Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
Today's spotlight song would become Queen's first #1 hit in New Jersey...
...and, of course, its one of "Jersey's Favorite Hits!"
Back to the opening line of my article...because you're (still) saying: "Huh?"
It is said that Freddie Mercury wrote "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" while Queen was recording "The Game" album in Germany.
And, that he wrote it in his Munich hotel room...while taking...a bath.
Peter Hince, Queen's head "roadie," says that the idea for this hit came to Freddie "while he was in the bath."
Adding that "he emerged, wrapped in a towel. I handed him the guitar and he worked out the chords there and then."
In an (earlier) interview, Freddie Mercury said of writing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," that it "took me 5 or 10 minutes."
Mercury crafted this soon-to-be-hit on the guitar, with which he had limited...skill, saying: "and in one way, it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords." Further: "I simply had to write within a small framework" and "because of that restriction, I wrote a good song, I think."
Further, various sources say that Mercury wrote it as a tribute to Elvis.
Queen's producer Reinhold Mack says that Freddie Mercury rushed into the studio to record his song "before (guitarist Brian) May could record it."
Freddie wanted to keep his song "minimal."
Mercury played rhythm guitar on the original studio tapes, and the guitar solo, too...but because those tapes were lost, Brian May ended up playing the solo.
Recorded at Munich's Musicland Studios, some reports say that it took about 30 minutes to commit to tape...producer Mack says it was more like 6 hours...
At first, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" wasn't released in America...
The album hadn't crossed the pond.
So, American radio stations started playing import copies of the single.
Queen's label (finally) released "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" to New Jersey...
...about 3 months after it hit the airwaves, and record store stores, in England.
The single hit #1 in 1980, and stayed there for 4 weeks!
The song would become a big part of Queen's stage shows!
Brian May often used 3 guitars during the song!
Freddie Mercury would play the first verse alone...and then May would join with an Ovation Acoustic. Before the third verse, May would switch to a Telecaster on which he played the solo. By the time the "Ready Freddie" line had come along, Brian May would have changed to his homemade "Red Special."
From 1984 forward, Freddie would replace his acoustic guitar with another Telecaster.
Recall that the songwriter's name is in his song...
On the recording, and live in concert, Freddie would sing/ask: "Are you ready?"
The band (and fans, in-concert) responding: "Ready, Freddie!"
After Freddie Mercury's death (November 24, 1991), the "singalong" would take on new, poignant meaning.
No matter the guest vocalist, the lyric is never changed...and fans always respond "Ready, Freddie!" in remembrance. Check it out at 3:35 in the video above!
One more "Fun Fact:"
There is an unconfirmed belief that "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" inspired John Lennon to return to the recording studio!
Both Brian May and Roger Taylor have commented on the "legend" on social media.
Is it true? No one knows for sure.
It is known that Lennon liked Queen, and did incorporate new ideas in his "Double Fantasy" album in 1980.