Michael Jackson was an expert in the music industry, not only as a musician but also as a fan. So when he came across Queen at the height of their fame in 1980, he couldn’t help but offer them some advice on where to go next. Despite the fact that the extremely successful band had spent the last few years touring sold-out tours in Europe and Japan, Michael knew they had even more untapped potential and opportunity to truly break America.
Michael began working with Queen while they were recording their eighth album, The Game, which was released on June 30, 1980.
The King of Pop listened to his music but felt something was missing.
Freddie Mercury later recalled: “Credit for the song has to go to Michael Jackson in many ways. He was a fan and friend of ours and he was like, ‘Freddie, you need a song cats can dance to.'”
After a few writing sessions, John Deacon came out with the legendary bass riff that runs through the iconic hit song Another One Bites the Dust.
“Immediately,” said Freddie. “We thought about disco music, which was very popular at the time.”
The band finished the song before bringing the finished product to Jackson to play the music for.
Said Freddie, “I knew we had a hit when he bobbed his head up and down and Michael said, ‘That’s it, that’s the sauce. Drop it and it’ll top the charts.'”
He added: “And so we did, and so it was.”
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Roger laughed: “I remember saying, ‘That will never be a hit.’ How wrong can you be?”
Brian May also had fond memories of playing the song live. He said that Mercury wanted to make Another One Bites the Dust “something special”.
“Freddie sang until his throat bled on Another One Bites The Dust,” he continued. “He was so into it.”
Michael was not wrong. Queen released Another One Bites the Dust on August 22, 1980 and it became the band’s biggest selling single of all time.
After listening to Michael’s advice, Another One Bites the Dust sold 7 million units worldwide. It also went straight to number one in the US, becoming the band’s second hit on the country charts.
After that, the track spent 15 weeks in the Billboard Top Ten. Her tenure made it the longest running top ten song of 1980.
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