When that bassline starts up, you can’t help but get in the groove.
Queen’s iconic song “Another One Bites The Dust” was a massive success when it came out and continues to shake stadiums and move clubs to this day. The song reached the top of the charts in both the US and the UK when it was released in 1980. In fact, this disco-infused single became Queen’s best-selling song, selling over seven million copies worldwide.
It even won the award for Favorite Rock Single at the American Music Awards in 1981.
Of course, Queen didn’t know just how influential their seemingly simple track would become. Or did they? Did they plan on writing a megahit, or was it simply chance that took the reins?
John Deacon, the bassist of Queen, had a strong interest in disco at the time. Despite the initial skepticism from rock fans when one of the greatest rock bands of the era decided to venture into the realm of disco, Deacon didn’t care. He said that he had been a fan of soul music since he was young, and had been wanting to create a track like “Another One Bites The Dust” for quite some time.
The idea was to start the track off with a simple bass riff, which would become one of the most famous bass riffs of all time. Gradually, the song would fill out with ideas from the rest of the band. Ironically enough, Deacon envisioned it as your run-of-the-mill dance track, not having any clue that it would become as massive as it did.
The song was recorded in 1979 and released the following year, gaining traction with audiences that weren’t previously interested in what Queen was offering. It became especially popular on black radio stations in the US, exposing the band to a much wider audience.
Many believe that the hit song was directly influenced by Chic’s disco hit “Good Times.”
Chic’s co-founder, Bernard Edwards, stated that Deacon spent a lot of time at their studio. Even Brian May, Queen’s guitarist, said that Deacon had a huge admiration for Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers.
Even so, not many critics have heavily criticized the resemblance, noting that new music is always inspired by music before it. In fact, even Rodgers admitted that “Good Times” was inspired by “Hollywood Swinging,” an iconic Kool & The Gang track.
What most people don’t know is that Michael Jackson was the one who encouraged Queen to release “Another One Bites The Dust” as a single. Jackson was a major Queen fan, and Freddie Mercury often credited him for the song’s success, saying that he pushed them to create a track that people could dance to.
The song’s release was clearly a wise choice on the band’s part, as it became a global chart-topper.
Fun fact: Though Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” became the soundtrack for Rocky III, “Another One Bites The Dust” was initially considered.