Friday, December 16, 2016

"I Want to Break Free" by Queen

Song#:  1882
Date:  04/28/1984
Debut:  73
Peak:  45
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Queen's eleventh album, The Works, started off with the moderate hit "Radio Ga-Ga" (#16 Pop, #22 Rock). Like their previous album, Hot Space, the lack of a significant Top 10 hit affected album sales and both LPs missed out on the Top 20 and could only manage gold-level sales. They probably hoped this second single would help turn things around, but it did not. The song fell just shy of a Top 40 showing and didn't even chart at Rock. It did appear on the Dance chart, but that was at a lowly #51. It seemed that the US was one of the few countries that just wasn't dialing into Queen at the time. In many other countries, including their UK homeland, their albums and singles (this one hit #3 in the UK) were still finding their way into the Top 10 or even #1.

ReduxReview:  This is a pleasant enough tune from the band and a lot of the time these warm little ditties play well on the chart (i.e., like Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You"). There is typically a mass audience for songs like this, but for some reason they didn't show up for this one. For me, the tune is fine, but it is nothing I'd place on a list of favorite Queen songs. Meh.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Many folks cite the song's video as the main reason it did not chart better in the US. The concept for the video was to do a parody of the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. All four members of Queen donned dresses in order to portray some of the female characters on the show during portions of the video. While Europe and most of the rest of the world knew what the band was doing, folks in the US were puzzled by it as the show it parodies was unfamiliar. Therefore, the video got interpreted in other ways that didn't sit well with MTV and they ended up banning it. Without that extra promotional boost from MTV (along with the fact that "Radio Ga-Ga" was not a major hit), the song couldn't get a foothold on the charts and fell away.  2) In many cases, the album version of a song is edited down into a shorter version for single release. However, this song is the rare exception. For the single version, they actually added passages to the song that made it about 30 seconds longer than the album version. The single version includes an extended opening and a longer keyboard solo.


No comments:

Post a Comment