Don't Stop Me Now

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"Don't Stop Me Now"
UK single picture sleeve
Single by Queen
from the album Jazz
Released26 January 1979 [1]
RecordedAugust 1978
StudioSuper Bear Studios (Berre-les-Alpes, France)
  • 3:29
  • 3:34 (with long-lost guitars version)
  • 3:38 (...revisited version)
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Queen singles chronology
"Bicycle Race" / "Fat Bottomed Girls"
"Don't Stop Me Now"
Audio sample
Music video
"Don't Stop Me Now" on YouTube

"Don't Stop Me Now" is a song by the British rock band Queen featured on their 1978 album Jazz that was released as a single in 1979. Written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, it was recorded in August 1978 at Super Bear Studios in Berre-les-Alpes (Alpes-Maritimes), France, and is the twelfth track on the album.[5]

Musically, the song builds on Mercury's piano playing, with John Deacon and Roger Taylor providing a bass guitar and drums backing track. The song also provides an example of Queen's trademark style of multitrack harmony vocals for the chorus lines.[6]

The song also appears in the band's 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits, and in June 2011, as part of Queen's 40th anniversary celebrations, an old take of the song containing more guitar parts was included on the bonus EP of the re-released and remastered Jazz album.[7][8] Featuring in films, commercials, and television shows, the song has grown in popularity in the four decades since its release.[9] Bobby Olivier of Billboard attributes its initial rebirth to its appearance in the 2004 cult classic zombie apocalypse film Shaun of the Dead.[9] In 2014, Rolling Stone readers voted it their third-favourite song by Queen.[10]


The single reached number 9 in the UK charts but only number 86 in the US; as the album was a top-10 hit, the song got some airplay on U.S. album-oriented rock stations despite its low chart ranking as a single. Despite this, the song has grown in stature with time and has been popularised not only by consistent airplay, but by its use in advertisements, television programmes and films, and through cover versions. It has subsequently become one of Queen's most popular songs.[11][12][13] The song was voted as the third-best Queen song by readers of Rolling Stone, who noted that "time has also been very kind to it and it's widely seen now as one of the group's best works."[14] The single also has reached Platinum status in the United Kingdom. In a March 2019 Billboard magazine article titled, "The Evolution of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now': How a Minor Hit Became One of The Band's Most Beloved (And Inescapable) Songs", Bobby Olivier writes,

"You might have noticed a new commercial promoting the new season of American Idol. It was a 90-second music video featuring a dozen or so bright-eyed contestants, all of whom gleefully belted lines from a beloved song that has felt particularly ubiquitous as of late. No, it wasn't "Shallow," or "Thank U, Next"—it was Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," a classic-rock energizer that has, in the last six months alone, also been featured in commercials for Toyota, Silk almond milk, Amazon and L'Oreal. In the latter spot, Camila Cabello lip-syncs to the 41-year-old song as she dances and applies her lipstick. "Don't Stop Me Now" is not only one of the band's most treasured cuts, but one of the most popular songs of its entire era. On Sunday, March 3, it eclipsed 500 million plays on Spotify—nearly double that of any Rolling Stones, U2 or Led Zeppelin song on the service."[9]

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian wrote that the "astonishing" song "may be Queen's greatest song of all." He felt it was "a direct product of [Mercury's] hedonism and promiscuity: an unrepentant, joyous, utterly irresistible paean to gay pleasure-seeking. You find yourself wondering if its title might not have been aimed at his censorious bandmates."[15] Mike Orme of Stylus Magazine ranked it the 7th-greatest penultimate track on an album, calling it Queen's "most flamboyant and energetic single" and commenting: "Essentially three and a half minutes of Freddie Mercury jacking the mike from the rest of the world, the song offers him a chance to let us know just how much fun he's having in the spotlight."[16] Billboard magazine praised Brian May's guitar solo and also stated that "less gimmick laden" than Queen's previous single from Jazz, "Bicycle Race"/"Fat Bottomed Girls," "while still retaining the brazen braggadocio of Freddie Mercury's lead vocals."[17] Cash Box said it has "vocal dramatics and varied arrangements by Mercury" and "beautifully layered vocals and regal guitar work from May."[18]

Despite its popularity, Brian May was not a fan of the song as he felt it was celebrating the hedonistic and risky lifestyle of Mercury.[19] He added that he struggled with the lyrics at the time, because it was about a difficult period in Freddie's life when the singer was "taking lots of drugs and having sex with lots of men."[20][21]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was directed by J. Kliebenstein and filmed at the Forest National, Brussels, Belgium on 26 January 1979.[22]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[23] 23 1979
Germany (Official German Charts)[24] 35
Ireland (IRMA)[25] 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[26] 14
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[27] 16
UK Singles (OCC)[28] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 86
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[30] 37 2009
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard)[31] 7 2014
France (SNEP)[32] 68 2015
Australia (ARIA)[33] 53 2018
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[34] 38
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[35] 13
Hungary (Single Top 40)[36] 15
Italian Top 100 Singles[37] 54
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[38] 37
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[27] 97
Portugal (AFP)[39] 65
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[40] 27
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[41] 77
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 52
UK Rock and Metal (OCC)[43] 1
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[44] 7
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[45] 32 2019

