Discography

The Game

The Game

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Album Details

THE GAME

By Greg Brooks and Gary Taylor

The majority of Queen’s eighth studio album, was recorded between February and May 1980. The tracks, Save Me, Coming Soon, Sail Away Sweet Sister and Crazy Little Thing Called Love (the first single from the album, released a full seven months ahead of The Game) were instead recorded in June and July of 1979. Despite the fact that Queen had recently purchased their own recording studios in Montreux Switzerland, they did not use it for this project. All tracks were recorded in Musicland Studios in Munich and were produced by Queen and (Rheinhold) Mack. It was the first Queen/Mack co-venture but certainly not the last; the collaboration would go on to produce some of the band’s finest work and be responsible for many of the biggest and best known hits.

 

The Game marked a major turning point for Queen in terms of musical style. For the first time the band were experimenting with disco/funk rhythms and completely emersing themselves (as they always did) in the bass-driven grooves of the day. Whatever Queen did, and whatever the fall-out might be, good or bad, they embraced it wholeheartedly and this album was no exception. The Game was the first Queen album to feature a synthesizer, though this aspect was rather less than welcome news to many long term followers of the band who had been with them through all the ‘Nobody played synths’ albums of the seventies. John Deacon in particular is known to enjoy soulful upbeat Motown and disco/dance music, and was the band member seemingly most at ease with this significant change in direction. From these sessions came the mighty Another One Bites The Dust, and not only was it a colossal international hit, it gave John his first No 1 record. Inspired by the kind of bass lines so succesfully employed by soul group Chic at that time, John’s Bites The Dust came from nowhere to take the world by storm and catapult the band into a whole new environment – not least in unlikely quarters such as the black funk clubs in New York. But not everyone was happy with the new sound and new look Queen.

 

For many fans, The Game’s drastically alternative feel was a change too far. While many new listeners were attracted to Queen for the first time, some of the long term supporters regarded the album as the band selling out. No matter, when released on June 30 1980 in the UK it entered the charts at number 1, and four days later in America, The Game would quickly climb to the top of their charts also becoming Queen’s first No 1 album in the U.S. and also the first long player to top the charts in both America and at home. It would achieve gold sales status for EMI in the UK, and go platinum for Elektra Records in the U.S.

 

Although a short album to listen to compared with previous albums, it showed the band at their most commercial appeal and was their most internationally successful album to date. More singles than ever were released from this album, all diverse in music and style and appealing to a wider fan base than ever before. Album tracks written by Roger include the chirpy Coming Soon, and the Mercury led intro to the Taylor sung vocal of Rock It (Prime Jive). Both of John Deacon's contributions were issued as singles, with Another One Bites The Dust and Need Your Loving Tonight, making him a force to be reckoned with in the singles songwriting department, along with both Freddie and Brian. One of Brian's heaviest and guitar driven songs Dragon Attack, was a stand out track on the album and a great addition to the live set on the forthcoming tours. Another of his contributions was the heartfelt and overlooked Sail Away Sweet Sister, dedicated "To The Sister I Never Had", with Brian on vocals throughout, apart from one verse featuring Freddie on lead vocal. Freddie surprisingly only had three contributions to this album with two big hit singles, and the rather obscure Don't Try Suicide.

 

The first single from The Game was the rockabilly inspired Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a song famously conceived by Freddie during an afternoon bath, and which he played the acoustic guitar throughout. Coupled with the much accelerated live version of We Will Rock You from the Killers album, the single was issued by EMI on October 5 1979, and reached a frustrating No 2 in the UK. In America, where it wasn’t released til December, and backed with John Deacon’s Spread Your Wings (live), it gave Queen their first American No 1. The single would also reach number 1 in five other countries and was also the first time a 12” Queen single had been released commercially in a few countries around the world.

 

The accompanying video marked another departure for Queen in terms of image. Directed by Dennis De Vallance and filmed at Trillion Studios in London, the Crazy Little Thing video is one of a very few for which Brian May is seen to play something other than his beloved Red Special home made guitar. For this he instead used a Fender Telecaster. No extras were available for this shoot and so four of the band’s trusted roadies were recruited to lie on their backs beneath the stage and supply the clapping hands.

