We Will Rock You

"We Will Rock You"
We Will Rock You by Queen B-side UK vinyl.jpg
As side B of "We Are the Champions" UK vinyl single
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
A-side"We Are the Champions"
Released7 October 1977
Format7" single
GenreArena rock[1]
Length2:02
Label
Songwriter(s)Brian May
Producer(s)
Queen singles chronology
"Long Away"
(1977)
"We Are the Champions" / "We Will Rock You"
(1977)
"Spread Your Wings"
(1978)
Audio sample

"We Will Rock You" is a song written by Brian May and recorded by Queen for their 1977 album News of the World.[2] Rolling Stone ranked it number 330 of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004,[3] and it placed at number 146 on the Songs of the Century list in 2001. In 2009, "We Will Rock You" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[4][5]

Other than the last 30 seconds, which contains a guitar solo by May, the song is generally set in a cappella form, using only stomping and clapping as a rhythmic body percussion beat. In 1977, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were issued together as a worldwide top 10 single.[6] Soon after the album was released, many radio stations began playing the songs consecutively and without interruption.[7]

Since its release, "We Will Rock You" has been covered, remixed, sampled, parodied, referenced and used by multiple recording artists, TV shows, films and other media worldwide.[8][9] It has also become a cliche at sports events around the world as a stadium anthem, mostly due to its simple rhythm.[10][11] On 7 October 2017, Queen released a Raw Sessions version of the track to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of News of the World. It features a radically different approach to the guitar solo and includes May's count-in immediately prior to the recording.[12]

Original Queen version

"We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were written in response to an event that occurred during the A Day at the Races Tour.[13] The band played at Stafford's Bingley Hall, and, according to Brian May:[14]

We did an encore and then went off, and instead of just keeping clapping, they sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" to us, and we were just completely knocked out and taken aback – it was quite an emotional experience really, and I think these chant things are in some way connected with that.

One version was used as the opening track on 1977's News of the World. This consists of a stomp-stomp-clap-pause beat, and a power chorus, being somewhat of an anthem. The stamping effects were created by the band overdubbing the sounds of themselves stomping and clapping many times and adding delay effects to create a sound like many people were participating. The durations of the delays were in the ratios of prime numbers, a technique now known as non-harmonic reverberation.[15] A tape loop is used to repeat the last phrase of the guitar solo three times as opposed to Brian May playing it three separate times on the recording.[16] The "stomp, stomp, clap" sounds were later used in the Queen + Paul Rodgers song "Still Burnin'".[17]

The music video was filmed alongside "Spread Your Wings" at the back garden of Roger Taylor's mansion.[18]

When performed live, the song is usually followed by "We Are the Champions", as they were designed to run together.[6] The songs are often paired on the radio and at sporting events, where they are frequently played.[6] They were the last two songs Queen performed at Live Aid in 1985.[19]

Queen also performed an alternative version of "We Will Rock You" known as the "fast version", featuring a faster-feeling tempo and a full band arrangement. The band would frequently use this version to open their live sets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as heard on the albums Live Killers (1979), Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl (2004), Queen Rock Montreal (2007), and the expanded edition of News of the World (2011). A studio recording of this version is also known to exist, recorded for John Peel's show on BBC Radio 1 in 1977. It is part of a longer cut that starts with the original version. In 2002, the fast version was officially released on a promo single distributed by the tabloid The Sun. The "fast" BBC studio version can also be found on The Best of King Biscuit Live Volume 4. Between the two versions, there is a brief cut of a woman discussing Brahmanism, used in a BBC Radio documentary. The fast version is also used as the curtain call music for the musical of the same title, after the finale, which is a pairing of the original "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions."

It was the most played song during the 2008–2009 seasons of the National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.[11]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: We Will Rock You
العربية: وي ويل روك يو
български: We Will Rock You
čeština: We Will Rock You
Ελληνικά: We Will Rock You
français: We Will Rock You
한국어: We Will Rock You
עברית: We Will Rock You
ქართული: We Will Rock You
қазақша: We Will Rock You
latviešu: We Will Rock You
lietuvių: We Will Rock You
norsk nynorsk: We Will Rock You
português: We Will Rock You
русский: We Will Rock You
sicilianu: We Will Rock You
Simple English: We Will Rock You
slovenčina: We Will Rock You
српски / srpski: We Will Rock You
українська: We Will Rock You
Tiếng Việt: We Will Rock You