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Position
France (SNEP)[46] 134
Hungary (Single Top 40)[47] 81
Portugal (AFP)[48] 166
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[49] 99
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[50] 25

Revisited version[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[51] 30

Live performances[edit]

Viewed at the time of release as one of the lesser songs in the Queen canon, it was only performed live during 1979, with the last performance in the Crazy Tour.[52] On the studio version, Brian May's only guitar playing is in his guitar solo, but on live versions performed on the band's 1979 Jazz and Crazy tours, May would also play rhythm guitar throughout the rest of the song to give more of a rock feel. A live version of the song features in the band's 1979 album Live Killers.[53]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[54] 5× Platinum 350,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[55] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[56] Gold 250,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[57] 3× Platinum 150,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[58]
2011 release
Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] 3× Platinum 1,800,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[60] 3× Platinum 3,000,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.



Cover versions[edit]

Cover versions include:


  1. ^ "Queen singles".
  2. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Don't Stop Me Now - Queen". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 April 2018. starts with Mercury singing over flowery piano lines and soon builds into stomping pop-rocker anchored by rumbling piano lines ... The end result was a smart fusion of pop hooks and rock energy...
  3. ^ Prato, Greg. "Live Killers - Queen | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  4. ^ House, Denis (23 November 2018). "The Show Must Go On". The Sentinel-Echo.
  5. ^ Jazz - Don't Stop Me Now Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  6. ^ Donald A. Guarisco. "Don't Stop Me Now". Allmusic.
  7. ^ Queen Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  8. ^ Jazz (Remastered) Queen Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine iTunes. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  9. ^ a b c "The Evolution of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now': How a Minor Hit Became One of The Band's Most Beloved (And Inescapable) Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Readers' Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  11. ^ Official: Top 25 karaoke songs The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2011
  12. ^ Queen interview: Brian May on Don't Stop Me Now Absolute Radio. Retrieved 21 December 2011
  13. ^ Don't Stop Me Now Tops HMV Lyric Poll Queen Online. Retrieved 21 December 2011
  14. ^ "Readers Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  15. ^ Petridis, Alexis (24 October 2018). "Guaranteed to blow your mind: the real Freddie Mercury". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  16. ^ Orme, Mike (27 April 2007). "Top Ten Favorite Penultimate Songs". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. 3 February 1979. p. 86. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  18. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 3 February 1979. p. 18. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  19. ^ Loudwire. "10 Rockers Who Hated Their Own Hit Songs". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  20. ^ Eames, Tom. "The Story of... 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen". Smooth Radio. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  21. ^ Poisuo, Pauli (28 January 2019). "True stories behind popular Queen songs". Grunge. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Queen Promo Videos". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Stop Me Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  30. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Portugal Digital Songs: June 07, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  33. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #500". auspOp. 24 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  35. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201847 into search. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  37. ^ "Top singoli Classifica settimanale WK 50". FIMI. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  38. ^ "Queen Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". AFP Top 100 Singles.
  40. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201847 into search. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  42. ^ "Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  43. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  44. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  45. ^ "Queen Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  46. ^ "Top de l'année Top Singles 2019" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  47. ^ "Single Top 100 - eladási darabszám alapján - 2019". Mahasz. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  48. ^ "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  49. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 – 2019". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  50. ^ "Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  51. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  52. ^ Queen live on tour: Crazy tour Queen Concerts. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  53. ^ Live Killers Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  54. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2020 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  55. ^ "Danish single certifications – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  56. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Queen; 'Don't Stop Me Now')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  57. ^ "Italian single certifications – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 21 October 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Don't Stop Me Now" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  58. ^ "Japanese single digital certifications – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 20 December 2021. Select 2021年11月 on the drop-down menu
  59. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". British Phonographic Industry.
  60. ^ "American single certifications – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  61. ^ "Don't stop me now". Nature Immunology. 9 (8): 821. August 2008. doi:10.1038/ni0808-821. ISSN 1529-2908. PMID 18645584.
  62. ^ Unstoppable McFly top music chart BBC News. Retrieved 28 May 2011
  63. ^ "Foxes sings Queen's Don't Stop Me Now in Doctor Who episode Mummy on the Orients Express". Radio Times.
  64. ^ Prindle, Mark (11 June 2004). "Interview with Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals". Citizine. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2010.

External links[edit]