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Queen Trainspotter's Guide

The Works

Associated Songs

Released 1984


Radio Ga-Ga (Taylor) (5:49)
Tear It Up (May) (3:28)
It's A Hard Life (Mercury) (4:08)
Man On The Prowl (Mercury) (3:28)

Machines (or "Back To Humans") (Taylor / May) (5:10)
I Want To Break Free (Deacon) (3:20)
Keep Passing The Open Windows (Mercury) (5:21)
Hammer To Fall (May) (4:28)
Is This The World We Created? (Mercury / May) (2:13)

US Hollywood Records CD Bonus Tracks:
I Go Crazy (original B-side) (May) (3:42)
Radio Ga-Ga (extended version) (Taylor) (6:50)
I Want To Break Free (extended version) (Deacon) (7:12)

"Radio Ga-Ga" allegedly inspired by Roger's young son, with the original but less commercial title "Radio Poo-Poo". "I Want To Break Free" is very different to the version that was released as a single. "Keep Passing The Open Windows" is an anti-suicide song, a theme already explored by the band on "The Game" (go on, guess which song!). The band also get as close as they ever got to being political, with "Hammer To Fall" and "Is This The World We Created?", the latter written after seeing news footage of starving children. It became a last minute addition to the album, which was originally to have featured "There Must Be More To Life Than This" as the last track. Instead, that track later appeared on Freddie's "Mr Bad Guy" album. Fairlight programming on "Machines" by Mack. "Rip-roaring piano finale" on "Man On The Prowl" by Fred Mandel. All the tracks from this album have appeared on 7" vinyl in some form.


Excerpts From "The Works"
Promo-only 7" flexi-disc. Contains brief edits of "Radio Ga-Ga", "I Want To Break Free", "It's A Hard Life" and "Hammer To Fall". Silver ps, similar to the album cover.

Radio Ga-Ga
Most countries, standard ps. B-side is "I Go Crazy", a non-album track written by Brian. 12" has extended and instrumental versions. The only significantly different ps is an extremely rare Japanese promo. Kept off the number one spot in the UK by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, but stayed at number two for weeks and weeks. Still, its a better deal than Ultravox's "Vienna", which was kept off the number one spot by Joe Dolce's "Shaddup You Face". Several US 12" promos exist, including one with a unique mix, although there was no official US 12" release. 1988 CD3 adds "Hammer To Fall". This was the era of the big-budget pop video, and "Radio Ga-Ga" was no exception, with its big sets, silly costumes (and hair, in John's case), huge cast and overblown production. The group even purchased sections of the Fritz Lang film "Metropolis" to use in the video, and the result is one of the landmark music videos of the 1980s. The lyrics add a wonderful touch of irony to it all, too.

I Want To Break Free
Most countries. A-side is a remix. Standard B-side is "Machines (or Back To Humans". The US release has an instrumental version of "Machines" instead of the album mix. 12" with extended mix released in most countries. The 7" is available in at least five different sleeves (one each of Freddie, Brian, Roger and John, and a group picture). 1988 CD3 adds "It's A Hard Life". Another famous video, with the group partly appearing in drag. Though obviously very tongue-in-cheek, it was still infamously banned in the US, effectively preventing the song from charting there. One of their very best, even if Roger does look far too good as a naughty schoolgirl!

It's A Hard Life
Most countries. B-side is "Is This The World We Created?". The 12" sometimes has an extended version, and sometimes has a ps, but only a rare German 12" has both. The first Queen single ever released as a picture disc, on 12" in the UK only, and its absolutely superb. It doesn't have the extended mix though. Roger objected to the initial sleeve, and insisted on having it re-done, resulting in two slightly different versions of the sleeve being printed.

Hammer To Fall
Most countries, not Japan. B-side is "Tear It Up". 12" has "Headbanger's Mix". The 7" A-side is an edit, which is strange when you consider the full album mix is still 1:30 shorter than "Radio Ga-Ga". The UK sleeve was originally a superb live shot, but Brian took objected to it in case fans thought it was a live recording (the video also featured a mimed live performance), and so it was quickly withdrawn. It's now a major collectible (and has been bootlegged), and the replacement red title sleeve is very dull in comparison. Finally, in 1992 a US Hollywood Records promo CD appeared, containing a unique remix.

Man On The Prowl
Promo only 7". This has been spotted from several countries, though Irish copies seem the most common. B-side is "Keep Passing The Open Windows". Very few copies exist. No ps. Almost immediately withdrawn, in favour of "Thank God It's Christmas".

Thank God It's Christmas
A special Christmas single, written by Brian and Roger. Their only non-album song ever released as a single! Mentioned here as it has "Man On The Prowl" and "Keep Passing The Open Windows" as the B-sides. Most countries, not US or Japan. Australian release doesn't have "Keep Passing The Open Windows". The 12" has extended mixes of both B-sides, but the normal A-side. Nice standard ps. Unofficial 1992 Israeli "Peace In The Middle East" mix 12" exists. "Thank God Its Christmas" also appears (in a very slightly different form) on the US "Queen Talks" CD. It was also re-issued as a "digitally remastered" B-side to "A Winter's Tale" in Christmas 1995 (UK only).

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