Crazy Little Thing Called Love
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is featured on their 1980 album The Game, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits in 1981. The song peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the group's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks. It topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven weeks.
|"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album The Game|
|Released||5 October 1979|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" / 12")|
|Recorded||June - July 1979|
|Queen singles chronology|
Having composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar, Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, which was the first time he played guitar in concert with Queen. Queen played the song live between 1979 and 1986, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the albums Queen Rock Montreal, Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl , Live at Wembley '86 and Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '. Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists. The song was played live on 20 April 1992 during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by Robert Plant with Queen. The style of the song was described by author Karl Coryat as rockabilly in his 1999 book titled The Bass Player Book.
'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can't play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.— Freddie Mercury
The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley. Roger Taylor added in an interview that Mercury wrote it in just 10 minutes while lounging in a bath in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich during one of their extensive Munich recording sessions. Mercury took it to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them, with their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. The entire song was reportedly recorded in less than half an hour (although Mack says it was six hours). Having written "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar and played an acoustic rhythm guitar on the record, for the first time ever Mercury played guitar in concerts, for example at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.
The music video for the song was filmed at Trillion Studios in September 1979 and directed by Dennis De Vallance featuring four dancers and a floor of hands. An alternate version featuring alternate angles, out-takes and backstage footage from the original video shoot was included on the Days Of Our Lives DVD and Blu-ray releases.
In the immediate aftermath of the single the band embarked on a mini UK tour entitled the Crazy Tour.
Whenever the song was played live, the band added a solid rock ending that extended the under-three-minute track to over five minutes, with May and Mercury providing additional guitars and vocals. An example of this is on the CD/DVD Set Live at Wembley '86, where the song runs over six minutes.
The "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" single hit number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the first US number-one hit for the band, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. It was knocked out of the top spot on this chart by Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II". The song also topped the Australian ARIA charts for seven consecutive weeks from 1 March to 12 April 1980. The UK release had "We Will Rock You (live)" as the b-side and America, Australia, Canada had "Spread Your Wings (live)".
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- Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, handclaps
- Brian May – electric guitar, backing vocals, handclaps
- Roger Taylor – drums, backing vocals, handclaps
- John Deacon – bass guitar, handclaps
Although Mercury would play an acoustic-electric twelve-string Ovation Pacemaker 1615 guitar and later on an electric six-string Fender Telecaster, both owned by May, in the studio he recorded it with a six-string acoustic with external mics. Mercury also played the original guitar solo on a version which has been lost.
|Australia (ARIA)||Platinum||70,000^|
|Netherlands (NVPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Dwight Yoakam versionEdit
|"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"|
|Single by Dwight Yoakam|
|from the album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's|
|B-side||"Let's Work Tegether"/"Doin' What I Did"|
|Released||19 May 1999|
|Dwight Yoakam singles chronology|
American country music singer Dwight Yoakam included a cover of the song on his 1999 album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's. Yoakam's version was released as a single. It debuted at number 65 on the US Billboard "Hot Country Singles & Tracks" chart for the week of 1 May 1999, and peaked at number 12 on the US country singles charts that year. It was also used in a television commercial for clothing retailer Gap at the time of the album's release. The music video was directed by Yoakam. This version appears in the movie The Break-Up (2006), starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||19|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|UK Singles Chart||35|
|US Billboard Hot 100||64|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||12|
|Year-end chart (1999)||Rank|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||22|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||64|
Other cover versionsEdit
- In October 1999 by American country-rock singer Juice Newton on her album American Girl.
- Canadian pop/big band singer Michael Bublé covered the song for his self-titled 2003 debut album.
- The Brian Setzer Orchestra put a faster tempo, neo-swing version on their 2003 album Jump, Jive an' Wail.
- British pop rock/pop punk band McFly covered the song for their "Room on the 3rd Floor" single. (2004)
- American singer Josh Kelley recorded a cover for the 2005 album Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen.
- Diana Ross covered the song on her 2007 album I Love You. Brian May plays guitar on this version.
- American pop rock band Maroon 5 covered the song and it came out as a bonus track in some versions of the 2010 album Hands All Over.
- Drake Bell covered this song in his 2014 album Ready, Steady, Go!.
- Crouse, Richard (1998). Who Wrote The Book Of Love?. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0385257329.
- Bogdanov, Vladimir (2003). All Music Guide to Country: The Definitive Guide to Country Music. Backbeat Books. p. 368. ISBN 978-0879307608.
- Bret, David (2014). Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Biography. Lulu.com. p. 88. ISBN 978-1291811087.
- "Billboard Hot 100 Chart History for Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen". Song-database.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
- Kent, David (1993) (doc). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W
- Lights! Action! Sound! It's That Crazy Little Thing Called Queen Circus Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (30 October 2007). "Queen Rock Montreal – Queen | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Queen "Live At Wembley 1986 / Live At Wembley Stadium" album and song lyrics". Ultimatequeen.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Queen "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert" video and song lyrics". Ultimatequeen.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Coryat, Karl (1999). The Bass Player Book. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 59.
- "Queen Interviews – Freddie Mercury – 05-02-1981 – Melody Maker – Queen Archives: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Interviews, Articles, Reviews". Queen Archives. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- on YouTube Absolute Radio. Retrieved 18 December 2011
- ROGER SPEAKS: COLOGNE AUDIO PRESS KIT BrianMay.com. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- Billboard 18 Jul 1980 p.33. Billboard. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- "Interview with Reinhold Mack, Esq". iZotope.
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love UltimateQueen. Retrieved 29 June 2011
- "May confirms Mercury played solo". Guitar & Bass.
- "Australian (David Kent) Weekly Single Charts from 1980". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Austriancharts.at – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9499a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". GfK Entertainment Charts.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". VG-lista.
- "Charts.org.nz – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swisscharts.com – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- "Queen Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Top Singles 1979". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 22 December 1979. p. 27.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". www.collectionscanada.gc.ca.
- "Top Selling Singles of 1980 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 31 December 1980. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Pop Singles" Billboard 20 December 1980: TIA-10
- "British single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 August 2012. Enter Crazy Little Thing Called Love in the search field and then press Enter.
- "American single certifications – Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 August 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Last Chance for a Thousand Years review". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8469." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 30 August 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 8364." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 16 August 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Dwight Yoakam Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- "Dwight Yoakam Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
- "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1999". RPM. 13 December 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Best of 1999: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1999. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Charlotte Dillon. "American Girl – Juice Newton | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Aaron Latham (11 February 2003). "Michael Bublé – Michael Bublé | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (3 June 2003). "Jump, Jive an' Wail: The Best of the Brian Setzer Orchestra 1994–2000 – The Brian Setzer Orchestra,Brian Setzer | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- McFly – Room On The 3rd Floor. discogs.com
- J. Scott McClintock (9 August 2005). "Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" With Diana Ross BrianMay.com. Retrieved 10 July 2011
- Maroon 5 AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011
- "Drake Bell—Ready Steady Go!". AllMusic web site. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Official YouTube videos: on YouTube, Live at the Bowl, Queen + Paul Rodgers, at Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (with Robert Plant)
- Lyrics at Queen official website
- Song analysis (www.queensongs.info)
- Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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