Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)

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"Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)"
Song by Queen from the album A Night at the Opera
Released 21 November 1975
Recorded August–November 1975
Sarm East Studios
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock
Length 3:43
Label EMI, Parlophone (Europe)
Elektra, Hollywood (US)
Writer Freddie Mercury
Producer Queen
Roy Thomas Baker
A Night at the Opera track listing

"Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)" is a song by British rock group Queen, and is the opening track on their fourth studio album A Night at the Opera. The song was written by Freddie Mercury and allegedly describes his hatred toward Queen's ex-manager, Norman Sheffield, who is reputed to have mistreated the band and abused his managerial role from 1972 to 1975.

The song was recorded and mixed at Sarm East Studios in late 1975. As with "Bohemian Rhapsody", most of the guitar parts on the song were initially played on piano by Mercury, to demonstrate to Brian May how they needed to be played on guitar.

Lyrics[edit]

The song is considered to be Mercury's "hate letter" towards the band's former manager, incorporating a vast range of vicious lyrics, and described by Mercury as being, "so vindictive that Brian felt bad singing it."[1] However, in his autobiography published in 2013, "Life on Two Legs: Set The Record Straight",[2] Norman Sheffield denied such rumours and referred to copies of the original 1972 Queen management contracts between Sheffield and Queen included in the book as proof to back up his defence. Though the song never made a direct reference to him, upon listening to a playback of the song at Trident Studios during the time of album release, Sheffield was appalled and sued both the band and the record label for defamation which resulted in an out of court settlement,[3] and this later revealed to the public his connection to the song.

During live performances, Mercury would usually dedicate the song to "a real motherfucker of a gentleman". This line was censored (via bleeps) on their Live Killers album in 1979.

Live recordings[edit]

"Death on Two Legs" was regularly performed live by Queen up until, and during, The Game Tour. However, there is only one live version of the song ever officially released, appearing on the 1979 album Live Killers. The piano introduction though was played through the Hot Space and The Works tours.

Cover versions[edit]

The song is also featured in Rock Band Blitz and then released as downloadable content in the Rock Band store, performed by Queen themselves.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 03-17-1977 Circus Magazine.
  2. ^ [1] Life on Two Legs - Norman Sheffield
  3. ^ Sheffield, Norman (2013). Life on Two Legs. UK: Trident Publishing. p. 239. ISBN 9780957513310. 

External links[edit]