Year 2, Day 28: Queen has the News of the World

Year 2, Album 28: Queen – News of the World

Tracklisting

  1. We Will Rock You
  2. We Are the Champions
  3. Sheer Heart Attack
  4. All Dead, All Dead
  5. Spread Your Wings
  6. Fight from the Inside
  7. Get Down, Make Love
  8. Sleeping on the Sidewalk
  9. Who Needs You
  10. It’s Late
  11. My Melancholy Blues

About the Album

News of the World is the sixth studio album by British rock band, Queen. The album was released October 28 1997, to massive commercial success. The album found critical acclaim as well as commercial acclaim; it is certified 4x Platinum in the United States, 2x Platinum in the United Kingdom, and in achieved many other high certifications worldwide. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 in the United States in 1977.

Thoughts on the Album

If you haven’t heard this album’s double-A single before, I question whether you have been living under a rock your whole live. In case you haven’t by (some incredible and extreme) chance heard the two songs before, I’ll give you some hints. Both are played at sporting arenas and stadiums worldwide. One they play to pump the crowd up, the other they may play after winning a championship. Give up? The two songs are: We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.

Today’s album, Queen‘s News of the World contains two of the band’s arguably most famous songs in their entire arsenal/repertoire of famous songs. With We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions you get to songs that are clear cut anthems. Not just any anthems, but arena anthems. Songs you will sing along to and remember forever after first listen. But before talking about those two songs, let’s discuss highlights of the rest of the album first.

Following the anthemic We Are the Champions, is the ferocious track, Sheer Heart Attack. At time when punk rock began to develop into full effect, it was a jab at it. The song is frenzied, punk rock influenced attack, backed by Roger Taylors fierce drumming and aggressive main riff. All Dead, All Dead is a heartfelt ballad; a respite from the opening three songs which were one big adrenaline rush. The song is opened by some beautiful piano by Brian May. All Dead, All Dead is about the death of… Brian May’s cat. No I’m not making this up. What an odd choice.

If Sheer Heart Attack was merely a jab, then what does that make Fight from the Inside? Featuring a catchy and testosterone-filled bluesy riff from Brian May anchored by a relentless rhythm that charges. Roger Taylor takes the lead on vocals here, scornful and blunt towards the same punks in Sheer Heart Attack. 

Now for the double A-side singles, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions. The song is simple in concept and premise: stomping and clapping. It’s the most famous beat ever: “stomp, stomp, clap, pause”. With it’s quintessential rebellious chorus, stomping and clapping verse, and lone Brian May guitar solo that builds up from the stomping and clapping, it’s one of the most primal and raw rock anthems ever written (in my opinion). It’s an infectiously catchy and dominant song.

If We Will Rock You is opener, then We Are the Champions is the main event and closer. Popular culture has fused We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions together. It’s a power ballad, that starts with some light piano and builds before giving way and exploding into the now, world famous chorus of…

We are the champions, my friends, and we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.

We are the champions

We are the champions

No time for losers, cause we are the champions, of the world…

I can’t ever imagine listening to We Are the Champions without hearing We Will Rock You come before it. (Thanks pop culture!)

Conclusion

Come for We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions stay for everything else. News of the World has everything a typical Queen album needs: excellent vocals from frontman Freddie Mercury, great guitar work from Brian May, excellent drumming from Roger Taylor, and great bass lines from John Deacon. This album will rock you and leave you singing “we are the champions!” have listening.

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