Action This Day
Put Out The Fire
Life Is Real (song for lennon)
Calling All Girls
Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
(Queen / Bowie) (4:04)
US Hollywood Records CD Bonus Track:
Body Language (1991 Remix)
"Look at the chance we're taking with this one" said Freddie. Quite! Never has a Queen album divided fan opinion more. With its heavier than usual use of synthesisers, this is often unfairly labelled as "Queen's dance album". In truth though, there's little here that is radically different from what has gone before, or what would come later. Its really only a few tracks on side one, particularly "Staying Power" and "Body Language" that really differ from the "normal" Queen sound (whatever that may be!). Most of the other tracks would fit just as easily on "The Game", or even "Jazz" in some cases (e.g. "Put Out The Fire"). Similarly, "Another One Bites The Dust", "Fun It" or "More Of That Jazz" could have easily fitted in here. In fact, if you listen to side two first, you'll probably wonder what the fuss was about. However, at the time, popular and critical opinion was pretty harsh. As a result, the group even edited out the "Hot Space" tracks from the "We Will Rock You" video to avoid harming sales. The album is more a case of bad timing than poor quality though. Its certainly not as unashamedly poppy as "A Kind Of Magic", which had no problems with sales four years later. And while the group arguably missed the rock/funk sound they were after on the actual LP, they certainly did achieve it live (in fact the "Hot Space Tour" is often regarded as their peak). The "hot and spacey horns" on "Staying Power" are arranged by Arif Mardin (and will probably make you cringe). "Life Is Real" is dedicated to John Lennon. "Under Pressure" originally had the working title of "People On Streets". It is also the only "proper" collaboration Queen have ever released, with David Bowie, who also features on an unreleased demo version of "Cool Cat". The original acetates of this LP are supposed to differ from the final release, though its unclear exactly how (although including the demo "Cool Cat" is a distinct possibility). This is the first album not to feature any lead vocals from Roger or Brian, although Roger does provide additional vocals on "Action This Day".
Released on 7" in most countries, including the US and Japan. The B-side, "Soul Brother", is non-album. Japan has the only significantly different ps. 12" in ps, with same tracks as the 7", released in some countries only (not UK), with Dutch copies being by far the most common. No extended versions. 1988 CD3 adds "Body Language". Columbian coloured vinyl 12"s exist. The bass and piano riff was sampled by Vanilla Ice in 1991, on the song "Ice Ice Baby", which got to number one in many countries. Consequently, "Under Pressure" itself was then re-issued as a B-side (12" and CD only), to "Innuendo" the same year ("Headlong" in the US). Coincidence?
Most countries, including US and Japan. B-side is "Life Is Real". 12" in ps released in some countries, not UK, with same tracks as the 7". The sleeve caused trouble in America, as it shows two "naked bodies" on the cover. Consequently it was banned and withdrawn there, and a new plain title sleeve was issued. This US-only re-issue is now very hard to find. The video had similar problems, although its not one of their better efforts anyway. No official US 12", but a US mono/stereo promo 12" (no ps) exists, and is surprisingly collectable.
Las Palabras De Amor
Some countries only, mainly Europe. Not US or Japan. B-side is "Cool Cat". Standard ps, no 12" release (not even promos!). The "baby face" on the sleeve was later re-used by Roger for the sleeve of "New Dark Ages" by The Cross. Rare 10" acetate with different mix exists.
Calling All Girls
Released only in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. B-side is "Put Out The Fire". The only ps, if you can call it that, is the US release (its just a black title sleeve, similar to the standard "Under Pressure" - maybe they got cold feet after the "Body Language" fiasco!). Mono/stereo US promo 12" exists, no ps. Another US promo 12", with a potentially unique mix, is rumoured but unconfirmed.
Japan only, on 7" only, in superb unique group ps. B-side is "Calling All Girls". US promo 12" exists, with unique extended version (its B-side is the extended mix of "Back Chat"). No official US release.
Japan and Europe only. A-side is a remix, B-side is "Staying Power". Japan B-side is "Las Palabras De Amor". 12" with same tracks as 7" released in some countries. Only the UK 12" has an extended version, their first official extended release anywhere. Standard ps, except for Japan, which has a very striking alternative!