The Queen Song Freddie Wrote For Elvis Presley
Passion Community AKA Freddie Mercury Passion / Youtube
Freddie Mercury, the iconic frontman of Queen, was not only a legendary musician but also a devoted fan of Elvis Presley. Drawing inspiration from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mercury paid homage to his idol by crafting a song that exuded the spirit and sound of Elvis. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” became a remarkable tribute, capturing the essence of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll and showcasing Mercury’s undeniable vocal prowess.
A Tribute to the King
Mercury’s deep admiration for Elvis Presley was no secret among his bandmates. When Mercury penned “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” in 1979, Queen guitarist Brian May recognized it as his friend’s tribute to the late Elvis, who had passed away in 1977.
May explained, acknowledging Mercury’s fondness for the American music icon:
“It’s Freddie’s tribute to Elvis in a way.”
In discussing the track, Mercury acknowledged the natural resemblance of his voice to Elvis Presley’s on “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
“My voice does sound a bit like Elvis Presley’s on ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ That wasn’t something I was trying to do, naturally, it was pure coincidence.”
He attributed the similarity to the song’s low register and its evocation of a ’50s-style sound. Mercury explained:
“It’s all sung rather low, so then you soon come close to Elvis, especially with such a 50s-type song.”
The authenticity of his vocals left an impression, with his girlfriend even mistaking the song for a cover:
“I don’t mind telling you that my girlfriend thought it was a cover song, but that is absolutely not true. I wrote it…while taking a bath,” Mercury humorously revealed.
A Convincing Homage
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” successfully captured the essence of Elvis Presley’s music, leading many listeners to mistake it for an original Elvis track.
Queen guitarist Brian May reflected on the song’s authentic sound, saying:
“I think the sounds that [sound engineer Reinhold] Mack managed to get, these very elemental, very real sounds, ambient sounds in the studio had a big contribution to make. It does sound very authentic, everything about it is sort of like original rock and roll sounding.”
The combination of Mercury’s vocal delivery, the infectious rhythm, and the production techniques used contributed to its convincing portrayal of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, reminiscent of Elvis’ catalog.
Elvis as a Learning Tool
Mercury attributed his development as a songwriter to his early attempts at emulating Elvis’ songs. Mercury shared, highlighting the influence of Elvis’ music on his own creative journey:
“I think I always liked to sing, but I didn’t look upon it as a career… I would copy Elvis Presley songs, then I suddenly realized that I could actually write songs and make my own music,”
His experience of mimicking Elvis’ style became a valuable learning tool that shaped his own unique voice and songwriting talents.