Saturday, October 4, 1980

Queen hit #1 with “Another One Bites the Dust”

First posted 2/11/2021; updated 3/11/2021.

Another One Bites the Dust

Queen

Writer(s): John Deacon (see lyrics here)


First Charted: August 16, 1980


Peak: 13 US, 14 CB, 16 HR, 2 RR, 2 RB, 1 CL, 7 UK, 14 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 4.16 US, 0.6 UK, 7.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 558.3 video, 665.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” the lead single from Queen’s eighth album The Game, took the band to #1 in the United States for the first time. The next single, “Play the Game,” stalled at #42. However, as the third single, “Another One Bites the Dust” took Queen back to #1 and gave them the biggest chart U.S. hit of their career. The song was the longest running top-10 on Billboard in 1980 with 15 weeks, 13 of which were in the top 5. It also spent more weeks total on the chart (31) than any other song that year. It won an American Music Award for Favorite Rock Single and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Most of the band’s material was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury or guitarist Brian May. However, bassist John Deacon composed “Dust.” The only other charted song by Queen written by him was “You’re My Best Friend” in 1976. The heavy bass line, inspired by Good Times” by the disco group Chic, gave the song appeal beyond pop radio. DJ’s at clubs and black radio stations took to the song. BR1 According to May, Queen had to put it out as a single because so many stations in New York were playing it. WK It got all the way to #2 on the R&B chart.

Michael Jackson, who was friends with Mercury, had advocated for “Dust” as a single from the first time he heard The Game, BR1 although other accounts say it was after Jackson saw Queen in concert and he came back stage. SF According to Mercury, Jackson had told him “You need a song the cats can dance to.” WK When Jackson heard “Dust,” he said, “That’s it, that’s the gravy. Release it and it will top the charts.” WK

Deacon said, “I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school…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. Gradually, I filled it in and the band added ideas. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did.” WK

With its bassline of roughly 110 beats per minute, the song served as a perfect tool for training medical professionals on the correct amount of chest compressions per minute when performing CPR. WK


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Queen
  • DMDB page for parent album The Game
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 531.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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