News of the world

In 1977 punk music entered the world and was becoming famous. Mainly because of noisy guitars. Artists in the rock scene had to become more aggresive and started to sound more like hard rock for this reason.
Spread Your Wings - single cover
For Queen this also means they had to change their style. Freddy Mercury never liked punk music especially the Sex Pistols. Their paths would overlap in 1977 at London’s Wessex Studios where the Sex Pistols were recording their debut and Queen recorded their sixth studio album titled "News Of The World".
We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You - single cover
Brian May bumped into John Lydon from the Sex Pistols on the corridors regularly of the studio and had friendly conversations about music. Sid Vicious was another story. One day he walked drunkenly into the studio where Queen were working and said to Mercury “Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?”. Mercury called him Simon Ferocious which Sid didn't like and Freddy responded "We're doing our best, dear". Anyway Queen managed to survive this horrible encounters. The first single from the album "We Are the Champions"/"We Will Rock You" reached #2 in the UK, #4 in the US and #2 in the Netherlands. The album can be described as hard rock and arena rock.
Queen in 1977
"We Will Rock You" is arena rock and made it possible for them to involve their audience with the music with simple lyrics and foot stomping. "We Are The Champions" was already written in 1975 but they recorded it in 1977. "Sheer Heart Attack" was half finished in 1974 and became the name of their third studio album without the song itself. For this new album the song was finished and finally released. "All Dead, All Dead" by May was partly inspired by the death of Bryan May his boyhood pet cat. Mercury was a big cat lover and welcomed the song. "Spread Your Wings" written by John Deacon. "Fight from the Inside" by Taylor. "Get Down, Make Love" was a song by Mercury and most sexually oriented song of their repertoire with sound effect made by an Eventide Harmonizer. "Sleeping on the Sidewalk" by May describes a trumpet player's career where he sings with an american accent. "Who Needs You" was written by Deacon with Mercury on vocals. May and Deacon played spanish guitar on this song while May also plays maracas and Mercury plays a cowbell. "It's Late" written by May with the idea of treating a song as a three-act theatrical play.
Back of the album cover
Cover of Astounding Science Fiction (October 1953) magazine
The album's cover was a painting by American sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas. Taylor had an issue of Astounding Science Fiction (October 1953). The cover art included a giant intelligent robot holding the dead body of a man. This inspired to contact Freas to do the album cover. He changed the dead body of a man to the four band members. Deacon falls to the ground and Taylor was only visible on the back cover. Freas was a lover of classical music and didn't know Queen. He listened to their music after he finished the album cover, because he feared it would ruin his ideas if he hated the music. But eventually he loved the music of Queen.
Inner sleeve image
They managed to compete with the upcoming punk music and stating “No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions — of the world.”.
Original album cover
News Of The World
We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions / Sheer Heart Attack / All Dead, All Dead / Spread Your Wings / Fight from the Inside / Get Down, Make Love / Sleeping on the Sidewalk / Who Needs You / It's Late / My Melancholy Blues

We Will Rock You

We Are The Champions

Spread Your Wings

All Dead, All Dead

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