Queen Releases Exclusive 1982 Performance Of “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
via Queen Official / Youtube
Queen, the iconic rock band known for their timeless hits, takes fans on a nostalgic journey with the release of a 1982 performance of their smash hit, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” This exclusive footage, featured on the latest episode of The Greatest Live series, showcases the evolution of the song on the stage and highlights Queen’s musical prowess. From its humble beginnings as a playful creation by Freddie Mercury to its transformation into a platform for jamming, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” has become an enduring gem in the band’s catalogue.
Conception and Recording
In 1979, while relaxing in the bathtub at Munich’s Bayerischer Hof hotel, Freddie Mercury conceived the foundations of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Inspired by Elvis Presley, Mercury wrote the song in a mere five to ten minutes, strumming his guitar despite his limited skills. This constraint proved to be advantageous, as it fueled the simplicity and charm of the composition.
“It took me five or ten minutes,” Freddie shared with Melody Maker his experience of laying the groundwork for his Elvis-inspired compositions. “I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords.”
Recognizing the potential of the song, Mercury gathered the band and urged engineer Reinhold Mack to capture the magic. With the spontaneity and urgency intact, the band quickly recorded the track at Munich’s Musicland Studios. Mack’s expertise in capturing elemental and ambient sounds contributed to the authentic and timeless quality of the recording.
“Freddie wrote it very quickly and rushed in and put it down with the boys,” Brian May revealed to Absolute Radio. “By the time I got there, it was almost done. And I think the sounds that Mack managed to get – these very elemental, very real, ambient sounds in the studio – had a big contribution to make. It does sound very authentic.”
Live Evolution: Jamming and Intimacy
As Queen embarked on their Hot Space Tour, the Japanese leg of the tour culminated with a memorable performance at Tokorozawa’s Seibu Lions Stadium on November 3rd, 1982. It was during this time that “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” evolved into a platform for exhilarating jam sessions. The band, led by Brian May and Freddie Mercury, gathered around pianist Fred Mandel, creating an atmosphere of joyous intimacy akin to a lively pub lock-in. The performance showcased Queen’s ability to infuse their live shows with improvisation and musical camaraderie.
Legacy and Significance
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” holds a special place in Queen’s discography as their first number one hit in the United States. The song’s infectious rockabilly rhythm and Mercury’s energetic performance resonated with audiences worldwide. Despite the initial challenge of playing a twelve-string acoustic live, Mercury’s sheer guts and bravery propelled the song to new heights on stage.
Through the exclusive 1982 performance, Queen reminds us of their enduring legacy and their ability to captivate audiences with their electrifying presence. The footage captures the band’s talent, chemistry, and the joy they brought to their performances, creating an unforgettable experience for fans.