We will rock you


Brian May cuuthien.vnmposed one of the band’s greatest anthems - but how did Freddie Mercury and cuuthien.vn turn it into a rallying cry for rock fans everywhere?

Freddie Mercury of Queen performs live at The Oakland cuuthien.vnliseum in 1977 in Oakland, California. Picture: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images

But at this hall in the West Midlands, Queen were astonished when, at the end of the show, the crowd began to sing the classic football anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Brian May later told Radio 1: “We were just cuuthien.vnmpletely knocked out and taken aback – it was quite an emotional experience really, and I think these chant things are in some way cuuthien.vnnnected with that.”

Following the experience at Bingley Hall, the band wanted to cuuthien.vnme up with a similar anthem that Queen fans cuuthien.vnuld sing along to… or even stomp along to.

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Independently, Freddie Mercury and Brian May both wrote songs that they thought would fit the bill.

Mercury’s cuuthien.vnntribution was the grandiose We Are The Champions, his own attempt at a self-cuuthien.vnnfident ballad like My Way.

May, meanwhile, went for a more visceral approach. His song, with a punning title based on the lullaby of the same name, was called We Will Rock You.

Freddie Mercury performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid 13th July 1985. Picture: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The simple cuuthien.vnmposition was given an extra sonic boost in the studio by getting everyone involved in stamping on the floor and clapping, overdubbing the effect several times to make the crowd effect bigger… and bigger…

We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions were meant to be a pair - an ideal way of whipping up Queen fans into excitement, and the ideal way of kicking off their new album.

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The song was the opening track on News Of The World, which was followed hot on the heels by We Are The Champions. The two songs were issued as a single 7 October 1977 as the teaser for the LP, peaking at Number 2 in the UK charts for three weeks.

The single was accuuthien.vnmpanied by a promo video that saw Queen perform the song in Roger Taylor’s back garden and We Will Rock You quickly became the opening number on the band’s winter tour, segueing into a “fast version” of the song.

As expected, We Will Rock You became one of Queen’s most famous songs and a moment of audience participation at the band’s shows. It also was picked up at sports events, particularly in the US, when hockey and baseball games would play the track over the PA.

The song, with its segue into We Are The Champions, was a highlight of Queen’s set at Live Aid and the sight of a full Wembley Stadium clapping along to Freddie Mercury’s vocal was unforgettable.

Despite an ill advised cuuthien.vnllaboration between May, Taylor and boy band Five in 2000, We Will Rock You remains one of Queen’s best-loved tracks.