We Are the Champions
|"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|
|Genre||Rock, hard rock|
|Producer||Queen, assisted by Mike Stone|
|Queen singles chronology|
"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. One of their most famous and popular songs, it remains among rock's most recognisable anthems.
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. In 2009, "We Are the Champions" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and was voted the world's favourite song in a 2005 Sony Ericsson world music poll. In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest in the history of popular music.
"We Are the Champions" has become an anthem for sporting victories, including as official theme song for 1994 FIFA World Cup, and has been often used or referenced in popular culture (see below). The song has also been covered by many artists.
Original Queen version 
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.
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). 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.
Music video 
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 
In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest song in the history of pop music. 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."
Chart performances 
In 1977–1978, "We Are the Champions" was released as a single in many countries, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. number 4 on Billboard in the US., the top 10 in Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway, and top 15 in Germany, Austria and Sweden.
- Freddie Mercury: lead vocals, piano, backing vocals
- Brian May: electric guitar, backing vocals
- John Deacon: bass guitar
- Roger Taylor: drums, backing vocals
Track listings 
Charts and certifications 
Sales and certifications 
Cover versions and samplings 
- 1992: Guitarist Hank Marvin performed an instrumental of "We Are the Champions" as a duet with Queen guitarist Brian May on Hank's 1992 album Into the Light.
- 1996: Musician Scatman John performed "We Are the Champions" along with other artists for the compilation Queen Dance Traxxx.
- 1997: German band J.B.O. did a parody of the song, called "Wir sind die Champignons" (We are the champignons).
- 2001: Robbie Williams on vocals with Queen (May/Taylor) for the soundtrack of the 2001 film A Knight's Tale.
- 2001: Florent Pagny as duet with David Hallyday on his album 2.
- 2003: New York-based thrashcore band Das Oath covered the song for the album Über Alles.
- 2003: Jean-Sébastien Lavoie, a contestant of French TV show Nouvelle Star, in 2003 (#38 in France and #53 in Switzerland),
- 2005: Gavin DeGraw the 2005 album Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen.
- 2005: In the Disney film, Chicken Little, the title character sings the chorus of the song after winning the baseball game.
- A cover version by Crazy Frog – "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" featuring Queen vocals was released in 2006 in time for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and was popular (reaching #1 in France and being certified gold).
- The song was also sampled or parodied by producer Rick Rubin, who remixed the song for Hollywood Records.
- 2010: The cast of the Off-Broadway musical Avenue Q performed covers of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" in a video spoof of the Muppets' "Bohemian Rhapsody".
- 2010: Mayday Parade on the album Punk Goes Classic Rock.
- 2012 Tony Vincent performed We Are The Champions on The Voice (Season 2). Cee Lo Green was so impressed with Vincent's rendition that he snatched him up for his Team (TeamCeeLo) and commented that Freddie Mercury would have been proud.
- 2012: In Glee The New Directions sang it in the "Nationals" episode.
Live performances 
- Kara's Flowers at Edgefest '97.
- Green Day at Live 8 in 2005.
- The Bad Plus (jazz cover in Blunt Object: Live in Tokyo, 2005)
- Japanese singer-songwriter Angela Aki in her 2006 concert,
- The Jonas Brothers, and the entire tour crew at their final concert for the When You Look Me in the Eyes tour.
- Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, in the season 8 finale of American Idol, on 20 May 2009.
- German parody rock band J.B.O. for "Wir sind die Champignons" (Ger: "We Are the Mushrooms"), in 1997.
- The song was sampled by Dame Dash, Kanye West, Young Chris, Beanie Sigel, Cam'ron and Twista for their song, "Champions".
- In 2011, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine & Blake Shelton covered the song at The Voice (U.S.).
- In 2012, Katy Perry covered the song at Summertime Ball 2012 edition in front of 80,000 at Wembley Stadium, London.
Uses in popular culture 
The song has been regularly played to celebrate sports victories. Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have both sung the song after crossing the finish line to become world drivers champions. Various politicians around the world have played this as a victory song after winning an election. In the National Hockey League when a team wins the Stanley Cup, as well as the Premier League when a team wins the league, the song is always played. Popular Darts Player Bobby George uses the song for his walk on.