 

Save Me, written by Brian, was the next single. Released in January 1980, in advance of the album by four months and coupled with a live version of Let Me Entertain You, this lovely ballad, accompanied by a video conceived by Brian, peaked at No 11 at home. It was never issued in America, but Elektra Japan released it in April of 1980 though this time backed with Roger’s Sheer Heart Attack (live). The video for this single was the first Queen promo to feature animation. In fact, it was one of the first music videos to mix live action performance with animation. Filmed at the Alexandra Palace in London during December’s aptly named Crazy tour, and directed by Keith McMillan, this video remains a firm favourite among fans and generated some wonderful out-takes – not least Freddie pretending to gun down a passing dove that will not play its part as per the script.

 

Freddie’s stirring and unforgettable, Play The Game, with startling intro and typically unambiguous lyric, was the third UK single to be lifted from The Game, and the first single by the band ever to be released with a synthesiser. It is rumoured that the album itself was to be called Play The Game, but was shortened due to Roger Taylor’s disapproval at the implication of the band being perceived as ‘playing the game’. Freddie’s single, coupled with Roger’s non-album A Human Body, emerged on May 30, one month ahead of the LP, and helped largely by a spectacular video, rose to No 14 in the UK chart. The same pairing was issued by Elektra Records in the U.S and Japan, but fared less well. The video for this, The Game’s opening track, was another memorable shoot. Filmed at Trillion Studios in London, in May 1980, director Brian Grant makes innovative use of backwards film of water, and, not for the first time in a Queen shoot, Vaseline. A topless Freddie emerges from the water smeared in the stuff, only to have a watering can of cold water thrown over him. But did he complain? Apparently yes, but ever the professional he still agreed to several further takes. It is an utterly enthralling four minutes, and among the band’s best loved and certainly most memorable films. This was also the first video in which Freddie sported his newly cropped hair and trademark moustache, which would later lead to fans throwing razor blades onto the stage during many concerts to come, a gesture which greatly amused a defiant Freddie, who flatly refused to shave it off.

 

Next from The Game, came the world singles chart domination that no one could have anticipated; John Deacon’s disco-based giant Another One Bites The Dust. It was the fourth and last UK single from this album, but by far the biggest. Coupled with Brian’s enigmatic Dragon Attack, the single was issued on August 22 in Britain and reached No 7. Meanwhile, elsewhere around the world, it was an unparalleled smash. In America (c/w Don’t Try Suicide) Dust gave Queen their second No 1 there in eight months and remains still to this day their best selling hit in that territory. In Japan, the same pairing was also issued. The video, filmed at the Reunion Theatre in Dallas Texas, on August 9 1980, finds the band five weeks into an extensive North America tour and shows a new-look Freddie working the song with a tight rhythmic intensity.

 

In November 1980, in the aftermath of a greatly successful U.S/Canada tour, Elektra in the U.S. (and Japan) released a further single from The Game, this time with John's Need Your Loving Tonight c/w Rock It (Prime Jive). No promotional film was made to accompany the song and thus it made only minimal impact.

Did You Know?

1. First album to be recorded in two separate recording sessions. (Queen usually completed albums in one time period)

2. The Game was the first Queen album to use synthesizers

3. The album provided queen with their biggest us and biggest hit singles in ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ (2 million US radio plays) and ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and it was the band’s first No.1 album in us.

4. ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ was such a colossal hit it topped rock, pop, and black and soul charts and was one of 3 singles to achieve platinum award status in USA

5. The Game was the first Queen album to be released on CD format

Track Listing

Single

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

First single from the album The Game
Single

Save Me

Second single from the album The Game b-side: Let Me Entertain You (live)
Single

Play The Game

Third single from the album The Game b-side: A Human Body
Single

Another One Bites The Dust

Fourth single from the album The Game b-side: Dragon Attack
Single

Need Your Loving Tonight

Fifth single from the album The Game b-side: Rock It (Prime Jive)

Lyrics

1. Play The Game

Open up your mind and let me step inside Rest your weary head and let your heart decide It's so easy when you know the rules It's so easy all you have to do is fall in love Play the game, everybody play the game of love - ooh yeah When you're feeling down and your resistance is low Light another cigarette and let yourself go This is your life, don't play hard to get It's a free world, all you have to do is fall in love Play the game, yeah, everybody play the game of love - ooh yeah My game of love has just begun Love runs from my head down to my toes My love is pumping through my veins - play the game Driving me insane Come come come come come - play the game - play the game Play the game - play the game - play the game Everybody play the game of love This is your life, don't play hard to get It's a free free world, all you have to do is fall in love play the game, yeah, play the game of love Your life don't play hard to get It's a free free world, all you have to do is fall in love Play the game yeah, everybody play the game of love

