It doesn’t get much tougher than trying to cover a Queen song. Beyond the monumental task of having to live up to Freddie Mercury’s vocals, arguably the greatest in pop music history, the songs themselves are among some of the best, most beloved, most distinct in rock ‘n’ roll history. But this incredible uptempo version of the band’s iconic song “We Will Rock You” manages to pull off the impossible, by making us wonder if it might even be better than the original one we know so well.
Of course, it helps that Queen themselves recorded it in 1977.
We learned about this very rare, and totally kick ass version done by the band at Rolling Stone, and it is part of Queen’s upcoming, 24-song release of tracks they recorded at the BBC during six sessions from 1973 to 1977. Although the band played this fast version in concert, this appears to be the only time they recorded it in studio.
The anthem-esque album version of “We Will Rock You” that we know is much more under control, exuding the confidence of a rallying cry, whereas this fast version feels much more frantic and exciting, like a punk song that wants to get you moving instead of singing along. Mercury’s vocals in the choruses particularly stand out, but we’ll take that guitar solo anytime we need a musical adrenaline shot to the heart.
No wonder they liked playing this version live.
Queen on Air: The Complete BBC Sessions, “meticulously restored by Queen engineer Kris Fredriksson and mastered by Grammy Award winner Adam Ayan,” comes out on November 4, but you can pre-order it now here at the band’s site.
What version do you like better? What does this fast take remind you of? We’d be royally indebted to you if you shared your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Queen Official