Queen explain how Michael Jackson "loved Freddie" and convinced them to record one of their biggest hits
26 July 2021, 12:01
Queen's Roger Taylor and Brian May weren't sure about recording 'Another One Bites the Dust' until Michael Jackson was sure it would be a hit.
Roger Taylor has explained how he thought Michael Jackson was "nuts" when he suggested that Queen recorded John Deacon's new idea 'Another One Bites The Dust'.
In 1980, Queen bassist John Deacon wrote 'Another One Bites The Dust', which at the time was quite different to anything the band had recorded before, featuring a dance beat.
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Michael Jackson was a big fan, telling the group that they would score a big hit with it if they brought it out.
Speaking in the latest episode of Queen The Greatest, Roger Taylor said: “Michael came to several shows I think at the Forum in LA, and he loved Freddie. And he kept saying, ‘You guys, you got to put that song out!’
“And I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it, so I said ‘No, you’re kidding, that’s never a single.’”
In the end, Queen decided to record the song, and it became one of the band's biggest ever hits, as Michael predicted.
John Deacon’s song gave the band their second US number one, and earned them a Grammy nomination.
On writing 'Another One Bites The Dust', John once said: “I’d always wanted to do something a little bit more, that was more disco, which was very uncool at the time.”
Brian May spoke of how hard Freddie Mercury worked on the track, saying: “Freddie got deeply into it. Freddie sang it until he bled, ‘cause he was so committed to making it sound the way John wanted it, which was like hardcore."
He added that Roger wasn't a fan at all: “John was pulling us strongly in that direction, a sort of funky direction. And John got Roger to play with tape all over his drums, which is exactly what Roger hated. Roger hated his drums being made to sound dead.”
The drummer admitted: “I didn’t really want to get into dance music. Wasn’t my thing.”
Michael and Freddie recorded a couple of tracks which sadly remained unreleased for decades.
Read more: Remembering the beautiful moment Michael Jackson and Princess Diana shyly first met
Whilst there are arguments over whether the pair worked on songs for Jackson's next album, Queen's Hot Space or an album of duets, the duo started recording in Michael Jackson's home studio in 1983, and produced demos for three tracks; 'There Must Be More to Life Than This,' 'State of Shock' and 'Victory.'
“They were great songs, but the problem was time, as we were both very busy at that period,” Mercury later said in Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury.
The three songs were never released as intended, but 'State of Shock' was re-recorded by Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones and released as single in 1984.