After the band’s album “Flash Gordon”, Queen actually released one of the biggest selling albums of all time their “Greatest Hits” which has sold well over 25 million copies worldwide. At one point it was said that one in every three families in the UK had a copy. It was on the charts in the US for over 400 weeks which is insane. The band was on fire and constantly busy. They wasted no time in getting back in to the studio to record their new album “Hot Space”. They started in June of 1981, but wouldn’t finish until March 1982 due to touring and other obligations. The album finally saw the light of day on May 21, 1982.
The band went a completely different direction with this album, I mean they pulled a complete 180o turn. The rock sound was replaced with a wide variety of sounds including disco, dance, pop, funk, r&b and pretty much everything but rock. When Kiss did this, they really only did it with a couple songs because “Dynasty” still had more rock than disco. Queen doesn’t do anything halfway, they went all in and it didn’t quite have the impact they were hoping. Although the album went on to sell over 3.5 million copies worldwide, upon its release it barely went Gold in the US only reach #22 on the charts. This album turned off a lot of people in the US and their popularity started to wane in a big way. But it wasn’t only the album. Homophobia set in with the US market as well and they weren’t as accepting of Freddie Mercury. This caused the band to actually stop touring the States after they finished the ‘Hot Space Tour’. Things were not all that well in the Queen camp. The good news is, the States came around eventually and Freddie is loved by all and I think people now realize what a true talent he really was. And this is really a story for another time as we are going to stick to the music.
The album kicks off with the funkified song “Staying Power”. It is full of synthesizers, drum machines and even horns that were arranged by Arif Mardin. This might be the only song ever by Queen with a horn section. There is no actual bass guitar on this as John Deacon plays guitar with Brian May. The bass sound is all effects. It isn’t a bad song if it wasn’t sounding the way it is. It is a complete left turn. I think we have the success of the song “Another One Bites the Dust” for this mess.
For My Sunday Song #229, we are tackling on of the band’s biggest hits, “Another One Bites the Dust” off the Queen album “The Game” from 1980. The song was a departure for Queen as it was more funk and disco but it seems everything they do is a departure as they don’t follow anyone’s rules. The song went to #1 in the US and several other countries and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
The song was written by bass player, John Deacon, and let me tell you there is some bass in it. The song was inspired by the song “Good Times” by the Chic and resulted from John hanging out a lot with that band as he was a big fan. Now, Roger Taylor wasn’t a big fan of the song, but Freddie loved it and worked hard to get everyone’s buy-in on the song and thanks to Freddie it was put on the album and the rest is history.
The song has so many effects on it, but none are with a synthesizer. It is all bass, guitar, piano and drums. Deacon played all the instruments except Roger’s drum loop. Brian May was on it as he added numerous sound effects using his guitar and a harmonizer. Some of the effects were the tape played backwards at different speeds. As a result of this effect, Christian groups protested the band saying the band was using backmasking to hide messages. They thought the band was promoting the use of marijuana.
As a Bonus Edition to The Kiss Review Series, we are going to look at a couple singles I have for the Song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” off the band’s 1979 album, ‘Dynasty’. The song was a commercial success for the band reaching all the way to the #11 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of only a handful of times they have broke the Top 40.
The music, however, was quite a departure for the band. The song was labeled as Disco and if you listen to it, it really was. The song was written by Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia and the great Desmond Child makes his first of many appears with the band (only one on this album). The story goes that Disco was really big at the time and the record company wanted the band to be a little more commercial. Paul thought any idiot could write a disco song and a bet was made and a few hours later, the song was written and the Paul proved his point. This song did have every trapping of a disco song, the tempo, the beat, the pop sound, the disco sound effects…I mean it was disco…but it was good and it was catchy and they still play it live today. Now on a side note, this is Gene’s least favorite song (and Peter and Ace hate it too).
I have two versions of the Single. I have the Radio Edit 45 Single with “Hard Times” as the B-Side and I have the 12″ Dance Mix with “Charisma as the B-Side. First we will talk about the 7” Single, which might be the Radio edit.
Disco era Kiss! Does it get any better than that?? Well, yes it actually does. Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome. I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it. It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.
The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit. Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song. Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last. It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had. The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.
The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song. Think disco and you know what the song sounds like. You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus. It is simple. One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference. The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30. Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.
Off Rod Stewart’s 1978 album ‘Blondes Have More Fun’ comes one of his most memorable songs “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”. The song reached #1 in the US, Canada and the UK as well as 3 other countries. It sold over 2,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone and according to Rolling Stones magazine is #308 of the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song was a little more disco than what Rod was used to releasing. He had previously been more of a blues rock singer. As a result, the rock critics were not quite happy with the song.
According to wikipedia (the most reliable source on earth), the song had some legal issues due to copyright infringement cases brought against it. The song…
incorporates elements of the melody from the song “Taj Mahal” by Jorge Ben Jor and the string arrangement from the song “Put Something Down On It” by Bobby Womack.
Regardless, it is still one of Rod’s most popular songs. What I love about the cover, is the girl is not Blonde even though the album was ‘Blondes Have More Fun’. I had also heard that the lady on the cover was Cher, but I couldn’t find anything that backed that up. I will still think it though.