The song can be heard in many music video games (Guitar Hero: On Tour series, Pro Evolution Soccer 2, Taiko no Tatsujin series, The Matrix: Path of Neo and Lego Rock Band), films (including High Fidelity, D2: The Mighty Ducks, What Happens in Vegas, A Knight's Tale, Kicking & Screaming, Chicken Little, You Again, Happy Feet Two, Air Guitar Nation and Revenge of the Nerds), and TV series (including Friends, South Park, three episodes of The Simpsons (in "The War of the Simpsons", "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" and "She Used to Be My Girl"), Season 5 of The Sopranos, Drawn Together, Malcolm in the Middle where Hal shows his skating abilities, South Park episode "Stanley's Cup", So You Think You Can Dance in 2007, The Big Bang Theory, Angel, and a Robot Chicken episode called "Unionizing Our Labor"). In May 2012, the song was performed on Glee in the episode "Nationals", and features in The Graduation Album. When the New York Yankees won the 2009 World Series, the song played as soon as Mariano Rivera got the last out. The song can be heard in the pilot episode of Arrow TV Series (2012) when Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) arrives at his party in the nightclub. The song was also included in the 2013 Regular Show episode "Picking Up Margret."
It was re-issued in a RB3 Version in 2010 for Rock Band 3 to take advantage of the addition of a real guitar and MIDI compatible keyboards and electronic drumkits.
After the 1981 World Series, Jay Johnstone, Jerry Reuss, Steve Yeager, and Rick Monday of the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers released a cover version of "We Are the Champions", which they later performed on Solid Gold, the syndicated music television program.
The song was covered by Katie Waissel during the first live show of the 2010 UK The X Factor. The song was also performed as part of the Closing Ceremony of the Delhi Commonwealth Games. The song was featured in the novel The Million Dollar Kick when Whisper makes the million-dollar goal.
Referring to "the late, great Freddie Mercury" in their 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech, Guns N' Roses quoted Mercury's lyrics from the song; "I’ve taken my bows, my curtain calls, you’ve brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, and I thank you all."
See also 
by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini
|FIFA World Cup theme song
Gloryland by Daryl Hall
"The Cup of Life" by Ricky Martin
by Jean Michel Jarre and Tetsuya Komuro
- BRITs 25 Song Award: We Are The Champions – Queen BBC Retrieved 21 January 2011
- We Are the Champions: Song Review All Music Retrieved 21 January 2011
- UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- Billboard allmusic.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- Grammy Hall of Fame Award Grammy.org Retrieved 21 April 2011
- Haines, Lester (29 September 2005) 'We Are The Champions' voted world's fave song (Sony Ericsson world music poll) Retrieved 21 April 2011
- We Are The Champions voted catchiest pop song of all time... by scientists, The Daily Mail, September 29, 2011
- For the first time ever...Queen: Ten great hits from the sensational rock band Mail Online Retrieved 21 January 2011
- Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury BBC News Retrieved 22 January 2011
- Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- "We Are the Champions", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- 1978 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- 1998 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- "French single certifications – Queen – We Are the Champions" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 29 March 2012. Select QUEEN and click OK
- "Les Certifications depuis 1973" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "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
- "American single certifications – Queen – We Are the Champions". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 March 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- Grein, Paul (2010-09-24). "Chart Watch Extra: Songs From The Last Century". Nielsen Business Media. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- Steffen Hung. "Queen Dance Traxxx" germancharts.com.
- J.B.O – Laut! Musik Sammler.de
- "Soundtrack for "A Knight's Tale". Internet Movie Database.
- Das Oath – Uber Alles Terminal Nation.
- "We Are the Champions" by Jean-Sébastien Lavoie, French and Swiss singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
- Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen Allmusic. Retrieved 11 July 2011
- "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 16 December 2007)
- The Rick Rubin Remixes Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 11 July 2011
- Avenue Q responds to Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody Chicago now.com
- "Glee: The Music, The Graduation Album". Official Music for Glee. Columbia Records. Retrieved 18 May 2012
- Live 8 accounts: Berlin BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2011
- 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.
- 'The Voice': Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green Perform Queen Medley The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 March 2012
- "Katy Perry Parties Out In London After Summertime Ball 2012 Performance". Capital FM. Retrieved 20 June 2012
- Mickey Sports Songs Allmusic. Retrieved 11 July 2011
- "Guns N Roses Quoted Queen's Freddie Mercury at RRHOF Induction Speech". at Youtube. Retrieved 27 July 2012
- Greene, Andy (23 April 2012). Steven Adler on Axl Rose: 'I'm Done With Him'. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 July 2012
- Official YouTube videos: original music video, Live at the Bowl, Queen + Paul Rodgers, at Freddie Mercury tribute concert (with Liza Minnelli)
- Lyrics from Queen official website: full live version (from The Singles Collection Volume 4), abridged live version (from Live Magic)