Written by Freddie Mercury, “We Are the Champions” was built on audience response, with Brian May stating, “We wanted to get the crowds waving and singing. It’s very unifying and positive.” Musically, it is based on Mercury’s piano part, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon providing a drums and bass guitar backing. May overdubbed some guitar sections, initially subtle, but building to a “solo” played simultaneously with the last chorus. Mercury employed many jazz chords (major and minor 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th harmonies), and the choruses featured these voiced as 4 and 5-part vocal harmonies. The lead vocal is very demanding and strident (highest point is a C5 both belted and in falsetto), with one of Mercury’s most notable performances taking place at the Live Aid concert, at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985. The single featured “We Will Rock You” as a B-side, and followed the song on the album. The two songs were often played consecutively at the close of Queen concerts, and are customarily played together on radio broadcasts (in album order). Keeping with tradition, it was also used to close the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with all the show’s acts joining in behind the lead vocal of Liza Minnelli.
In 1977–1978, “We Are the Champions” was released as a single in many countries, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, number 4 on Billboard in the USA and rteached the top 10 in Ireland, Netherlands and Norway. The single also reached the top 15 in Germany, Austria and Sweden.
In 1992, 1993 and 1998, the single was re-released in France, totalling 45 weeks on the chart and peaking respectively at #19, #14 and #10 during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
In 2017 for celebrating the 40th anniversary of News of the World, the RSD Blackfriday issue is a limited 12″ edition of this single in 180-gram vinyl. This release features an exclusive cover and tracks remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2011.
|Argentina||7″||EMI 1566||Spanish titles|
|Argentina||7″||EMI 1566||Promo, spanish titles|
|Belgium||7″ PS||EMI 4C 006-60045||–|
|Bolivia||7″||EMI BO – 1217||–|
|Brazil||7″ PS||EMI 4113||–|
|Canada||7″||Elektra GS-45526||Spun Gold|
|Chile||7″||EMI 1358||Spanish titles|
|France||7″ PS||EMI 2C 006-60045||–|
|France||7″ PS||EMI 2C 006-60045||We Will Rock You on sleeve|
|Germany||7″ PS||EMI 1C 006-60045||–|
|Germany||7″ PS||EMI 006-20 3143 7||1980s reissue|
|Hungary||7″ PS||Pepita SPSK 70295||–|
|Italy||7″||EMI 3C 000-60045||jukebox with We Will Rock You|
|Italy||7″||EMI 3C 000-79000||jukebox with other artist|
|Italy||7″ PS||EMI 3C 006-60045|
|Italy||7″ PS||EMI 3C 006-60045||Ciao 2001 printed on front sleeve|
|Japan||7″ PS||Elektra P-230 E||–|
|Japan||7″ PS||Elektra P-230 E||Promo white label|
|Japan||CD3 PS||TODP-2256 QUECD6||–|
|Netherlands||7″ PS||EMI 5C 006-60045||–|
|Netherlands||7″ PS||promo with unique sleeve|
|Netherlands||CD5 PS||CHAMP-1||promo with unique sleeve|
|New Zealand||7″||Elektra E45441||–|
|Portugal||7″ PS||EMI 8E 006 60045 G||Portuguese writing on sleeve|
|South Africa||7″||EMI EMIJ 4193||–|
|Spain||7″ PS||EMI 10C 006-060.045||–|
|Thailand||7″ PS||TKR 519||EP with 3 different artists|
|United Kingdom||7″ PS||EMI 2708||–|
|United Kingdom||12″||EMI SP SLP 241 A1U||one sided promo|
|United Kingdom||CD3 PS||Parlophone QUECD6||–|
|United Kingdom||CD5 PS||ROCKYOU001||Promo, card sleeve|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45441||red labels|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45441||caterpillar labels|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45441||butterfly labels|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45441||mono/stereo promo|
|United States||7″||Elektra E-45090||Spun Gold|
|United States||12″||Elektra 12-77 DJ-A||mono/stereo promo|
|Yugoslavia||7″ PS||Jugoton SEMI-88951||–|
|USA||12″ PS||Hollywood Records RSD ?????||2017 RSD Exclusive Release|
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.
GERMANY: 77 issue VS 81 issue; FRANCE: We Will Rock You printed on front.
ITALY: CIAO 2001 printed on front, promo juke-box version 1, promo juke-box version 2, Die-cut sleeve, Sper promo sleeve version 1, Sper promo sleeve version 2
BELGIUM – HOLLAND – MEXICO: different back
PORTUGAL: front and back; HUNGARY
AUSTRALIA: front and back; THAILAND ep with other artist; POLAND: music postcard; JAPAN: insert sleeve and promo label
USA: promo, front and back plus the various labels