Queen: “We Are The Champions” (1977)

The greatest arena rock song of all time? Probably. And no children were harmed in the making.

Kronomyth 6.1: Siamese tune.

A weird thing happened with the opening single from Queen’s sixth album: both sides were fused together. The single was billed as “We Are The Champions,” with “We Will Rock You” as the B side. On the album, as most will remember, the order is reversed; the anthemic “We Will Rock You” offers an immediate challenge, which the subsequent “We Are The Champions” answers once and for all time in allegro braggadocio. Radio stations soon (though not immediately) got into the habit of playing both songs as they appear on the elpee, with that tantalizing pause (arguably some of the world’s most famous silence) separating the two.

This Siamese Tune phenomenon is rare in the annals of rock, and I can only think of a handful of occurrences, none as common as Queen:

  • The Beatles: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends”
  • Elton John: “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”
  • Journey: “Feeling That Way/Anytime”
  • Led Zeppelin: “Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid”
  • Yes: “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)”

And, of course, “Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls.”

Read more Queen reviews

Original 7-inch single version

A1. We Are The Champions (Freddie Mercury) (3:00)
B1. We Will Rock You (Brian May) (2:01)

The Product

Released on 7-inch single on October 7, 1977 in the US, Australia and Canada (Elektra, E-45441), on October 14, 1977 in the UK and Ireland (EMI, EMI 2708), in 1977 in Argentina (EMI, 1566), Belgium (EMI, 4 C 006-60045), Bolivia (EMI Int’l, BO-1217), Brazil (EMI, EMI-4113), Chile (EMI, 1358), France (EMI, 2C 006-60.045), Germany (EMI, 1C 006-60 045), Guatemala (EMI, 4372), Italy (EMI, 3C 000-60045), Japan (Elektra, P-230E), the Netherlands (EMI, 5C 006-60045), Peru (EMI, 01.21.1161), the Philippines (EMI, EMI-73-X-151), Portugal (EMI, 8E 006-60045 G), South Africa (EMI, EMIJ 4193), Spain (EMI, 10C 006-060.045) and Yugoslavia (EMI, SEMI 88951) and in 1978 in Mexico (EMI, 8097) with regional picture sleeve; reached #2 on the UK charts and #4 on the US charts (charted on October 22, 1977 for 27 weeks) (RIAA-certified platinum record).

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