We Are the Champions

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"We Are the Champions"
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
B-side "We Will Rock You"
Released 7 October 1977
Format 7", CD single
Recorded 1977
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 2:59
Label EMI (UK)
Elektra (US)
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Queen, assisted by Mike Stone
Queen singles chronology
"Long Away"
(1977)
"We Are the Champions" / "We Will Rock You"
(1977)
"Spread Your Wings"
(1978)
This article is about the Queen song. For the British TV game show, see We Are the Champions (TV series).

"We Are the Champions" is a power ballad written by Freddie Mercury and recorded and performed by British rock band Queen for their 1977 album News of the World.[1] One of their most famous and popular songs, it remains among rock's most recognisable anthems.[2]

The song was a worldwide success, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart, and number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.[3][4] In 2009, "We Are the Champions" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame,[5] and was voted the world's favourite song in a 2005 Sony Ericsson world music poll.[6] In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest in the history of popular music.[7]

"We Are the Champions" has become an anthem for sporting victories,[2] including as official theme song for 1994 FIFA World Cup, and has been often used or referenced in popular culture. The song has also been covered by many artists.

Original Queen version[edit]

Music[edit]

Written by Freddie Mercury, "We Are the Champions" was built on audience response, with Brian May stating; 'We wanted to get the crowds waving and singing. It’s very unifying and positive'.[8]

Musically, it is based around Mercury's piano part, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon providing a drums and bass guitar backing. May overdubbed some guitar sections, initially subtle, but building to a 'solo' played simultaneously with the last chorus. Mercury employed many jazz chords (major and minor 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th harmonies), and the choruses featured these voiced as 4 and 5-part vocal harmonies. The lead vocal is very demanding and strident (highest point is a C5 both belted and in falsetto), with one of Mercury's most notable performances taking place at the Live Aid concert, at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.[9]

The single featured "We Will Rock You" as a B-side, and followed the song on the album. The two songs were often played consecutively at the close of Queen concerts, and are customarily played together on radio broadcasts (in album order).[2] Keeping with tradition, it was also used to close the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with all the show's acts joining in behind the lead vocal of Liza Minnelli.[2]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was filmed at a special video shoot with fan club members at the New London Theatre Centre on 6 October 1977 and was directed by Derek Burbridge. An alternate version which starts in monochrome before blasting into colour as the drums and guitars kick in was broadcast on Top Of The Pops 2 and comprises alternate footage shot on the same day.

Catchiest song ever[edit]

In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest song in the history of pop music, despite it not hitting #1 in the charts in any major market. Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen said of the study, "Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology; from the physics and frequencies of sound that determine pitch and harmony, to the hi-tech digital processors and synthesisers which can add effects to make a song more catchy. We’ve discovered that there’s a science behind the sing-along and a special combination of neuroscience, maths and cognitive psychology can produce the elusive elixir of the perfect sing-along song."[7]

Chart performances[edit]

In 1977–1978, "We Are the Champions" was released as a single in many countries, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] number 4 on Billboard in the US.,[4] the top 10 in Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway, and top 15 in Germany, Austria and Sweden.[10][11]

In 1992, 1993 and 1998, the single was re-released in France, totalling 45 weeks on the chart and peaking respectively at #19, #14, and #10 during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[11]

Personnel[edit]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Crazy Frog version[edit]

"We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"
Single by Crazy Frog
from the album Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits
Released 5 June 2006
Format CD single, Maxi single, Digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre Dance, electronica
Length 3:03
Label Ministry of Sound
Producer(s) Erik Wernquist
Crazy Frog singles chronology
"Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch This"
(2005)
"We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"
(2006)
"Last Christmas"
(2006)

"We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" is a 2006 song by Crazy Frog inspired by Queen's 1977 hit "We Are the Champions". It was released as a single on June 5, 2006. A cover of the 1977 Queen song of the same name, it was released to coincide with the 2006 World Cup. Vocal arrangements include a sample portion of Queen's original rendering.

