Fat Bottomed Girls

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"Fat Bottomed Girls"
Queen Bicycle Race1.png
UK single picture sleeve
Single by Queen
from the album Jazz
A-side"Bicycle Race" (double A-side)[1]
Released
  • 13 October 1978 (UK)
  • 24 October 1978 (US)
Recorded1978
Genre
Length
  • 4:16 (album version)
  • 3:22 (single version)
Label
Songwriter(s)Brian May
Producer(s)
Queen singles chronology
"It's Late"
(1978)
"Fat Bottomed Girls" / "Bicycle Race"
(1978)
"Don't Stop Me Now"
(1979)
Music video
"Fat Bottomed Girls" on YouTube

"Fat Bottomed Girls" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by guitarist Brian May, the song appears on the band's seventh studio album Jazz (1978) and later on their compilation album Greatest Hits.[4] When released as a single with "Bicycle Race", the song reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart and number 24 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.[5][6]

The song is formed around an open bluesy, metallic guitar tuning, and opens with its chorus.[7] It was one of the few Queen songs played in an alternative (drop D) guitar tuning.[8] The song's music video was filmed at the Dallas Convention Center in Texas in October 1978.[9]

Song and lyrical content[edit]

The two songs were released together on a double A-sided single, and both songs refer to each other. Near the end of "Fat Bottomed Girls", the song references "Bicycle Race", with Mercury shouting, "Get on your bikes and ride!" "Bicycle Race" reciprocates with the lyric "fat bottomed girls, they'll be riding today".

Cash Box said it has "a solid thumping beat, soaring harmonies and sonorous guitar work."[10]

Live performances[edit]

Queen performed "Fat Bottomed Girls" in concert from 1978 to 1982.[11][12][13] Since its release, the song has appeared on television and film, and has been covered by a number of artists.[9]

The song was performed on the setlists of their Queen + Adam Lambert tours in 2012, 2014–2015, 2016 and 2017–2018 featuring Adam Lambert[14] and at the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2013 as Queen + Adam Lambert featuring Fun.[15]

Other versions[edit]

The song featured a different vocal arrangement from the studio recording when performed live. In live performances, the lead vocals during the chorus were sung by Freddie Mercury and harmonized with an upper voice (Roger Taylor) and a lower voice (Brian May). In the studio version, there is no higher harmony. The lead vocals on the verses are sung by Freddie Mercury, while Brian May sings the lead vocals on the chorus.

The single version (which can be found on Greatest Hits, but not the 1992 US "Red Cover" version) omits the extended guitar interludes between the verses and fades out before the ending.[16]

Legacy[edit]

During an interview with The A.V. Club, Michael McKean stated that "Fat Bottomed Girls" was an influence for the song "Big Bottom" in the film This Is Spinal Tap.[17]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 500,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[19] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

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

Personnel[edit]

Live recordings[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bicycle Race - Queen | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. ^ Dean, Maury (1 January 2003). Rock and Roll: Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 459. ISBN 978-0-87586-227-9.
  3. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Bicycle Race - Queen | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 December 2018. ...and the hard-rocking 'Fat Bottomed Girls.'
  4. ^ Queen – Greatest Hits. AllMusic. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  5. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited.
  7. ^ Prato, Greg. "Fat Bottomed Girls". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  8. ^ Queen Songs – Fat Bottomed Girls. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  9. ^ a b Queen Promo Videos – Fat Bottomed Girls. Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  10. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 4 November 1978. p. 26. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  11. ^ Queen live on tour: Jazz (Setlist). Queen Concerts. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  12. ^ Queen live on tour: The Game (world). Queen Concerts. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  13. ^ Queen live on tour: Hot Space (world). Queen Concerts. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Queen + Adam Lambert Set List: Calgary, Saddledome". Queen Online. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  15. ^ Queen + Adam Lambert featuring Fun performing Fat Bottomed Girls at iHeartRadio Festival 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  16. ^ Fat Bottomed Girls. Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  17. ^ Heisler, Steve. "Michael McKean explains Spinal Tap songs". Music. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls". British Phonographic Industry.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Queen: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Top 100 1979-01-13". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  23. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  25. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  26. ^ "Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2020.

External links[edit]