Written by Freddie Mercury, 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: acetate, demo version and commercial release.
FRANCE: 1st and 2nd issue (maybe)
BELGIUM – HOLLAND – SPAIN: different back
PORTUGAL: different back; SOUTH AFRICA – CHILE
Is a song written by Queen guitarist Brian May and performed by the band for their 1977 album News of the World. The song was May’s idea of treating a song as a three-act theatrical play, and the verses are called “acts” in the lyrics sheet. It makes use of the tapping technique a few months before Eddie Van Halen’s use of the tapping technique on the Van Halen album. May told Guitar Player Magazine that his use of the tapping technique was inspired by Texas guitarist Rocky Athas, after seeing one of his performances at Mother Blues, a Dallas club. Tapping had also been previously used by other players, notably Steve Hackett of Genesis. The song is notable for its length and heavy, wide vocal range (E3-E6), bluesy guitar riff, and using the previously mentioned technique. The lyrics describe a love affair that is on the verge of ending.
The song was released as a single in the US in 1978, albeit in heavily edited form, and peaked at #74 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #66 on the Cash Box Top 100. The song was later included on the Queen Rocks compilation in 1997, and a new video was produced using footage of Las Vegas and prostitutes, intercut with live performances of the song.
The song appears in the 2006 documentary film Kurt Cobain: About a Son. The song also plays over the credits in the Jody Hill film Observe and Report. On the live album Return of the Champions by Queen + Paul Rodgers a stripped back version of the song “Hammer to Fall” is played in a fashion that takes inspiration from “It’s Late”.
|Japan||7″ PS||Elektra P 271E||red labels|
|Japan||7″ PS||Elektra P 271E||Promo white label|
|New Zealand||7″||Elektra E-45478||caterpillar labels|
|United Kingdom||10″||Emidisc||BBC versiomn of the song|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45478||butterfly labels|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45478||red labels|
|United States||7″ PS||Elektra E-45478||long/short version promo|
|United States||7″||PRC ES-45478-A-4||PRC test pressing, one-sided, company sleeve|
US: standard release. If something missing or wrong, please contact me at email@example.com
USA: various labels and demo version; CANADA
JAPAN: commercial and promo release; NEW ZEALAND: commercial and promo release