Stone Cold Crazy

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"Stone Cold Crazy"
Single by Queen
from the album Sheer Heart Attack
Released 8 November 1974
Recorded July–September 1974
Length 2:16
Queen singles chronology
"The Show Must Go On"
"Stone Cold Crazy"
"Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives"

"Stone Cold Crazy" is a song by English rock band Queen from their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack.[6] The song is the eighth track on the album. Although the song was not released as a single at the time, it was played live at almost every Queen concert from 1974 to 1978.[7][8][9][10] "Stone Cold Crazy" also features on the band's 1992 compilation album, Classic Queen.[11]

The song credit is shared between all the members of the band, although Freddie Mercury played it with his band Wreckage in the late 1960s before Queen was created. The recorded version may be lyrics from Mercury and music from Brian May. It was the first song Queen performed live in 1970, but it underwent many changes musically and lyrically before getting recorded, resulting in credit going to the entire band. Early versions of the song were much slower, according to the band, although no bootlegs exist.


"Stone Cold Crazy" is known for its fast tempos and heavy distortion, thus being a precursor to speed metal.[12] Music magazine Q described "Stone Cold Crazy" as "thrash metal before the term was invented".[5] In 2009, it was named the 38th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[13]


Three different remixes were created in 1991. The first two, by Michael Wagener, were issued on different pressings of the 1991 Hollywood Records Sheer Heart Attack remaster, and on the Encino Man soundtrack.[14][15] The third one, by Trent Reznor, was released on several promo CDs in 1991/1992 and 1999.[16] The Wagener remixes are not very different from the original and feature slight remixing of the backing track. Reznor's version mixes the Queen sound with the industrial metal sound of Nine Inch Nails.[16] Reznor's remix includes studio sound bites from Queen at the beginning and end of the track. It was intended for inclusion as the ninth track on the cancelled 1992 Hollywood Records compilation BASIC Queen Bootlegs.[16]


Cover versions[edit]

"Stone Cold Crazy"
Metallica - Stone Cold Crazy.jpg
"Stone Cold Crazy" cover
Promotional single by Metallica
Released 1990[17]
Format CD single
Recorded 1990
Genre Thrash metal
Length 2:17
Label Elektra
Producer Metallica

Metallica covered the song as their contribution to the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary. This cover version was later used as a B-side of their "Enter Sandman" single and subsequently won a Grammy Award; it also appeared on their covers/B-sides album Garage Inc. The Metallica version of the song is more aggressive than the original; they also slightly altered the lyrics, adding two uses of the word "fuck" and changing the more humorous lines for more violent lyrics.

James Hetfield once performed it together with Queen & Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath (singing Metallica's altered lyrics) at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.[18][19] Metallica also played the song as an encore during their 1991–93 Black Album tour; it appears on the live CD Live Shit: Binge & Purge and the 2009 live DVD Français Pour une Nuit. Hellyeah played Metallica's version of "Stone Cold Crazy" on the 2007 Family Values Tour, sometimes referring to it under the title "Stone Cold Wasted".

Extreme also included part of the song during their medley at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. The band Eleven has also recorded a cover, lending the spot of lead vocals to friend and Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme (Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen).[20]

Sum 41 began covering a version of this song in their live shows in 2010.[21]

Other uses[edit]

The song is featured in the music video games Guitar Hero: Metallica and Rock Revolution, as well as downloadable content for Rock Band 3 and Rocksmith.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blake, Mark (2011). Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81959-9. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Queen – Sheer Heart Attack". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Berelian, Essi (2005). The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal. Rough Guides. p. 2003. ISBN 978-1-84353-415-0. Glamorous and deadly, the band were hitting their stride with classics like "Killer Queen" and the truly fantastic hard-rock blitz of "Stone Cold Crazy". 
  4. ^ Gold, Adam (30 June 2011). "Queen: 40th Anniversary Reissues". American Songwriter. Retrieved 11 June 2014. their greatest contribution to the pantheon of hard rock, "Stone Cold Crazy" 
  5. ^ a b "Queen News: February 2011". 25 May 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 106. 
  7. ^ "Queen live on tour: A Night At The Opera". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Queen live on tour: Day At The Races (world)". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Queen live on tour: News Of The World '77". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Queen live on tour: Sheer Heart Attack". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Queen – Classic Queen". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Jones, Chris (7 June 2007). "Queen Sheer Heart Attack Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". 1 January 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Michael Wagener – Partial Discography". Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Stone, Doug. "Original Soundtrack – Encino Man". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c "Sheer Heart Attack". Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Metallica – Stone Cold Crazy". Discogs. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  18. ^ McIver, Joel (2004). Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica. Omnibus Press. 
  19. ^ "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  20. ^ McClintock, J. Scott. "Various Artists – Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sum 41 Setlist at Bamboozle 2009". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Fahey, Mike (4 August 2008). "The Full Rock Revolution Setlist". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "Guitar Hero Songs: Stone Cold Crazy (1993)". Guitar Hero. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 

External links[edit]