Music video[edit]

The music video depicts Crazy Frog in bed dreaming that he is competing in a football match against Killbots. Though outnumbered, he easily defeats and humiliates them. One goal rebounds off the net knocking him out and causing him to briefly wake up. Having defeated his enemies he finds himself hovering in a football universe. He happens to glance at hundreds of clones marching toward him. He panics and runs in fear. He reaches a tall stairway leading up to a giant gold trophy. Crazy Frog becomes exhausted near the top unlike his indefatigable pursuants. The trophy turns into a giant football that begins to roll rapidly down toward Crazy Frog. Crazy Frog is crushed and falls with the ball all the way back to the ground, startling him enough to wake up.

Chart performances[edit]

The single had its greatest success in France. It went straight to #1 on June 10, 2006, and stayed at this position for five weeks. Then, it kept on dropping in the chart. It remained for 9 weeks in the top 10, 17 weeks in the top 50 and 25 weeks in the chart. On August 30, 2006, it was certified Gold disc two months after its release by SNEP, the French certificator, and became the 15th best selling single in 2006 in that country.

Track listings[edit]

CD single
  1. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (radio edit) – 2:57
  2. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix) – 5:49
Maxi single
  1. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (radio edit) – 2:57
  2. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (house mix) – 6:04
  3. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix) – 5:51
  4. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix dub) – 5:17
  5. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (video)

Certifications and sales[edit]

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
Belgium[18] Gold September 9, 2006 20,000
France[19] Gold August 30, 2006 200,000 205,908[20]

Charts[edit]

Other versions and samplings[edit]

Live covers[edit]

Preceded by
"Un'estate italiana"
by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini
FIFA World Cup theme song
with
Gloryland by Daryl Hall

1994
Succeeded by
"The Cup of Life" by Ricky Martin
and
"Together Now"
by Jean Michel Jarre and Tetsuya Komuro

References[edit]

  1. ^ BRITs 25 Song Award: We Are The Champions – Queen BBC Retrieved 21 January 2011
  2. ^ a b c d We Are the Champions: Song Review AllMusic Retrieved 21 January 2011
  3. ^ a b c UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  4. ^ a b c d Billboard allmusic.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  5. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame Award Grammy.org Retrieved 21 April 2011
  6. ^ Haines, Lester (29 September 2005) 'We Are The Champions' voted world's fave song (Sony Ericsson world music poll) Retrieved 21 April 2011
  7. ^ a b We Are The Champions voted catchiest pop song of all time... by scientists, The Daily Mail, September 29, 2011
  8. ^ For the first time ever...Queen: Ten great hits from the sensational rock band Mail Online Retrieved 21 January 2011
  9. ^ Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury BBC News Retrieved 22 January 2011
  10. ^ a b Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "We Are the Champions", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  12. ^ 1978 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  13. ^ 1998 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  14. ^ "French single certifications – Queen – We Are the Champions" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Select QUEEN and click OK
  15. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – We Are the Champions". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Enter We Are the Champions 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 – We Are the Champions". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 May 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ Belgian certifications Ultratop.be (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  19. ^ French certifications Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved December 16, 2007)
  20. ^ 2006 French Singles Chart Fanofmusic.free.fr (Retrieved December 16, 2007)
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved December 16, 2007)
  22. ^ a b c "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)", in various singles charts Acharts.us (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  23. ^ 2006 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved May 17, 2008)
  24. ^ 2006 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  25. ^ 2006 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  26. ^ 2006 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved December 16, 2007)
  27. ^ The Rick Rubin Remixes Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 11 July 2011
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. "Queen Dance Traxxx" germancharts.com.
  29. ^ J.B.O – Laut! Musik Sammler.de
  30. ^ "Soundtrack for "A Knight's Tale". Internet Movie Database.
  31. ^ "We Are the Champions" by Jean-Sébastien Lavoie, French and Swiss singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  32. ^ Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen Allmusic. Retrieved 11 July 2011
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj7ohWukd3o
  35. ^ "Glee: The Music, The Graduation Album". Official Music for Glee. Columbia Records. Retrieved 18 May 2012
  36. ^ Live 8 accounts: Berlin BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2011
  37. ^ Kaufman, Gil (20 May 2009). "Kris Allen, Adam Lambert Tear Up Queen's 'We Are The Champions' – News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". MTV. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  38. ^ 'The Voice': Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green Perform Queen Medley The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 March 2012
  39. ^ "Katy Perry Parties Out In London After Summertime Ball 2012 Performance". Capital FM. Retrieved 20 June 2012

External links[edit]