they would have to purchase all the seats, as they had been used in an improper manner (i.e. without clothing).


Mustapha” was released in 1979 only in Bolivia, Spain, Yugoslavia and Germany. Its B-side was “Dead on Time” (“In Only Seven Days” in Yugoslavia). Written by Freddie Mercury, the lyrics consist of English, Arabic, Persian and possibly a number of invented words. Some understandable words are “Mustapha”, “Ibrahim” and the phrases “Allah, Allah, Allah we’ll pray for you”, “salaam alaykum” and “alaykum salaam”.


Don’t Stop Me Now” was released in 1979; its B-side was “In Only Seven Days” (“More of That Jazz” in the US and Canada). Written by Mercury. It was a top ten hit single in the UK and is one of Queen’s most famous songs. May’s only input is a short guitar solo and backing vocals. The song was used in the now-famous bar scene of the motion picture Shaun of the Dead. In addition, the BBC show Top Gear named it the top song in a viewer poll of Top Ten driving songs. Google also used the song for their Google Doodle to commemorate Mercury’s 65th birthday on 5 September 2011.


Jealousy” was released in 1979 in the US, New Zealand, Brazil, USSR, and Canada; its B-side was “Fun It” (“Don’t Stop Me Now” in USSR, on a blue flexi disc). Penned by Mercury and features May playing his Hairfred acoustic guitar. The guitar had been given a replacement hardwood bridge, chiselled flat, with a small piece of fret wire placed between it and the strings, which lay gently above. The strings produce the “buzzing” effect of a sitar. This effect had already been used on “White Queen (As It Began)”, from Queen II. All vocals were recorded by Mercury.