We Are The Champions

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.

Country Format Catalogue Comment
Argentina 7″ EMI 1566 Spanish titles
Argentina 7″ EMI 1566 Promo, spanish titles
Australia 7″ Elektra E45441
Belgium 7″ PS EMI 4C 006-60045
Bolivia 7″ EMI BO – 1217
Brazil 7″ PS EMI 4113
Canada 7″ Elektra E-45441
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
France CD5 PS 886032-2
France CD5 PS 5511452
Germany 7″ PS EMI 1C 006-60045
Germany 7″ PS EMI 006-20 3143 7 1980s reissue
Guatemala 7″ EMI 4372
Hungary 7″ PS Pepita SPSK 70295
Ireland 7″ EMI 2708
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
Mexico 7″ EMI 8097
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
Peru 7″ EMI 0121161
Philippines 7″ EMI 73-X-151
Poland POSTCARD
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 alessandro.carugini@libero.it

UK: acetate, demo version and commercial release.
We Are The Champions UK: acetate, demo version and commercial release

GERMANY: 77 issue VS 81 issue; FRANCE: We Will Rock You printed on front.
We Are The Champions 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
We Are The Champions 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
We Are The Champions BELGIUM - HOLLAND - MEXICO: different back

PORTUGAL: front and back; HUNGARY
We Are The Champions PORTUGAL: front and back; HUNGARY

AUSTRALIA: front and back; THAILAND ep with other artist; POLAND: music postcard; JAPAN: insert sleeve and promo label
We Are The Champions 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
We Are The Champions USA: promo, front and back plus the various labels