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"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is a song by the rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is featured on their 1980 album The Game, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits. The song peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. on 23 February 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks.[2][3] It topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven weeks.[4]

Having composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar, Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, which was the first time he played guitar in concert.[5] Queen played the song live between 1979 and 1986, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the albums Queen Rock Montrealand Queen at Wembley.[6][7] Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists. The song was played live on 20 April 1992 during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by Robert Plant with Queen.[8] The style of the song was described by author Karl Coryat as rockabilly in his 1999 book titled The Bass Player Book.[1]

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Composition

Composition[edit]Edit

As reported by Freddie Mercury in Melody Maker, 2 May 1981, he composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on the guitar in just five to ten minutes.[9]

'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

The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley.[10] Queen drummer Roger Taylor added in an interview that Mercury wrote it in 10 minutes while lounging in a bath in the Bayerischer Hof Hotelin Munich during one of their extensive Munich recording sessions.[11] Mercury took it to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Taylor and John Deacon.[5][12] The three of them, with their new producer Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. The entire song was reportedly recorded in less than half an hour (although Mack says it was six hours).[13] Having written "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar and played an acoustic rhythm guitar on the record, for the first time ever Mercury played guitar in concerts, for example at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.[5][14]

Music video[edit]Edit

The music video for the song was filmed at Trillion Studios in September 1979 and directed by Dennis De Vallance featuring four dancers and a floor of hands. An alternate version featuring alternate angles, out-takes and backstage footage from the original video shoot was included on the Days Of Our Lives DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Personnel[edit]Edit

Although Mercury would play an electrified twelve-string on stage (and later a six-string electric), in the studio he recorded it with a six-string acoustic with external mics. Freddie Mercury also played the original guitar solo on a version which has been lost.[15]

Single release[edit]Edit

The "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" single hit number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the first U.S. number-one hit for the band, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.[2][3] The song also topped the Australian ARIA charts for seven consecutive weeks from 1 March to 12 April 1980.[4] The UK release had We Will Rock You (live) as the b-side and America, Australia, Canada had Spread Your Wings (live).

Charts[edit]Edit

Country Peak position
Australia 1
Canada 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 1
New Zealand 2
U.S. 1
Ireland 2
UK 2
Switzerland 5
Norway 8
Austria 9
Germany 13

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1980) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 6

Certifications[edit]Edit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[citation needed] Platinum 70,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[citation needed] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 1,000,000^

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Live version[edit]Edit

Whenever the song was played live, the band added a solid rock ending that extended the under-three-minute track to over five minutes. Brian May added a long guitar solo, while Freddie Mercury continued on the rhythm guitar, John Deacon on the bass guitar and either Morgan Fisher or Spike Edney playing piano. Because of this extended aspect, most fans prefer the live versions to the studio recording.[according to whom?] An example of this is on the CD/DVD Set Live At Wembley Stadium, where the song runs over six minutes.

Dwight Yoakam version[edit]Edit

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
[1]
Single by Dwight Yoakam
from the album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's
B-side "Let's Work Tegether"/"Doin' What I Did"
Released 19 May 1999
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:22
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Pete Anderson
Dwight Yoakam singles chronology
"These Arms"

(1998)

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"

(1999)

"Thinking About Leaving"

(1999)

American country music singer Dwight Yoakam included a cover of the song on his 1999 album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam's Greatest Hits from the 90's.[18] Yoakam's version was released as a single, peaking at number 12 on the U.S. country singles charts in 1999. It was also used in a television commercial for clothing retailer Gap at the time of the album's release. The music video was directed by Yoakam. This version appears in the movie The Break-Up (2006), starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

Charts[edit]Edit

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" debuted at number 65 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of 1 May 1999.

Chart (1999) Peak

position

Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)[19] 19
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[20] 1
UK Singles Chart 43
US BillboardHot 100[21] 64
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[22] 12

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1999) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[23] 22
US Country Songs (Billboard)[24] 64

Other cover versions[edit]Edit

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