RIFFS / Toby Jepson of the Little Angels on the majesty of Queen

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The Independent Culture
'These two tracks are consecutive on the album News Of The World, with only a tiny gap between them. It became traditional for AOR radio stations in the United States to play them back to back, and that became a tradition at concerts too. It was these two songs that broke Queen around the world.

I don't think there's ever been a song with such a memorable drum hook as 'We Will Rock You'. Freddie Mercury could really write things from a rhythm point of view. I remember hearing he'd gone to a ballet school and taped them all stamping in time, and overdubbed that with soldiers' marching feet. It's so exciting.

From that tribal sound you go into the completely different 'We Are The Champions', which is musical, powerful, pompous, theatrical. This was 1977-78 and synth-pop was coming through, but there's nothing synthetic here - guitar, bass, drums, piano and operatically styled harmonies. All four of them would sing live, except on Bohemian Rhapsody, where they'd go offstage and leave tapes playing. It begins with Freddie's voice and some majestic piano, then you're hit with a barrage of guitars. When it comes to classic rock arrangements, they wrote the book with this one.'

'We Will Rock You' and 'We Are The Champions' are on Queen's 'News Of The World' (EMI CD CZ102)