22 June 1979 – Freddie Mercury writes his amazing, fun loving rockabilly song, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ in the bath and in an impressive 10 minutes at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, Germany!
Queen began recording their eighth album, ‘The Game’ in June of ‘79. They decided to part ways with Roy Thomas Baker, this time for good, and set their visions on a new method of recording. The band teamed up with Mack
at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany. They felt Mack was willing to explore more experimental methods of recording as opposed to Roy Thomas Baker’s more tried-and-trusted approach.
The first song is Freddie’s huge #1 hit …
“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 1981
“Fred wanted to take a bath before going to the studio. He was humming and tapping in the bath and shouting out the names of chords: ‘D – yes, and C and G – Ratty, quick – come here!’ ‘Uh, you want me to come into your bathroom, Fred? I’m not sure about this.’ ‘No, no! Get me a guitar! Now!’
He emerged from the bathroom wrapped in towels, still dripping, and scurried into the living room of the suite where I gave him the battered acoustic that had been installed for these impulsive creative moments. Fred strummed away for a short time with his fingers – he never used a pick or plectrum.
Seizing the urgency of the moment, we dashed to Musicland where a halt was called to whatever work was in progress. He summoned the band into the studio and enthused about this new idea, which they started to work on and record immediately. The song was ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, one of Queen’s most successful worldwide singles.
– ‘Queen Unseen’ by Peter Hince
Freddie feared that inspiration would escape him as quickly as it had found him, he instructed Roger and John to rush into the studio to cut the song.
Reinhold Mack recalled having everything ready to go in a matter of minutes, and laughed when he noted that Mercury told him they should record the song as quickly as possible, otherwise Brian would “make things take a little longer.”
Freddie said, “Everyone loved it, so we recorded it. The finished version sounded like the bathroom version. It’s not typical of my work, but that’s because nothing is typical of my work.”
According to Mack, the song took 6 hours to record.
“I was visiting with Freddie in Munich on one occasion in 1979. He was there with the other Queen members rehearsing somewhere nearby. We were sitting around in his hotel suite in the early evening slowly dragging ourselves together to go to dinner. Freddie went off for a bath but we suddenly heard him shouting: ‘Bring me the tape player – Quick!’ The errand done, he later emerged from the bathroom humming. He sat down and played a few bars on the piano and then on the guitar.
We went off to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner and then had a drink in a few bars but he was preoccupied the whole time, humming and then singing softly to himself.
By the end of the evening, back at the hotel, he was on the guitar again playing, finally, what was going to be Queen’s next massive hit, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. It was fascinating to be there while he was composing it and even more fascinating later to hear critics’ comments that the song was a remake of an old hit by Elvis, Bill Haley or ‘someone like that.’”
James Arthurs, Dear friend and confidant
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧‘𝐬 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 # 1 𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐒 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐨𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐬 !