“We Are the Champions” is a power ballad written by Freddie Mercury, recorded and performed by Queen for their 1977 album News Of The World. One of their most famous and popular songs, it has since become an anthem for sporting victories and has been often used or referenced in popular culture (see below). The song reached #2 in the UK charts and #4 on the Hot 100 in the US in 1978.

Musically, it is based around Mercury’s piano part, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon providing a drums and bass guitar backing. Brian May overdubbed some guitar sections, initially subtle, but building to a ‘solo’ played simultaneously with the last chorus. Mercury employed many jazz chords (major and minor 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th harmonies), and the choruses featured these voiced as 4 and 5-part vocal harmonies. The lead vocal is very demanding and strident, and in live performances, Mercury often deferred to let Taylor handle the highest parts of the melody.

The single featured “We Will Rock You” as a B-side in the UK and as a double A side in the US and other countries, and preceded the song on the album. The two songs were often played consecutively at the close of Queen concerts, and are customarily played together on radio broadcasts (in album order). Keeping with tradition, it was also used to close the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with all the show’s acts joining in behind the lead vocal of Liza Minnelli.

Edited by CrimsonPetal on 19 Dec 2009, 21:35

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