Crazy Little Thing Called Love

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For the 2010 Thai romantic-comedy film, see First Love (2010 Thai film).
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
Single by Queen
from the album The Game
B-side Spread Your Wings (live) or We Will Rock You (live)
Released 5 October 1979
Format Vinyl record (7" / 12")
Recorded June - July 1979
Genre Rockabilly[1]
Length 2:42
Label EMI, Elektra (US)
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Queen and Mack
Queen singles chronology
"Love of My Life"
(Live at Festhalle Frankfurt)
(1979)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(1979)
"Save Me"
(1980)
Music sample

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is a song by the rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is featured on their 1980 album The Game, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits. The song peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the group's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. on 23 February 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks.[2][3] It topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven weeks.[4]

Having composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar, Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, which was the first time he played guitar in concert.[5] Queen played the song live between 1979 and 1986, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the albums Queen Rock Montreal and Queen at Wembley.[6][7] Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists. The song was played live on 20 April 1992 during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by Robert Plant with Queen.[8] The style of the song was described by author Karl Coryat as rockabilly in his 1999 book titled The Bass Player Book.[1]

Composition[edit]

As reported by Freddie Mercury in Melody Maker, 2 May 1981, he composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on the guitar in just five to ten minutes.[9]

'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' took me five or ten minutes. 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. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.

—Freddie Mercury

The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley.[10] Queen drummer Roger Taylor added in an interview that Mercury wrote it in just 10 minutes while lounging in a bath in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich during one of their extensive Munich recording sessions.[11] Mercury took it to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Taylor and John Deacon.[5][12] The three of them, with their new producer Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. The entire song was reportedly recorded in less than half an hour (although Mack says it was six hours).[13] Having written "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar and played an acoustic rhythm guitar on the record, for the first time ever Mercury played guitar in concerts, for example at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.[5][14]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was filmed at Trillion Studios in September 1979 and directed by Dennis De Vallance featuring four dancers and a floor of hands. An alternate version featuring alternate angles, out-takes and backstage footage from the original video shoot was included on the Days Of Our Lives DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Personnel[edit]

Although Mercury would play an electrified twelve-string on stage (and later a six-string electric), in the studio he recorded it with a six-string acoustic with external mics. Freddie Mercury also played the original guitar solo on a version which has been lost.[15]

Single release[edit]

The "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" single hit number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the first U.S. number-one hit for the band, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.[2][3] The song also topped the Australian ARIA charts for seven consecutive weeks from 1 March to 12 April 1980.[4] The UK release had We Will Rock You (live) as the b-side and America, Australia, Canada had Spread Your Wings (live).

Live version[edit]

Whenever the song was played live, the band added a solid rock ending that extended the under-three-minute track to over five minutes. Brian May added a long guitar solo, while Freddie Mercury continued on the rhythm guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, John Deacon on the bass guitar and either Morgan Fisher or Spike Edney playing piano. Because of this extended aspect, most fans prefer the live versions to the studio recording.[according to whom?] An example of this is on the CD/DVD Set Live At Wembley Stadium, where the song runs over six minutes.

Dwight Yoakam version[edit]

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
Single by Dwight Yoakam
from the album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's
B-side "Let's Work Tegether"/"Doin' What I Did"
Released 19 May 1999
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:22
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Pete Anderson
Dwight Yoakam singles chronology
"These Arms"
(1998)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(1999)
"Thinking About Leaving"
(1999)

American country music singer Dwight Yoakam included a cover of the song on his 1999 album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's.[18] Yoakam's version was released as a single, peaking at number 12 on the U.S. country singles charts in 1999. It was also used in a television commercial for clothing retailer Gap at the time of the album's release. The music video was directed by Yoakam. This version appears in the movie The Break-Up (2006), starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

Charts[edit]

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" debuted at number 65 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of 1 May 1999.

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)[19] 19
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[20] 1
UK Singles Chart 43
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 64
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[22] 12

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[23] 22
US Country Songs (Billboard)[24] 64

Other cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Coryat, Karl (1999). The Bass Player Book. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 59. 
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993) (doc). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W
  5. ^ a b c Lights! Action! Sound! It's That Crazy Little Thing Called Queen Circus Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2011
  6. ^ Queen Rock Montreal Allmusic. Retrieved 4 September 2011
  7. ^ Live At Wembley 1986 Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 4 September 2011
  8. ^ The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Crazy Little Thing Called Love Retrieved 4 September 2011
  9. ^ Melody Maker 2 May 1981
  10. ^ Queen interview: Brian May on Crazy Little Thing Called Love on YouTube Absolute Radio. Retrieved 18 December 2011
  11. ^ ROGER SPEAKS: COLOGNE AUDIO PRESS KIT BrianMay.com. Retrieved 29 June 2011
  12. ^ Billboard 18 Jul 1980 p.33. Billboard. Retrieved 29 June 2011
  13. ^ "Interview with Reinhold Mack, Esq.". iZotope 
  14. ^ Crazy Little Thing Called Love UltimateQueen. Retrieved 29 June 2011
  15. ^ "May confirms Mercury played solo". Guitar & Bass 
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 August 2012.  Enter Crazy Little Thing Called Love in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 August 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Last Chance for a Thousand Years review". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  19. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 30, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  20. ^ "RPM Country Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 16, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  21. ^ "Dwight Yoakam Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Dwight Yoakam.
  22. ^ "Dwight Yoakam Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Dwight Yoakam.
  23. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1999". RPM. December 13, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Best of 1999: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  25. ^ Chipmunk Punk Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
  26. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/tributo-a-queen-los-grandes-del-rock-en-espanol-mw0000074016
  27. ^ Juice Newton Allmusic.
  28. ^ Michael Bublé Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
  29. ^ [1] Allmusic. Retrieved 8 November 2013
  30. ^ Room on the 3rd Floor, Pt. 1 Allmusic. Retrieved 20 July 2011
  31. ^ Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen Allmusic. Retrieved 10 October 2013
  32. ^ "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" With Diana Ross BrianMay.com. Retrieved 10 July 2011
  33. ^ Maroon 5 Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
  34. ^ "Drake Bell—Ready Steady Go!". AllMusic web site. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Please Don't Go" by KC and the Sunshine Band
Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single
23 February 1980 – 1 March 1980
Succeeded by
"Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers
Preceded by
"Do That to Me One More Time" by Captain & Tennille
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
23 February 1980 – 15 March 1980
Succeeded by
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" by Pink Floyd
Preceded by
"Please Don't Go" by KC and the Sunshine Band
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
1 March 1980 – 12 April 1980
Succeeded by
"I Got You" by Split Enz
Preceded by
"You've Got a Way" by Shania Twain
RPM Country Tracks number-one single (Dwight Yoakam version)
16 August 1999
Succeeded by
"God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" by Alabama featuring 'N Sync