(hennemusic) Queen begin the 1980s with the biggest hit of their career, on the latest episode of the weekly video series The Greatest. Following the success of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - the lead single from "The Game" - the UK outfit issued two more tracks ("Save Me" and "Play The Game") before releasing "Another One Bites The Dust."
Written by John Deacon, the song was built on an infectious bass line that merged funk and disco. "I'd always wanted to do something a little bit more, that was more disco, which was very uncool at the time," says Deacon of the song that was the source of some internal dissent within the group.
"John was pulling us strongly in that direction, a sort of funky direction," recalls guitarist Brian May, "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."
"I didn't really want to get into dance music," says Taylor. "Wasn't my thing."
"Freddie got deeply into it," adds May. "Freddie sang it until he bled, 'cos he was so committed to making it sound the way John wanted it, which was like hardcore...I don't what you would call it...but more towards black music than white music."
While the members of Queen added "Another One Bites The Dust" in their live set, an unlikely source recommended they release it as a single.
"Michael Jackson came to several shows I think at the Forum in LA, and he loved Freddie," explains Taylor. "And he kept saying 'you guys, you got to put that song out.' And I wasn't particularly enamored with it, so I said 'no, you're kidding, that's never a single."
Queen released the song as the fourth single from "The Game"; it earned a 1981 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal while delivering the group their second US No. 1 - following "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - and became their best-selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies worldwide and, more recently, over a billion streams on Spotify.
"We kind of became the biggest group in the world, at that moment," says May. "You know it's a fleeting moment because someone else will come and take over, but for that moment, we kind of owned the world." Watch the episode here.