I Want It All (Queen song)
|"I Want It All"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album The Miracle|
|B-side||"Hang On in There"|
2 May 1989 (UK)|
11 May 1989 (US)
4:41 (Album Version)|
4:01 (Single Version)
|Queen singles chronology|
"I Want It All" is a song by British rock band Queen, featured on their 1989 studio album The Miracle. Written by guitarist and backing vocalist Brian May (but credited to Queen) and produced by David Richards, it was released as the first single from the album on 2 May 1989. "I Want It All" reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, the Irish Singles Chart, the New Zealand Singles Chart, and the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. On the Hot 100, the song reached number 50. Elsewhere, it reached number two in the Netherlands, number four in Italy and Norway, and the top 10 in Australia, Germany, and Switzerland.
The song was first played live on 20 April 1992, three years after its release, during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by the three remaining members of Queen, with Roger Daltrey singing lead vocals and Tony Iommi playing rhythm guitar. Mercury himself never performed the song live, as he died in November 1991 from AIDS at the age of 45, and his final performance with Queen was at the end of The Magic Tour, at Knebworth Park on 9 August 1986. The song is sung mainly by Mercury, with May singing on the choruses and middle eight.
There are at least three versions of this song. The longer one is the album version, while the shortest one is used in the music video and in the Greatest Hits II compilation. Compared to the album version, both the single version and video version features a different beginning, omitting the acoustic/electric guitar part and the short rhythmic-electric guitar part immediately following. It starts with the band singing the chorus a cappella, and then, after a 1/8 + 2/4 A5 power chord, it picks up on the first electric guitar riff by May that follows the short rhythmic guitar part mentioned before. The guitar solo section is different as well: the album version features an extra solo, done at the same tempo as the rest of the song, just before the faster main solo. Mercury's vocals after the middle eight are also slightly different and are positioned on the "extra" solo on the album version, and on the main solo on both the single version and video version. The compilation album Queen Rocks includes a composite version that begins with the a cappella vocals of the single version but then includes the extra guitar solo of the album version.
- 1 Background
- 2 Style and reception
- 3 Music video
- 4 Queen comments on the record
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Video game appearances
- 7 Chart and certifications
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The song, according to John Deacon, was one of only a few which was already written before the band entered the studio in the beginning of 1988 for what would become "The Miracle" album. The title stems from a catchphrase of Anita Dobson, later Brian May's second wife: "I want it all and I want it now!". "I Want It All" is notably heavy and features themes relating to rebellion and social upheaval. Songwriter May, however, claims that it is about having ambitions and fighting for one's own goals; because of this, the song became an anti-apartheid song in South Africa and has also been used as a gay rights protest theme and a rallying anthem for African-American youth.
Style and reception
In reviewing The Miracle for Allmusic, Greg Prato suggested that the song, like the title track "The Miracle", "reflect[s] on [...] the state of the world in the late '80s," summarising the song stylistically as "heavy rock." Melville-based newspaper Newsday mentioned "I Want It All" as one of "The best" of the album, describing it as "colored by May's rocking guitar rolls and Mercury's rough-boys vocals." In reviewing the album, The Dallas Morning News described "I Want It All" in some depth, explaining how it "starts off with a Bowiesque guitar part, picks up a heavy cargo of steel, quickly lays down the hard line implied by the title, then takes flight along Mr. May's greased fretboard." The song marks the first and only use of a double kick bass drum in a Queen song.
The music video features the band performing in a studio that used halogen lighting. It was directed by David Mallet and filmed at Elstree Studios, London in March 1989. In the Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD audio commentary, Brian May and Roger Taylor recall that Mercury's health was already quite bad when the video's shooting took place, and it was remarkable that it didn't show up in the video, with Mercury performing with all the energy he had. The video also marked Mercury's first public appearance with a beard to hide the kaposi's sarcoma blotches on his jawline, after shaving off his trademark moustache during the video shoot for The Great Pretender in February 1987.
Queen comments on the record
'I Want It All' reestablishes our old image in a way. It's nice to come back with something strong. Something that reminds people we're a live group. I don't think we're a singles band, really. Just before we put the single out I started listening to what's on the radio, and the kind of stuff that becomes a hit these days bears no resemblance to what we do. People only remember the hits, but I suppose we have done okay.— Brian May
We were heading into the period where we decided to share the credit for all the songs, and John has said that [the song] was pretty much a finished song when we went into the studios – that's true, it was just this riff that I was obsessed with for months. The actual title was a favorite phrase of Anita's, a very ambitious girl: 'I want it all, and I want it now '... We were never able to perform this song live. It would have become something of the staple core of the Queen show, I'm sure, very participatory. It was designed for the audience to sing along to, very anthemic.— Brian May
Interesting, I wrote myself a bit in the middle. I can't remember quite why that was, it's a very sort of Pete Townshend thing to do, isn't it? But it made a nice little kind of duet in the middle, a bit of sparring between me and Freddie, and I know he enjoyed that.— Brian May
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- Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals, synthesiser
- Brian May - lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
- Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals
- John Deacon - bass guitar
Video game appearances
Madden NFL 12
A mash-up rap version with "We Will Rock You" included is featured in Madden 12. It features the rapping of Armaggedon, a former member of Terror Squad. This mash-up rap version of the song was also featured in the 2011 film Sucker Punch.
The original version of the song was featured in the karaoke music video game SingStar Queen.
Guitar Hero series
Rock Band music gaming platform
The musically playable song was originally released on 20 October 2009, before the addition of real instruments. The song was then redone and made available to download on 7 December 2010 for use in the Rock Band 3 music gaming platform in an updated PRO mode version, which allows use of a real guitar/bass guitar, and standard MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to up to three-part harmony or backup vocals.
Chart and certifications
- "I Want It All - Queen". AllMusic. 1 February 2009.
- "Articolo - FATAL PORTRAIT - # 9 - Queen - Metallized.it". Metallized (in Italian). 1 February 2009.
- Jenkins, Jim; Smith, Jacky; Davis, Andy; Symes, Phil (2000). The Platinum Collection (CD booklet). Queen. Parlophone. p. 12. 7243 5 29883 2 7.
- The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: I Want It All Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 5 July 2011
- Prato, Greg. "The Miracle > Review". allmusic. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- "06-25-1989 – The Miracle – Newsday (Melville, NY)". Queen Music Reviews. Queen Archives (originally published by Newsday). Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- "07-02-1989 – The Miracle – The Dallas Morning News". Queen Archives (originally published by The Dallas Morning News). Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- Cortez, Hector (4 December 2010). "More Queen Tracks Coming To Rock Band 3". m&c. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Snider, Mike (2010-06-10). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "Australian-charts.com – Queen – I Want It All". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Austriancharts.at – Queen – I Want It All" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – Queen – I Want It All" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6417." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Queen – I Want It All". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Want It All". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "I singoli più venduti del 1989". Hit Parade Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 23, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – I Want It All" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Charts.nz – Queen – I Want It All". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Queen – I Want It All". VG-lista. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Queen – I Want It All". Singles Top 100. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Swisscharts.com – Queen – I Want It All". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Queen Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1989" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Top 100 Singles - Jahrescharts 1989" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1989" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "British single certifications – Queen – I Want It All". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 26, 2016. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type I Want It All in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.