Crazy Little Thing Called Love
|"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album The Game|
|B-side||"We Will Rock You (Fast Version - Live)"
"Spread Your Wings (Live)" (USA, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)
|Released||5 October 1979|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" / 12")|
|Label||EMI, Elektra (US)|
|Producer(s)||Queen and Reinhold Mack|
|Queen singles chronology|
"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. in 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks; it would be the start of Queen's popularity in America. It topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven weeks.
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 and Queen at Wembley. 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.
'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. 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.
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.
- Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, handclaps
- Brian May – electric lead guitar, backing vocals, handclaps
- Roger Taylor – drums, backing vocals, handclaps
- John Deacon – bass guitar, handclaps
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.
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. It was knocked out of the top spot on this chart by 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)".
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 and vocals. An example of this is on the CD/DVD Set Live at Wembley '86, where the song runs over six minutes.
Dwight Yoakam version
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. Yoakam's version was released as a single. It debuted at number 65 on the U.S. Billboard "Hot Country Singles & Tracks" chart for the week of 1 May 1999, and peaked at number 12 on the U.S. 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 The Break-Up (2006), starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.
Other cover versions
- In 1980 by The Chipmunks on their comeback album Chipmunk Punk.
- In 1980, singer Jimmy "Orion" Ellis included an Elvis Presley sounding cover in his album "Rockabilly". Fellow Elvis impersonator James Brown also performs a cover of the song in concert.
- A Spanish cover titled Casi Loco Por Tu Amor, performed by the Venezuelan rock singer Pablo Dagnino, was included in the album Tributo a Queen: Los Grandes del Rock en Español (1997).
- In October 1999 by American country-rock singer Juice Newton on her album American Girl.
- Canadian pop/big band singer Michael Bublé covered the song for his self-titled 2003 debut album.
- The Brian Setzer Orchestra put a faster tempo, neo-swing version on their 2003 album Jump, Jive an' Wail.
- British pop rock/pop punk band McFly covered the song for their "Room on the 3rd Floor" single. (2004)
- American singer Josh Kelley recorded a cover for the 2005 album Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen.
- Diana Ross covered the song on her 2007 album I Love You. Brian May plays guitar on this version.
- American pop rock band Maroon 5 covered the song and it came out as a bonus track in some versions of the 2010 album Hands All Over.
- Cris Delanno covered the song on her 2013 album Relaxing Bossa Lounge.
- Drake Bell covered this song in his 2014 album Ready, Steady, Go!.
- Crouse, Richard (1998). Who Wrote The Book Of Love?. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0385257329.
- Bogdanov, Vladimir (2003). All Music Guide to Country: The Definitive Guide to Country Music. Backbeat Books. p. 368. ISBN 978-0879307608.
- Bret, David (2014). Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Biography. Lulu.com. p. 88. ISBN 978-1291811087.
- Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
- Kent, David (1993) (doc). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W
- Lights! Action! Sound! It's That Crazy Little Thing Called Queen Circus Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- Queen Rock Montreal Allmusic. Retrieved 4 September 2011
- Live At Wembley 1986 Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 4 September 2011
- The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Crazy Little Thing Called Love Retrieved 4 September 2011
- Coryat, Karl (1999). The Bass Player Book. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 59.
- Melody Maker 2 May 1981
- on 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
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love UltimateQueen. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- "May confirms Mercury played solo". Guitar & Bass.
- "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 Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
- "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
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Last Chance for a Thousand Years review". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- Chipmunk Punk Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
- Juice Newton Allmusic.
- Michael Bublé Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
-  Allmusic. Retrieved 8 November 2013
- Room on the 3rd Floor, Pt. 1 Allmusic. Retrieved 20 July 2011
- Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen Allmusic. Retrieved 10 October 2013
- "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" With Diana Ross BrianMay.com. Retrieved 10 July 2011
- Maroon 5 Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
- "Drake Bell—Ready Steady Go!". AllMusic web site. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
- Official YouTube videos: on YouTube, Live at the Bowl, Queen + Paul Rodgers, at Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (with Robert Plant)
- Lyrics at Queen official website
- Song analysis (www.queensongs.info)
- Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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