Friday, July 7, 2023

Queen revisit 1982 performance of Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Queen revisit a 1982 performance of their smash hit, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, on the latest episode of the weekly series The Greatest Live.

Famously conceived by Freddie Mercury in 1979 amidst the bubbles of his bathtub at Munich’s Bayerischer Hof hotel, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” has always been one of the most playful songs in the Queen catalogue. But as we see in this week’s live archive footage from Japan, the song evolved on the stage to include an outro jam that found the band flexing their musical muscles.

As the first song in contention for 1980’s “The Game” at Munich’s Musicland Studios, the future No.1 hit moved at pace.

“It took me five or ten minutes,” Freddie told Melody Maker of writing the Elvis-inspired foundations. "I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords.”

Perhaps wary of the song vanishing into the ether, Freddie corralled the lineup and urged engineer Reinhold Mack to roll the tape.

“Freddie wrote it very quickly and rushed in and put it down with the boys,” Brian May told Absolute Radio. “By the time I got there, it was almost done. And I think the sounds that Mack managed to get – these very elemental, very real, ambient sounds in the studio – had a big contribution to make. It does sound very authentic.”

As the band’s first US No. 1, Mercury admitted it took “sheer guts and bravery” to strap on a twelve-string acoustic and drive the song’s rockabilly rhythm live. But as we see in this week’s footage, when the Japanese leg of 1982’s Hot Space Tour concluded at Tokorozawa’s Seibu Lions Stadium on November 3rd, the song had become the ideal platform for jamming, with Brian and Freddie gathered around piano player Fred Mandel with the joyous intimacy of a pub lock-in.

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

See also:

Queen evolve Another One Bites The Dust on The Greatest Live
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
Search Queen at hennemusic