2. Dragon Attack

Take me to the room where the red's all red Take me out of my head, that's what I said, yeah, ow Hey, take me to the room where the green's all green And from what I've seen it's hot, it's mean, eh Gonna use my stack, it's gotta be mack Gonna get me on the track, got a dragon on my back Take me to the room where the beat's all round Gonna eat that sound - yeah yeah yeah yeah Take me to the room where the black's all white And the white's all black, take me back to the shack shack She don't take no prisoners, she gonna give me the business Got a dragon on my back, hey it's a dragon attack Get down, I said so, wooh Hey hey, alright, yeah, oh yeah eah eah eah Low down, she don't take no prisoners Go down, she gonna give me the business No time, yeah chained to the rack Show time, got a dragon on my back Show down, go find another customer Slow down, I gotta make my way From me yeah oh - oh wrong way yeah Oh wrong way - hey - alright - oh look out

4. Need Your Loving Tonight

Yeah - hey hey hey No I'll never look back in anger No I'll never find me an answer You promised me you'd keep in touch I read your letter and it hurt me so much I said I'd never never be angry with you I don't wanna feel like a stranger (no) Coz I'd rather stay out of danger I read your letter so many times I got your meaning between the lines I said I'd never never be angry with you I must be strong so she won't know how much I miss her I only hope as time goes on I'll forget her My body's aching, can't sleep at night I'm too exhausted to start a fight And if I see her with another guy I'll eat my heart out coz I love, love, love, love her Come on baby let's get together I'll love you baby, I'll love you forever I'm trying hard to stay away What made you change, what did I say Ooh I need your loving tonight Ooh I need your loving, ooh I need your loving Ooh I need your loving babe tonight (hit me) Ooh I need your loving tonight No I'll never look back in anger No I'll never find me an answer Gave me no warning, how could I guess I'll have to learn to forgive and forget Ooh I need your loving, ooh I need your loving Ooh I need your loving tonight

5. Crazy Little Thing Called Love

This thing called love - I just can't handle it This thing called love - I must get round to it I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love This thing (this thing) called love (called love) It cries (like a baby) in a cradle all night It swings (woo woo) it jives (woo woo) It shakes all over like a jelly fish I kinda like it - crazy little thing called love There goes my baby, she knows how to rock'n'roll She drives me crazy, she gives me hot and cold fever Then she leaves me in a cool cool sweat I gotta be cool, relax, get hip and get on my tracks Take a back seat hitch hike And take a long ride on my motorbike Until I'm ready - crazy little thing called love I gotta be cool, relax, get hip and get on my tracks Take a back seat (ah hum) hitch hike (ah hum) And take a long ride on my motorbike Until I'm ready (ready Freddie) crazy little thing called love This thing called love - I just can't handle it This thing called love - I must get round to it I ain't ready, ooh ooh ooh ooh - crazy little thing called love Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah Crazy little thing called love yeah yeah

6. Rock It (Prime Jive)

When I hear that rock and roll - it gets down to my soul When it's real rock and roll - oh rock and roll When I hear that rock and roll - it gets down to my soul When it's real rock and roll - oh rock and roll You really think they like to rock in space Well I don't know What do you know, what do you hear on the radio Coming through the air I said mama, I ain't crazy, I'm alright alright Hey, c'mon baby said it's alright To rock'n'roll on a Saturday night I said shoot and get your suit and come along with me I said c'mon baby down come and rock with me, I said yeah What do you do to get to feel alive You go downtown and get some of that prime jive I said mama, I ain't crazy, I'm alright alright Hey, c'mon baby said it's alright To rock'n'roll on a Saturday night I said shoot and get your suit and come along with me I said c'mon baby down come and rock with me, I said yeah We're gonna rock it Hey, c'mon baby said it's alright To rock'n'roll on a Saturday night I said shoot and get your suit and come along with me I said c'mon baby down come and rock with me, I said yeah We're gonna rock it - ow - tonight (We want some prime jive) aaah (We want some prime jive) aaaaah (We want some prime jive) we're gonna rock it tonight (We want some prime jive) aaah (We want some prime jive) c'mon honey (We want some prime jive) aaah (We want some prime jive) we're gonna rock it tonight (We want some prime jive) aaah C'mon c'mon aaah we're gonna rock it tonight - aaah C'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon aah c'mon honey We're gonna rock it tonight Get get get get get get some of that prime jive Get some of that prime jive, c'mon c'mon c'mon C'mon c'mon c'mon honey, get some of that prime jive Get some of that, get, get down, c'mon honey oh C'mon honey we're gonna rock it tonight

