Friday, June 30, 2023

Queen evolve Another One Bites The Dust on The Greatest Live

Queen explore how they evolved their 1980 hit, “Another One Bites The Dust”, for the concert stage on the latest episode of the weekly series The Greatest Live.

Never satisfied to simply standing on stage and recreating their studio recordings note-for-note, Queen have always seized the opportunity to improvise on even their biggest hits.

Queen’s live musicianship means no song is set in stone. Improvs erupt, outros are jammed out, arrangements are bent out of shape and audiences are brought into the mix as backup singers – all with Freddie Mercury effortlessly controlling the impulsive push and pull.

Nowhere is Queen’s free-form approach to performance better demonstrated than in this week’s archive footage from the first of their two nights at Wembley Stadium in July 1986, in which the band settles into an impromptu groove of fan-favourite single “Another One Bites The Dust”, allowing Mercury to demonstrate his mastery at playing with a crowd.

When John Deacon first presented his iconic bassline at Munich’s Musicland Studios, it was deceptively simple: just three notes played on a single string, but already pulsing with potential.

“I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school and I've always been interested in that sort of music,” Deacon told Bassist & Bass Techniques. “I'd been wanting to do a track like Another One Bites The Dust for a while, but originally all I had was the line and the bass riff. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did.”

May recalls that Deacon was “totally in his own world and came up with this thing, which was nothing like what we were doing”.

Six years later, on the Magic Tour that proved to be Queen’s final outing fronted by Mercury, the song had evolved further still, with Deacon’s bassline and Taylor’s propulsive beat anchoring the performance while the singer led a thrilling call-and-response with the 72,000-strong Wembley crowd and May coaxed off-the-cuff funk licks from his Red Special guitar.

Get your copy of Queen’s “Greatest Hits” here.

See also:

Queen's Brian May revisits 1983 Star Fleet Project sessions
Queen’s Brian May introduces Star Fleet Project band lineup
Queen reimagine We Will Rock You on The Greatest Live
Queen’s Brian May reveals origins of Star Fleet Project ahead of 40th anniversary reissue
Search Queen at hennemusic