Another One Bites The Dust ~ Queen

Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor, with bassist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. However, Philip “Spike” Edney, on keys, bass, guitar, trombone and backing vocals, has worked with the band to such an extent that he has been referred to as “the fifth member of Queen”

The band were noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.

Following Mercury’s death in 1991 and Deacon’s retirement in 1997, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2004 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.

“I thought up the name Queen. It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid, It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.” – Freddy Mercury

Another One Bites The Dust

Another One Bites The Dust was written by Queen’s  bass guitarist John Deacon, and is credited as Queen’s best selling single.

The bass line was inspired by the song “Good Times” by the Disco group Chic.  In an interview with New Musical Express, Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards stated, “…that Queen record came about because that Queen bass player… spent some time hanging out with us at our studio”.

Recording sessions were produced by Reinhold Mack at Musicland Studios in Munich (West Germany) and consisted of Deacon playing almost all the instruments: bass, piano, rhythm and lead guitars and handclap percussion. Roger Taylor added a drum loop and Brian May contributed some noises with his guitar and an Eventide Harmonizer. There are no synthesisers used in the song: all effects are created with pianos, guitars, and drums, with subsequent tape playback performed in reverse at various speeds. Finally, some sound effects were run through the harmonizer for further processing. The effect of the harmoniser can be heard clearly in the “swirling” nature of the sound immediately before the first lyric. After attending a Queen concert in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson suggested to Freddie Mercury backstage that “Another One Bites the Dust” be released as a single. The earlier live performances of the song had drummer Roger Taylor on lead vocals during the chorus, as opposed to the album version which was sung by Mercury in its entirety. In later performances, parts of the chorus were sometimes not sung by any member of the band, letting the audience sing it instead.

In the early 1980s, “Another One Bites the Dust” was one of many popular rock songs that Christian evangelists alleged contained subliminal messages through a technique called backward masking. It was claimed that the chorus, when played in reverse, will be heard as “decide to smoke marijuana.” or “It’s fun to smoke marijuana”. A spokeswoman for Hollywood Records (Queen’s current US label) has denied that the song contains a backward message.

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Steve walks warily down the street,
with the brim pulled way down low
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet,
machine guns ready to go
Are you ready, Are you ready for this
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along,
without you, when you’re gone
You took me for everything that I had,
and kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied
How long can you stand the heat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
There are plenty of ways you can hurt a man
And bring him to the ground
You can beat him
You can cheat him
You can treat him bad and leave him
When he’s down
But I’m ready, yes I’m ready for you
I’m standing on my own two feet
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
repeating the sound of the beat

  • Audio from the 1980 album, The Game:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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