Don't Stop Me Now
|"Don't Stop Me Now"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album Jazz|
|Released||5 January 1979|
|Recorded||August 1978 at Super Bear Studios (Berre-les-Alpes, France)|
|Queen singles chronology|
"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.
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.
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. Featuring in films, commercials, and television shows, the song has grown in popularity in the four decades since its release. Bobby Olivier of Billboard attributes its initial rebirth to its appearance in the 2004 cult classic zombie apocalypse film Shaun of the Dead. In 2014, Rolling Stone readers voted it their third favourite song by Queen.
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. 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." 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.”
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." 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."
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. 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."
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||23||1979|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||35|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||14|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||16|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||9|
|US Billboard Hot 100||86|
|Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard)||7||2014|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||38|
|Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)||13|
|Hungary (Single Top 40)||15|
|Japan (Japan Hot 100)||37|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||97|
|Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)||27|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||52|
|UK Rock and Metal (Official Charts Company)||1|
|US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)||7|
|US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)||35|
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. 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.
In popular culture
- In 2004, the song was featured in the zombie apocalypse film, Shaun of the Dead. Bobby Olivier of Billboard attributes the initial rebirth of the song to its appearance in the film, writing, “Perhaps the most famous scene from Shaun of the Dead features “Don’t Stop Me Now,” which blares from a pub jukebox while stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Kate Ashfield bash a zombie with pool cues to the song’s hurtling beat. Shaun became something of a cult classic among millennial comedy and horror lovers alike, introducing the song to a whole new generation of listeners.”
- In 2005, this song was voted as "The Greatest Driving Song Ever" by viewers of the BBC television program Top Gear.
- This song was included in the list of songs for use in the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow, and it was released in the Soviet Union that same year alongside Queen's "Jealousy" single.
- In 2015, the electronics company Alba conducted a survey of 2000 UK adults, which asked respondents to name their favourite uplifting song, and "Don't Stop Me Now" was the most popular response.
- A version of this song sung by the cast was used as the opening theme to the sitcom Super Fun Night.
- The song, and its Wikipedia article, are featured prominently in Hank Green’s 2018 novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.
- The song is featured during the climax (fight scene) of the 2015 film Hardcore Henry.
- A super-villain named Mr. Fahrenheit, the Supersonic Man, appeared on The Venture Bros. in a flashback to the late 1980s, visually based on Mercury.
- In 2018, the original music video of the song was featured during the end credits of Bohemian Rhapsody.
- In 2019, the song was featured on Netflix’s original series, The Umbrella Academy.
- The song was featured in the 2019 DC Universe superhero film, Shazam!.
- In 2019, the song was parodied in the season finale of Saturday Night Live with Alec Baldwin singing the song as President Trump.
- In Canada, the song was used in a Telus mobile commercial that debuted in 2019.
Sales and certifications
|Italy (FIMI)||2× Platinum|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum|
- Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals, piano
- Brian May – electric guitar, backing vocals
- Roger Taylor – drums, percussion, tambourine, triangle, backing vocals
- John Deacon – bass guitar
Notable cover versions include:
- McFly's cover was the official song for Sport Relief 2006. It reached Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart on the week ending 29 July 2006.
- Foxes covered the song on the 11 October 2014 "Mummy on the Orient Express" episode of Doctor Who. A music video was subsequently released by the BBC to publicize series 8 of the rebooted show.
- The Vandals, on their 2004 album Hollywood Potato Chip.
- House, Denis (23 November 2018). "The Show Must Go On". The Sentinel-Echo.
- "Don't Stop Me Now - Queen". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
...it 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...
- Jazz - Don't Stop Me Now Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 2 July 2011
- Donald A. Guarisco. “Don't Stop Me Now”. Allmusic.
- Queen Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
- Jazz (Remastered) Queen Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine iTunes. Retrieved 12 July 2011
- "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.
- "Readers' Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Official: Top 25 karaoke songs The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2011
- Queen interview: Brian May on Don't Stop Me Now Absolute Radio. Retrieved 21 December 2011
- Don't Stop Me Now Tops HMV Lyric Poll Queen Online. Retrieved 21 December 2011
- "Readers Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- Petridis, Alexis (24 October 2018). "Guaranteed to blow your mind: the real Freddie Mercury". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Orme, Mike (27 April 2007). "Top Ten Favorite Penultimate Songs". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- Loudwire. "10 Rockers Who Hated Their Own Hit Songs". YouTube. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Eames, Tom. "The Story of... 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen". Smooth Radio. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Poisuo, Pauli. "True stories behind popular Queen songs". Grunge. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Queen Promo Videos". Ultimatequeen.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Stop Me Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Portugal Digital Songs: June 07, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Lescharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "ARIA CHART WATCH #500". auspOp. 24 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "Austriancharts.at – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "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.
- "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
- "Queen Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "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.
- "Spanishcharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Swisscharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
- "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Queen live on tour: Crazy tour Queen Concerts. Retrieved 2 July 2011
- Live Killers Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
- Queen win Top Gears Best Driving Song ever poll Archived 30 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine Queen Zone. Retrieved 28 May 2011
- "Science Unveils Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' As The Most Feel-Good Song Of All Time". Huffington Post. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "The Umbrella Academy cast on the show's killer soundtrack and the songs they'd want in Season 2". Syfy. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "Shazam! (2019) - Soundtracks". imdb.com. IMDb. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- "SNL' has Trump singing 'Don't Stop Me Now'". CNN. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "TELUS - Peace of Mind™ Plans". YouTube. Telus. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- "Italian single certifications – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Don't Stop Me Now" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
- "British single certifications – Don't Stop Me Now". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Don't Stop Me Now in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American single certifications – Don't Stop Me Now". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 May 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
- "Don't stop me now". Nature Immunology. 9 (8): 821. August 2008. doi:10.1038/ni0808-821. ISSN 1529-2908. PMID 18645584.
- Unstoppable McFly top music chart BBC News. Retrieved 28 May 2011
- "Foxes sings Queen's Don't Stop Me Now in Doctor Who episode Mummy on the Orients Express". Radio Times.
- 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.
- on YouTube