Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
Some childhood memories will stay with us forever – some fade away, gone with the passage of time. One memory that will always stay with me is that of my Dad playing Queen records on his dusty record player. As a kid, I had no idea that Queen had been around for a while or that their early 80’s records marked a departure from their 70’s signature hard rock sound. All I knew is that Another One Bites the Dust was one of the best songs I’d ever heard to that point and I could listen to it over and over. Actually, that still rings true 30 years later. Released in 1980, it found Queen embracing slight disco elements. An absolute killer bass line, it was directly inspired by the song Good Times by disco icons Chic. Queen bassist John Deacon wrote the song and collaborated with the other band members to get the song to the completed track that we know today. In the early 80’s Christian evangelists accused the song of having backward messages that promoted the use of marijuana, which the band has steadfastly denied. Michael Jackson (yes THAT Michael Jackson) suggested that Queen release the tune as a single, which proved to be sound advice – the song was a #1 smash success and the band’s highest selling single, at 7 million copies. Freddie Mercury’s vocal performance is one for the ages, while most of the instrumentation on the studio track was actually provided by John Deacon (though Brian May and Roger Taylor did assist). One of my favorite opening couplets in recorded history, it is hard not to sing along “Oh! Let’s go! / Steve walks warily down the street / With the brim pulled way down low / Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet / Machine guns ready to go”