Queen: News Of The World

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QueenNews of the World is the sixth studio album by British rock group Queen, released in 1977. Containing the hit songs “We Will Rock You”, “We Are the Champions” and “Spread Your Wings”, it went 4x platinum in the US, 2x platinum in the UK and achieved high certifications around the world.

News of the World was the second album to be produced solely by the band (the first being A Day at the Races) and recorded at Sarm West and Wessex Studios, London and co-produced and engineered by Mike Stone.

Having received some criticism that their first completely self-produced project, A Day at the Races, was a “boring” album,Queen decided to shift their musical focus towards the mainstream but remain as the producers of the next album.

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After completing the A Day at the Races Tour, the quartet re-entered the studio to begin work on their sixth studio offering in July 1977, enlisting Mike Stone as assistant producer at the Basing Street and Wessex Studios in London. They scaled down their complex arrangements and focused on a “rootsier” sound (as Brian May put it). However the staple of the Queen sound, multi-tracked harmonies and guitar orchestrations, still exist on this album, albeit a bit more subtly. News of the World shows Queen’s songwriting less dominated by May and Freddie Mercury, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon composing two songs each. The group completed recording and production of the album two months later in September and released the album on 28 October 1977.

“We Are the Champions” released 7 October 1977 in the UK as the first single where it reached #2. In the US, it was released as a double A-side with “We Will Rock You” where it reached #4. “Spread Your Wings” followed as the second single from the album. Released in the UK on 10 February 1978, it reached #34. “It’s Late” is the last single from the album and was only released as a single in the US, Canada, Japan and New Zealand in 1978. Only reached #74 in the US, failing to chart everywhere else.

News of the World initially received mixed reviews, mostly reflecting on the differences to the previously predominantly progressive rock sound produced by Queen, and this album’s vast shift towards a more pop-rock oriented sound. Following the immense success of singles “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, the critical reception shifted towards a more positive stance, as it became evident that the band were displaying another field of their musical ability. Creem readers voted News of the World the 19th best album of 1977.

2011 re-issue

On 8 November 2010, record company Universal Music announced a remastered and expanded reissue of the album set for release in May 2011. This as part of a new record deal between Queen and Universal Music, which meant Queen’s association with EMI would come to an end after almost 40 years. According to Universal Music, all Queen albums are to be remastered and reissued in 2011. This reissue includes a deluxe edition which contains five additional tracks. The second batch of albums (the band’s middle five albums) has been released in June.

It has been released on Super Audio CD.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “We Will Rock You” Brian May 2:01
2. “We Are the Champions” Freddie Mercury 2:59
3. “Sheer Heart Attack” Roger Taylor 3:26
4. “All Dead, All Dead” May 3:10
5. “Spread Your Wings” John Deacon 4:34
6. “Fight from the Inside” Taylor 3:03