Written by Freddie Mercury
Recording information by Philipp (PraxisNothaft@t-online.de)
Recorded in 1978 at Mountain Studios, Switzerland and/or Super Bear Studios, France.
Released in November 1978 on the album JAZZ.
High class hard-rocker by Freddie (his last hard-rocker for the next 7-8 years)!
A cynical look at the business with some great lyrics and music, which tells the same story. There's a great collage of more or less familiar voices at the end (see later).
Played by Roger without overdubs. The drum-sound has lots of treble.
Bass-drum and snare are quite in the middle.
The hi-hat is panned right. Listen to the clicks when Roger doesn't use it with sticks! The cymbals are also placed stereo as well as the tom fills.
The two low toms in the solo are stereo and have a clearly higher volume level.
There are several changes of the volume levels of the kit throughout the song.
John played a rumbling Fender Precision Bass, which was recorded via D.I. plus some EQ.
In the intro, there's a second bass-track overdubbed. It plays those slides (which have a tiny bit of panning).
At some points there is a piano-track, which is played by Freddie on his touring Steinway.
It is recorded with two mics and mixed stereo.
There are two rythm guitars, which are playing throughout the song.
They start both in the middle, but as soon as the main riff starts they turn panned. There are several heavy volume swells and level changes.
The solo guitar is very easy to discover. It plays its solo in the middle.
In the last verse there's a little overdub, which plays a trill that goes from left to right.
All guitars are played on the Red Special with VoxAc30
The right rythm guitar seems a bit louder than the left one.It has much more mid-frequences. The solo guitar is also full of mids and bass-frequences plus a treble booster, to get this really loud sound. The overdub also has a treble booster, but less mids..
The first bunch of backing vocals were recorded with only three voices (stereo)
The second bunch has three additional high voices, which are panned right.
Freddie's lead-vocals have a little bit of reverb. His voice seems to be double-tracked at some points. The "merchandissse..." is overdubbed and filtered.
His scream at the end has a heavy volume and reverb swell.
The song is slowly fading out,whilst a wild bunch of voices is coming from all sides. Our guys seemingly also have recorded the voices of some friends.
Here are some of the voices:
Freddie: "Hey where's my backstage pass?" (right)
unknown man: "Hey that was a bit of allright,weren't it?" (left)
unknown man: "Great one outrageous costume!" (middle)
Freddie: "Hey that Brian May,he's outta sight,man" (right)
Man(Brian?): "Not many,not many...go straight!" (left)
Woman: "I always wanted to be a groupie!" (middle)
Man(Roger?): "...give you lessons..." (middle)
By the way:
This is a song you should once listen to with karaoke track: Great sound!
Queen worked a lot with volume swells and mixing other things into the song on the Jazz album... Everyone who looks through my record collection and sees the title on the backside of the album asks me:"Hey,Robbie Williams covered this song,didn't he?" :)