Written by bassist John Deacon and taken from the album News Of the World, it was released as the A side of the single Spread Your Wings/Sheer Heart Attack in 1978. It features Freddie Mercury on the piano and vocals, Brian May on the electric guitar, Roger Taylor on the drums and John Deacon on the bass guitar. A live version of the song appears in the band’s 1979 album Live Killers. The song peaked at number 34 in the UK chart. A live BBC radio session recording features a unique speeded-up final section of the song.
The song is in 4/4 meter, and begins with a simple piano motif in D major, modulating down to D’s relative key B minor in the bridge, and returning to D in the chorus. The lyrics of the song describe a troubled young man named Sammy who works at The Emerald Bar, sweeping the floor. The narrator (Freddie Mercury) of the song encourages Sammy to pursue his dreams, telling him to “spread your wings and fly away”.
“Spread Your Wings” was not released as a single in North America. It was, however, featured as a B-side to Queen’s 1980 hit, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (#1 US chart).
This song was covered by German power metal band Blind Guardian on their 1992 album “Somewhere Far Beyond”. The same recording reappeared on their 1996 album The Forgotten Tales.
|Belgium||7″ PS||EMI 4C 006-60476||blue bordered back cover|
|Brazil||7″||EMI 31C 006 60476||–|
|Chile||7″||EMI 1421||Promo, spanish titles|
|France||7″ PS||EMI 2C 006 60476||additional text on front|
|France||7″ PS||EMI 2C 006 60476||Slightly different sleeve and label|
|Germany||7″ PS||EMI 1C 006-60476||–|
|Italy||7″ PS||EMI 3C 006-60476||–|
|Netherlands||7″ PS||EMI 5C 006-60476||green bordered on back|
|Portugal||7″ PS||EMI 8E 006 60476 G||black/white back|
|Spain||7″ PS||EMI 10C 006.060476||spanish subtitles on back|
|South Africa||7″||EMIJ 4207||–|
|United Kingdom||7″ PS||EMI 2757||–|
|United Kingdom||10″||(none)||acetate, one-sided|
UK: standard release. In many country there’s some difference in the back and/or the front PS. I’ll try to show you all! :) If something missing or wrong, please contact me at email@example.com
UK: acetate, demo version and commercial release.
FRANCE: 1st and 2nd issue (maybe)
BELGIUM – HOLLAND – SPAIN: different back
PORTUGAL: different back; SOUTH AFRICA – CHILE