Queen The Greatest Live: Another One Bites The Dust (Episode 23)

Freddei mercury - Wembley Stadium
Photo © Queen Productions

Queen The Greatest Live: Another One Bites The Dust (Episode 23)

“Queen The Greatest Live” The Greatest series returns with a year-long celebration of Queen Live.

A 50-week YouTube series going behind the scenes to reveal what goes into creating a Queen show, featuring moments from iconic performances and demonstrating why the band is regarded as the ultimate live act.

Queen The Greatest Live: Another One Bites The Dust (Episode 23)

Never satisfied to simply standing on stage and recreating their studio recordings note-for-note, Queen have always seized the opportunity to improvise on even their biggest hits – as this rousing version of Another One Bites The Dust demonstrates. 

As we have previously heard from Roger and Brian, the adaptation of Queen songs is not just how they transfer from studio to stage, but how their desire to make them an even more inclusive experience for the audience sees them continually evolve through new interpretations.

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 settles 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. “I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school and I’ve always been interested in that sort of music,” Deacon told Bassist & Bass Techniques. “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.”

Brian May recalls that Deacon was “totally in his own world and came up with this thing, which was nothing like what we were doing”. But 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: Queen The Greatest Live – Crazy Little Thing Called Love 

Queen The Greatest Live: Another One Bites The Dust (Episode 3)