Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is included on their 1980 album , and also appears on the band's compilation album The Game in 1981. The song peaked at number two in the Greatest Hits UK Singles Chart in 1979, becoming the group's first number-one single on the in the US in 1980, Billboard Hot 100 remaining there for four consecutive weeks.   It topped the Australian  ARIA Charts for seven weeks. It was the band's final single release of the  1970s.
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 with Queen.
Queen played the song live between 1979 and 1986, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the albums  , Queen Rock Montreal , Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl and Live at Wembley '86 . Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest  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. The style of the song was described by author  Karl Coryat as rockabilly in his 1999 book titled The Bass Player Book.
Composition [ edit ]
As reported by
Freddie Mercury in , 2 May 1981, he composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on the guitar in just five to ten minutes. Melody Maker
'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.
The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to his musical heroes
Elvis Presley. and  Sir Cliff Richard. 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. Mercury took it to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Taylor and  John Deacon.  The three of them, with their then new producer  Reinhold 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). 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.   described Billboard Magazine Brian May's guitar playing as being "stunning in its simplicity."
May wanted to emulate Rick Nelson's and Presley's longtime guitarist
James Burton, and at Macks's suggestion used a Fender Esquire rather than his regular Red Special for the recording session.
Music video [ edit ]
The music video for the song was filmed at Trillion Studios on 21 September 1979 and directed by Dennis De Vallance involving four dancers and a floor of hands. An alternate version was included on the
Days of Our Lives DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Live performances [ edit ]
In the immediate aftermath of the single the band embarked on a mini UK tour entitled the
Whenever the song was played live, the band added a solid rock ending that extended the under-three-minute track to over five minutes, with May and Mercury providing additional guitars. An example of this is on the CD/DVD Set
, where the song continues for five minutes.
Live at Wembley '86
On Saturday, 13 July 1985, Queen performed the song for the
Live Aid dual-venue benefit concert.
Single release [ edit ]
The "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" single hit number two in the
UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the first US number-one hit for the band, topping the for four weeks. It was knocked out of the top spot on this chart by Billboard Hot 100 Pink Floyd's " Another Brick in the Wall, Part II".  The song also topped the Australian  ARIA charts for seven consecutive weeks from 1 March to 12 April 1980. The UK release had "  We Will Rock You (live)" as the b-side and America, Australia, Canada had " Spread Your Wings (live)".
Personnel [ edit ]
Although Mercury would play an acoustic-electric twelve-string
Ovation Pacemaker 1615 guitar and later on an electric six-string Fender Telecaster, both owned by May, in the studio he recorded it with a six-string acoustic with external mics. Mercury also played the original guitar solo on a version which has been lost.
Weekly charts [ edit ]
Year-end charts [ edit ]
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)
Netherlands (Single Top 100)
UK Singles (OCC)
Australia (Kent Music Report)
Canada Top Singles (
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)
Billboard Hot 100
US Hot Rock Songs (
All-time charts [ edit ]
Certifications [ edit ]
Dwight Yoakam version [ edit ]
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 Yoakam's version was released as a single. It debuted at number 65 on the US  Billboard "Hot Country Singles & Tracks" chart for the week of 1 May 1999, and peaked at number 12 on the US country singles charts that year. 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 (2006), starring The Break-Up Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
Crouse, Richard (1998). . Doubleday Canada. Who Wrote The Book of Love? ISBN . 978-0385257329
Bogdanov, Vladimir (2003). All Music Guide to Country: The Definitive Guide to Country Music. Backbeat Books. p. 368. ISBN . 978-0879307608
July 2016, Paul Elliott 13 (13 July 2016). "Every song on Queen's Greatest Hits, ranked from worst to best". loudersound . Retrieved . 30 May 2020
"Billboard Hot 100 Chart History for Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen". Song-database.com . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
^ a b
Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books Billboard
^ a b Roberts, David (2006).