7. Don't Try Suicide

A one two three four one - yeah - okay Don't do it don't try it baby Don't do that don't don't don't - don't do that You got a good thing going now Don't do it don't do it - don't Don't try suicide, nobody's worth it Don't try suicide, nobody cares Don't try suicide, you're just gonna hate it Don't try suicide, nobody gives a damn So you think it's the easy way out Think you're gonna slash your wrists, this time But baby when you do it all you do is get on my tits Don't do that try try try baby Don't do that you got a good thing going now Don't do it don't do it don't Don't try suicide, nobody's worth it Don't try suicide, nobody cares Don't try suicide, you're just gonna hate it Don't try suicide, nobody gives a damn You need help, look at yourself you need help, yeah You need life, so don't hang yourself It's okay okay okay okay But you just can't be a prick teaser all of the time A little bit of attention you got it Need some affection you got it Hey, suicide suicide suicide bid Suicide suicide suicide bid huh - suicide Hey, don't do it don't do it don't do it babe Yeah, don't do it don't do it don't do it Hey, yeah, don't put your neck on the line Don't drown on me babe - blow your brains out Don't do that yeah - don't do that You've got a good thing going baby Don't do it (no) don't do it (no) don't Don't try suicide, nobody's worth it Don't try suicide, nobody cares Don't try suicide, you're just gonna hate it Don't try suicide, nobody gives nobody gives Nobody gives a damn - okay

8. Sail Away Sweet Sister (To The Sister I Never Had)

Hey little babe you're changing Babe are you feeling sore It ain't no use in pretending You don't wanna play no more It's plain that you ain't no baby What would your mother say You're all dressed up like a lady How come you behave this way, yeah Sail away sweet sister, sail across the sea Maybe you find somebody to love you half as much as me My heart is always with you, no matter what you do Sail away sweet sister, I'll always be in love with you Forgive me for what I told you My heart makes a fool of me Ooh you know I'll never hold you I know that you gotta be free, yeah Sail away sweet sister, sail across the sea Maybe you find somebody to love you half as much as me Take it the way you want it But when they let you down my friend Sail away sweet sister Back to my arms again Hot child don't you know you're young You got your whole life ahead of you And oh you can throw it away too soon Way too soon - aah yeah Sail away sweet sister, sail across the sea Maybe you find somebody gonna love you half as much as me yeah My heart is always with you, no matter what you do Sail away sweet sister, I'll always be in love with you

9. Coming Soon

Oooo oooo oooo oooo Oooo oooo oooo oooo Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh I get some headaches when I hit the heights Like in the morning after crazy nights Oooo oooo oooo oooo Oooo oooo oooo oooo Like some mother in law in her nylon tights They're always, they're always They're always, they're always Coming soon, coming soon On the outside, of the tracks - you take em The same old babies with the same old toys The neighbours screaming when the noise annoys Oooo oooo oooo oooo Oooo oooo oooo oooo Somebody nagging you when you're out with the boys They're always, they're always They're always, they're always Coming soon, coming soon On the outside of the track - yeah, yeah, yeah Watch me now, ooh They're always, they're always They're always, they're always Coming soon, coming soon On the outside of the track Coming soon, coming soon On the outside of the track - yeah yeah yeah

10. Save Me

It started off so well They said we made the perfect pair I clothed myself in your glory and your love How I loved you, how I cried The years of care and loyalty were nothing but a sham it seems The years belie, we lived the lie, I love you till I die Save me, save me, save me I can't face this life alone Save me, save me, save me I'm naked and I'm far from home The slate will soon be clean, I'll erase the memories To start again with somebody new, was it all wasted All that love I hang my head and I advertise a soul for sale or rent I have no heart, I'm cold inside, I have no real intent Save me, save me, save me I can't face this life alone Save me, save me Oh I'm naked and I'm far from home Each night I cry and still believe the lie I love you till I die Yea, yeah, save me yeah, save me oh save me Don't let me face my life alone Save me, save me Oh I'm naked and I'm far from home

6 Comments

The Game

Gonzalo

This album, in vinyl of course was my first LP buyed at 1980.

Dennis

In the track listing for The Game, why is #3, Another One Bites the Dust, not shown?

liat

Thank you so much for updating the info about this album

Prorock

Excuse me please! And where the third song of the album?

Patty H.

Hello! The information above is not about the album The Game but about the album Jazz. I hope this error will be corrected and information about The Game will be available to us Queen fans. Thanks!

Faith Queen

Why is Jazz and The Game have the same bio?

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