Contact Us

35 Years Ago: Queen Release ‘Jazz’

Elektra Records

Queen‘s final album of the ’70s was the musically eclectic but spartanly named ‘Jazz.’ And while it would predictably add to the band’s winning streak by spinning off several hit singles and topping charts around the world, it remains one of the most distinct records in the band’s discography.

For starters, ‘Jazz’ was the first of several albums recorded, for tax purposes, outside of Queen’s British homeland (beginning in Zurich, Switzerland, and concluding in Nice, France), and the last to feature a co-production credit by Roy Thomas Baker, who collaborated on their early records, after a two-album absence.

So maybe these new surroundings (and maybe even the symbolic end of an era) had something to do with inspiring the daunting breadth of musical diversity spread across the generous 13 tracks finalized for ‘Jazz’ — songs like Freddie Mercury’s bombastic opening nod to his exotic Farsi origins with ‘Mustapha,’ John Deacon’s heavy-metal outburst on ‘If You Can’t Beat Them,’ Brian May’s dalliance into sultry music-hall swing on ‘‘Dreamer’s Ball’ and Roger Taylor’s disco-funk escapades on ‘Fun It.’

On top of this embarrassment of democratically distributed songwriting riches, Mercury and May delivered their reliable and chart-conquering one-two-singles punch on the playfully infectious ‘Bicycle Race’ and riff-powered hilarity of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ — though women’s-lib groups of the day weren’t all that amused.

As a way to fix these singles in record buyers’ minds — and perhaps to counter the album sleeve’s rather dour, black-and-white demeanor — Queen included a large and colorful fold-out poster, depicting dozens of bare-naked models riding their bicycles around London. No wonder then that so much irresistible music and provocative imagery helped make ‘Jazz’ one of the most beloved albums among discerning Queen fans.

Next: 10 Best Queen Songs

Hear Queen’s ‘Jazz’

Best of Classic Rock 106.9

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://classicrock1069.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Register on Classic Rock KLUB 106.9 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a member? Sign up here

Register on Classic Rock KLUB 106.9 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive All Access Pass contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.