Saturday, February 23, 1980

Queen hit #1 with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”

Crazy Little Thing Called Love


Writer(s): Freddie Mercury (see lyrics here)

Released: October 12, 1979

First Charted: October 20, 1979

Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 12 HR, 13 RR, 17 AC, 1 CL, 2 UK, 12 CN, 17 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.5 UK, 1.71 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 7.0 radio, 205.0 video, 343.34 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury came up with this song while taking a bath in in a hotel room in Munich, Germany. He jumped from the tub and worked out the chords on guitar. SF As he said, “it took me five or ten minutes. I did that on 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.” WK

After playing it for his bandmates in the studio, they reported recorded it in less than half an hour WK after just a few run-throughs. Mercury wrote this as a rockabilly tribute to Elvis Presley. WK It sounded enough like his work, that some people assumed it was a cover. AMG

Mercury played rhythm guitar on the track, marking the first time he played guitar on a Queen album. FB Guitarist Brian May still played lead on the track, though. Producer Reinhold Mack pushed him to use a Fender Telecaster instead of his usual Red Special. May reluctantly agreed, saying “It basically doesn’t suit my style. But ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ was such a period piece. It seemed to need that period sound.” UCR

The song was released first in Britain, where it reached #2. Elektra, Queen’s U.S. label, didn’t see its potential, but released it after American radio stations started playing the imported single. FB According to Roger Taylor and Brian May, this song inspired John Lennon to go back into the studio. SF


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First posted 8/5/2021; last updated 10/10/2022.

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