Funny how “Bohemian Rhapsody” and its accompanying album, A Night at the Opera, stands so firmly in our collective memory, but in fact it was The Game five years later that crowned Queen #1 worldwide. It was precisely because of the balance of hits “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, and “Play the Game” with the blistering album track “Dragon Attack”, “Rock It”, and the sleeper “Sail Away Sweet Sister”. Brian May and Roger Taylor are suited up to play The Game here In the Studio.
By the Summer 1980 release of The Game, “There was a time there, about three seconds, when we were the biggest band in the world”, humbly chuckles Queen guitarist/ songwriter Brian May in this classic rock interview about the worldwide #1 album on its fortieth anniversary. Yet there he stood, smiling in Memphis radio station ROCK 103, delightfully soft-spoken, gracious, and thoughtful before playing to a sold-out 10,000-seat arena crowd a few hours later. Queen had succeeded as four real “mates” on an international scale, which would continue only to increase for the next decade. With four writers, the band had a surplus of strong songs once again ( “Play the Game”, the live-in-the-studio throwdown”Dragon Attack”, the Glam rock-reminiscent “Coming Soon”,”Need Your Loving Tonight”, the touching “Sail Away Sweet Sister”, the prescient “Save Me”, and two #1s,”Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust”) while Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury possessed such an operatic voice that it’s easy to forget that both Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor also sang lead on select songs.
What really impressed me then as now is how appreciative Brian May was, of the fans, the countless deejays, and journalists for supporting Queen’s efforts over the years. Brian would later suffer a broken marriage, separation of his kids, and the passing of both parents, but nothing short of the untimely death of Freddie Mercury in 1991 could silence the original band. And now we know even that wasn’t permanent. –Redbeard