Don't Stop Me Now

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"Don't Stop Me Now"
DontStopMeNowCover.gif
Single by Queen
from the album Jazz
B-side
Released5 January 1979
Format7"
RecordedAugust 1978 at Super Bear Studios (Berre-les-Alpes, France)
Genre
Length
  • 3:29 (7" / Album version)
Label
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Producer(s)
Queen singles chronology
"Bicycle Race" / "Fat Bottomed Girls"
(1978)
"Don't Stop Me Now"
(1979)
"Mustapha"
(1979)
Audio sample

"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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5][6] In 2014, Rolling Stone readers voted it their third favourite song by Queen.[7]

Reception[edit]

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.[8][9][10] 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."[11] The single also has reached Platinum status in the United Kingdom.

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."[12] 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."[13]

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.[14]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Peak
year
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15] 23 1979
Germany (Official German Charts)[16] 35
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[18] 14
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[19] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 86
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 37 2009
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard)[23] 7 2014
France (SNEP)[24] 53 2017
Australia (ARIA)[25] 53 2018
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[26] 38
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[27] 13
Hungary (Single Top 40)[28] 17
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[29] 37
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[19] 97
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[30] 27
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31] 84
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 52
UK Rock and Metal (Official Charts Company)[33] 1
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[34] 7

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.[35] 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 feel of rock. A live version of the song features in the band's 1979 album Live Killers.[36]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 2005, this song was voted as "The Greatest Driving Song Ever" by viewers of the BBC television program Top Gear.[37]
  • 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.[38]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification
Italy (FIMI)[39] 2× Platinum
United Kingdom (BPI)[40] Platinum
United States (RIAA)[41] Platinum

Personnel[edit]

Queen:[42]

Cover versions[edit]

Notable cover versions include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Editor, By Denis House Managing. "The Show Must Go On". The Sentinel-Echo.
  2. ^ "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...
  3. ^ Jazz - Don't Stop Me Now Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  4. ^ Donald A. Guarisco, "Don't Stop Me Now". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  5. ^ Queen Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  6. ^ Jazz (Remastered) Queen Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine iTunes. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  7. ^ "Readers' Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  8. ^ Official: Top 25 karaoke songs The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2011
  9. ^ Queen interview: Brian May on Don't Stop Me Now Absolute Radio. Retrieved 21 December 2011
  10. ^ Don't Stop Me Now Tops HMV Lyric Poll Queen Online. Retrieved 21 December 2011
  11. ^ "Readers Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  12. ^ Petridis, Alexis (24 October 2018). "Guaranteed to blow your mind: the real Freddie Mercury". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  13. ^ Orme, Mike (27 April 2007). "Top Ten Favorite Penultimate Songs". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Queen Promo Videos". Ultimatequeen.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Stop Me Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Portugal Digital Songs: June 07, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Lescharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  25. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #500". auspOp. 24 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Queen Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  30. ^ "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.
  31. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Queen – Don't Stop Me Now". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  35. ^ Queen live on tour: Crazy tour Queen Concerts. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  36. ^ Live Killers Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  37. ^ Queen win Top Gears Best Driving Song ever poll Archived 30 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine Queen Zone. Retrieved 28 May 2011
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ "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".
  40. ^ "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.
  41. ^ "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. 
  42. ^ "Don't stop me now". Nature Immunology. 9 (8): 821. August 2008. doi:10.1038/ni0808-821. ISSN 1529-2908. PMID 18645584.
  43. ^ Unstoppable McFly top music chart BBC News. Retrieved 28 May 2011
  44. ^ "Foxes sings Queen's Don't Stop Me Now in Doctor Who episode Mummy on the Orient Express". Radio Times.

External links[edit]