British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
^ a b
Kent, David (1993) (doc). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W
^ a b c
Lights! Action! Sound! It's That Crazy Little Thing Called Queen Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Circus Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2011
Stephen Thomas Erlewine (30 October 2007). "Queen Rock Montreal – Queen | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
"Queen "Live At Wembley 1986 / Live At Wembley Stadium" album and song lyrics". Ultimatequeen.co.uk . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
"Queen "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert" video and song lyrics". Ultimatequeen.co.uk . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
Coryat, Karl (1999). The Bass Player Book. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 59.
"Queen Interviews – Freddie Mercury – 05-02-1981 – Melody Maker". Queen Archives. Melody Maker. 2 May 1981. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010 . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
on Queen interview: Brian May on Crazy Little Thing Called Love YouTube Absolute Radio. Retrieved 18 December 2011
ROGER SPEAKS: COLOGNE AUDIO PRESS KIT BrianMay.com. Retrieved 29 June 2011
Billboard 18 Jul 1980 p.33. Billboard. Retrieved 29 June 2011
"Interview with Reinhold Mack, Esq". iZotope. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011 . Retrieved . 24 April 2009
Crazy Little Thing Called Love UltimateQueen. Retrieved 29 June 2011
"Top Singles Picks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. 22 December 1979. p. 76 . Retrieved . 7 July 2020
"Music Radar: Brian May's 'other' guitars". 24 February 2011.
"May confirms Mercury played solo". Guitar & Bass.
"Australian (David Kent) Weekly Single Charts from 1980" . Retrieved . 18 March 2018
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
Top RPM Singles: Issue 9499a." . RPM Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
The Irish Charts – Search Results – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Irish Singles Chart.
Nederlandse Top 40 – week 47, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". VG-lista.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Top 40 Singles.
"SA Charts 1965 - 1989 Songs C-D". Rock Africa Rock Lists . Retrieved . 2 June 2018
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Swiss Singles Chart.
"Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
"Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". . Billboard
"Queen Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". . Retrieved 18 March 2018. Billboard
"Queen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". . Retrieved 5 December 2018. Billboard
"Jaaroverzichten 1979". Ultratop . Retrieved . 8 October 2021
"Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1979". Dutch Top 40 . Retrieved . 8 October 2021
"Jaaroverzichten – Single 1979". dutchcharts.nl . Retrieved . 8 October 2021
"Top Singles 1979". . London, England: Spotlight Publications. 22 December 1979. p. 27. Music Week
Kent, David (1993). . Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 ISBN . 0-646-11917-6
"Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016 . Retrieved . 7 May 2017
"Top Selling Singles of 1980 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 31 December 1980 . Retrieved . 14 October 2016
^ "Pop Singles"
Billboard 20 December 1980: TIA-10
"Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa . Retrieved . 11 August 2020
"Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2019". Billboard . Retrieved . 21 March 2020
"Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard . Retrieved . 10 December 2018
"Danish single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". IFPI Danmark . Retrieved . 25 September 2021
"Italian single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana . Retrieved . 13 May 2019 Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
"Dutch single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers . Retrieved . 19 August 2012 Enter Crazy Little Thing Called Love in the "Artiest of titel" box.
Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966 – 2006. Wellington: Maurienne House. p. 207. ISBN . 978-1877443-00-8
"British single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". British Phonographic Industry . Retrieved . 19 August 2012 Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Crazy Little Thing Called Love in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
"American single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved . 19 August 2012
Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. ". Last Chance for a Thousand Years review" Allmusic . Retrieved . 4 June 2009
Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8469." . RPM Library and Archives Canada. 30 August 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 8364." . RPM Library and Archives Canada. 16 August 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
"Dwight Yoakam Chart History (Hot 100)". . Billboard
"Dwight Yoakam Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". . Billboard
"RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1999". . 13 December 1999 RPM . Retrieved . 7 July 2013
"Best of 1999: Country Songs". . Billboard Prometheus Global Media. 1999 . Retrieved . 7 July 2013
External links [ edit ]