April: In between legs of the A Day at the Races tour, Roger records his début solo single and Frederick produces an album for Peter Straker at Sarm.
Friday 24th: Brian writes a letter to the Fan Club, announcing they'd be touring America at the end of the year, which had prompted them to decide that their next album would be more spontaneous as they'd have less time to record it.
July: Recording sessions begin at Basing Street. Confirmed songs at least partially recorded at this point:
'Who Needs You'.
'All Dead, All Dead'.
'Sleeping on the Sidewalk'.
August: Sessions split between Basing Street and Wessex, both in London.
While at Wessex, Queen and the Sex Pistols meet for the second time. Frederick reportedly throws Simon Ritchie (aka Sid Vicious) out of the studio.
Friday 26th: Roger's first solo single, 'I Wanna Testify' / 'Turn on the TV', is released in the UK on his 28th birthday.
Saturday 27th: 'We Are the Champions' copy-mix at Wessex.
September: Album finished at Wessex, mixed at Sarm.
Monday 12th: Roger announces, via a letter to the Fan Club, that 'We Are the Champions' will be the lead single.
Saturday 1st: Even though it's not yet commercially available, the lead single's already been pre-ordered at least 250,000 times in Britain, enough for it to be certified Silver.
Friday 7th: Lead single, 'We Are the Champions' / 'We Will Rock You', released in the UK.
Friday 28th: Album released in the UK.
Tuesday 1st: 'We Are the Champions' is certified Gold in the UK after having sold half a million copies in that territory. News of the World is simultaneously certified Silver and Gold in the UK for having amassed £150,000 and £300,000, respectively, in sales.
Monday 14th:News of the World is certified Gold in the USA for having amassed a million dollars in sales there.
Monday 28th:News of the World is certified Platinum in the USA for having sold a million copies there.
Wednesday 25th January: 'We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You' is certified Gold in the USA after having sold a million copies in that territory.
Tuesday 25th April: 'We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You' is certified Platinum in the USA after having sold two million copies in that territory.
Thursday 14th November: News of the World is certified 4 x Platinum in the USA for having sold four million copies in that territory.
Documented Recording Venues:
Basing Street Studios on 8 - 10 Basing Street, Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London W11 1ET, England.
Sound and Recording Mobiles (aka Sarm Studios) on 9 - 13 Osborne Street, Aldgate, London E1 6TD, England.
Wessex Sound Studios on 106 Highbury New Park, Islington, Greater London N5 2DR, England.
John Deacon: Electric bass, acoustic guitar, percussion (?).
Brian May: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic piano, percussion.
Frederick Mercury: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic piano, percussion.
Roger Taylor: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic drums, electric guitar and bass, percussion.
Confirmed 'We Will Rock You' guests on percussion and backing vocals:
Robert Ash: Assistant engineer (Basing Street).
Gary Langan: Assistant engineer (Sarm).
Gary Lyons: Assistant engineer (Sarm).
Richard Stokes: Assistant engineer (Wessex).
Michael Stone: Deputy producer, chief engineer.
Richard Anderson: Equipment supervision.
Jonathan Harris: Equipment supervision/coordination.
Fender Precision Basses: John had two, he could've used either, or both.
Fender Stratocaster Guitar: Possibly 'Fight from the Inside'.
Martin D-18 Guitar: Possibly 'Spread Your Wings'.
Music Man Stingray Bass: John admitted (in 1979) having used it in the studio, but it hasn't been confirmed where.
Unknown Spanish Guitar: 'Who Needs You'.
Documented Studio Equipment:
Analogue Tape Recorders:
3M M-79 24-Track: Sarm,Wessex and Basing Street.
Cadac 3208: Wessex Studio 2.
Cadac 3224: Wessex Studio 1.
Helios 3216: Basing Street Studio 2.
Helios 3224: Basing Street Studio 1.
Trident B 2824: Sarm.
JBL 4350 Speakers in EPI 50 Cabinets: Basing Street Studio 2.
Tannoy Red Speakers in Lockwood Cabinets driven by Crown Amplifiers: Basing Street Studio 1.
Tannoy Red Speakers in Lockwood Cabinets driven by Radford Amplifiers: Sarm.
Tannoy Speakers driven by HH Amplifiers: Wessex.
Compressors / Limiters:
Allison Gainbrain: Basing Street.
dbx 160: Sarm and Wessex.
dbx 165: Sarm.
Teletronix LA-2A: Sarm.
UREI 1176: Sarm, Basing Street and Wessex.
Aengus Graphic: Sarm.
Orban Parametric: Sarm and Wessex.
Pultec: Basing Street.
Trident Parametric: Sarm.
UREI Graphic: Sarm and Wessex.
C-451: Hi-hats mic at Basing Street.
D-20: Bass-drum, tom-tom and electric guitar close-up mic at Basing Street.
D-25: Tom-tom and bass amp mic at Basing Street.
D-224E: Snare-drum mic at Basing Street.
Beyerdynamic M-160: Multi-purpose mic at Basing Street.
Neumann U-67: Occasional vocal mic at Basing Street.
Neumann U-87: Multi-purpose mic at Basing Street (piano, guitar, vocals, tom-toms, drum overheads). Reportedly, it was the main one used to record Frederick's vocals.
Shure SM-57: Possibly used for electric instruments at Basing Street.
STC Coles: Likely used for percussion and vocal overdubs at both studios.
Outboard Signal Processors:
Allison 64K Automation: Sarm.
Allison Kepex Noise Gates: Sarm.
dbx Noise Reduction: Sarm.
Dolby Noise Reduction: Sarm.
EMT 140 Plate Reverb: Sarm, Basing Street.
Delay: Basing Street.
H-910 Harmoniser: Wessex and Basing Street.
Phaser: Basing Street.
Marshall Time Modulator: Wessex.
UREI Little Dippler Filter Set: Sarm.
Myths, Legends & Ongoing Debates:
Roger's Four-Song Set: Because Roger played bass and rhythm guitar on both of his compositions for the album, some people suspected he may have had recorded them as a solo artist first, together with his first solo single. Not quite: he recorded 'I Wanna Testify' and 'Turn on the TV' in April, and then Queen (the four of them) entered the studios three months later to work on the album, which included 'Sheer Heart Attack' and 'Fight from the Inside'.
Spread Your Keys: John mimed the piano intro on the video for 'Spread Your Wings', prompting plenty of fans to think he also played it on the record. No, he didn't - the only reason Frederick didn't mime it on the video was because he was inebriated that day and generally uncooperative. Videos don't necessarily reflect what happened on the recording sessions. There's no banjo on 'A Kind of Magic' and no skull solo on 'It's a Hard Life', by the way!
We Will Drum You: Though many people are aware of it, there are also thousands who aren't: 'We Will Rock You' has no drums. It's all just people stomping and clapping. Of course live versions had the floor tom and the snare-drum, but, again, live versions don't necessarily reflect what happened in the studio.