Queen share Freddie Mercury singing Another One Bites The Dust alternate live version

This week’s episode of Queen the Greatest Live, which you can watch below, demonstrates how the band wouldn’t simply recreate their studio recordings note-for-note when performing for fans. Instead, Freddie Mercury and the band liked to improvise and adapt their biggest hits, bringing the audience into the mix.

A caption attached to the video reads: “Queen’s live musicianship means no song is set in stone. Improvs erupt, outros are jammed out, arrangements are bent out of shape and audiences are brought into the mix as backup singers – all with Freddie Mercury effortlessly controlling the impulsive push and pull.

“Nowhere is Queen’s free-form approach to performance better demonstrated than in this week’s archive footage from the first of their two magical nights at Wembley Stadium in July 1986, in which the band settle into an impromptu groove of fan-favourite single Another One Bites The Dust, allowing Freddie Mercury to demonstrate his mastery at playing with a crowd.

“When John Deacon first presented his iconic bassline at Munich’s Musicland Studios, it was deceptively simple: just three notes played on a single string, but already pulsing with potential.” On what became Queen’s best-selling single, John Deacon previously told Bassist & Bass Techniques: “I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school and I’ve always been interested in that sort of music.

“I’d been wanting to do a track like Another One Bites The Dust for a while, but originally all I had was the line and the bass riff. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did.”

Meanwhile, Sir Brian May recalls that the bassist was “totally in his own world and came up with this thing, which was nothing like what we were doing”.

The video’s caption continued: “Yet the line-up built a classic anthem from that spare groove, with Mercury so enthused that ‘he sang until his throat bled’. When Another One Bites The Dust was released as a single in August 1980 – at the suggestion of Michael Jackson – it became Queen’s biggest hit of the decade.

“Six years later, on the Magic Tour that proved to be Queen’s final outing fronted by Freddie Mercury, the song had evolved further still, with Deacon’s bassline and Roger Taylor’s propulsive beat anchoring the performance while the singer led a thrilling call-and-response with the 72,000-strong Wembley crowd and May coaxed off-the-cuff funk licks from his Red Special guitar.”

Next week’s episode of Queen The Greatest Live looks at Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

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