The Game (Queen album)

The Game (Queen album)
The Game
Studio album by Queen
Released 30 June 1980
Recorded June–July 1979, February–May 1980, Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
Genre Rock
Length 35:39
Label EMI (Europe)
Parlophone (Europe)
Elektra Records (US)
Hollywood Records (US)
Producer Queen, Mack
Queen chronology
The Game
Flash Gordon
Alternative Cover
EMI Version
Singles from The Game
  1. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
    Released: 5 October 1979
  2. "Save Me"
    Released: 25 January 1980
  3. "Play the Game"
    Released: 30 May 1980
  4. "Another One Bites the Dust"
    Released: 22 August 1980
  5. "Need Your Loving Tonight"
    Released: November 1980 (US, Japan)

The Game is the eighth studio album by British rock band Queen released on 30 June 1980. It was the only Queen album to reach #1 in the US and became Queen's best selling studio album in the US with four million copies sold to date, tying News of the World's US sales tally. The album received very favourable reviews. Notable songs on the album include the bass-driven "Another One Bites the Dust" and the rockabilly "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", both of which reached #1 in the US. The Game was the first Queen album to use a synthesiser,[1] (an Oberheim OB-X).

The album features a more pop/rock sound than its predecessor, Jazz. The album's style would be augmented on Queen's next release Hot Space, and future Queen albums. At approximately 35 minutes 39 seconds, The Game is the 2nd shortest of Queen's studio albums, with their subsequent soundtrack for the film Flash Gordon being shorter by 39 seconds. It is estimated to have sold 12 million copies worldwide, including over 4.5 million in the United States.

Re-issued on May 2003 on DVD-Audio with Dolby 5.1 surround sound and DTS 5.1. The 5.1 mix of "Coming Soon" features an alternate backing track, because the final master tapes were not found when mixing the album to 5.1.

The photo on the cover of the EMI CD is different from that originally used on the LP and cassette even though the Hollywood CD still has the original photo. The original photo (with Taylor having folded arms and May not having a hand resting upon his exposed hip) is shown in the article. This alternate photo was also used on cover of the DTS DVD-Audio edition of the album released in 2003.

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Sail Away Sweet Sister", "Coming Soon", and "Save Me" were recorded from June to July 1979.[2] The remaining songs were recorded between February and May 1980.[2]


Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Play the Game"   Freddie Mercury 3:30
2. "Dragon Attack"   Brian May 4:18
3. "Another One Bites the Dust"   John Deacon 3:35
4. "Need Your Loving Tonight"   Deacon 2:50
5. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"   Mercury 2:44
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Rock It (Prime Jive)"   Roger Taylor 4:33
7. "Don't Try Suicide"   Mercury 3:52
8. "Sail Away Sweet Sister"   May 3:33
9. "Coming Soon"   Taylor 2:51
10. "Save Me"   May 3:50
Bonus track (1991 Hollywood Records CD reissue)
No. Title Length
11. "Dragon Attack" (1991 remix by Jack Benson and R.A.K.) 4:23


Record Mirror awarded The Game 4/5 stars, writing: "After Zeppelin and even before the Scorpions, Queen are the most exciting band I've ever seen or heard. And I'm sure all you lovers of quality music will agree."[3] Rolling Stone felt that it was "nice to hear a Queen album with songs, not 'anthems'," but opined that "these guys know how this music should sound and feel, but they can't bend enough to get with it."[4] The Washington Post gave a scathing review, writing: "After five years of unchallenging, dismal albums, this was supposed to be Queen's comeback. But no such luck."[5] Allmusic awarded the album 4.5/5 stars, opining that it "finds Queen turning decidedly, decisively pop, and it's a grand, state-of-the-art circa 1980 pop album that still stands as one of the band's most enjoyable records.[6] George Starostin was also appreciative, describing the album as "catchy, diverse, well-written and atmospheric."[7]

Creem readers voted The Game the 7th greatest album of 1980.[8] In 2008, Out ranked the album #28 of 100 in a poll of "more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives."[9] Allmusic would go on to name The Game as Queen's best album of the 1980s.[10]

Queen comments on the record

Yeah, that was when we started trying to get outside what was normal for us. Plus we had a new engineer in Mack and a new environment in Munich. Everything was different. We turned our whole studio technique around in a sense, because Mack had come from a different background from us. We thought there was only one way of doing things, like doing a backing tracks: We would just do it until we got it right. If there were some bits where it speeded up or slowed down, then we would do it again until it was right. We had done some of our old backing tracks so many times, they were too stiff. Mack's first contribution was to say, "Well you don't have to do that. I can drop the whole thing in. If it breaks down after half a minute, then we can edit in and carry on if you just play along with the tempo". We laughed and said "Don't be silly. You can't do that". But in facts, you can. What you gain is the freshness, because often a lot of the backing tracks is first time though. It really helped a lot. There was less guitar on that album, but that's really not going to be the same forever; that was just an experiment.

—Brian May[11]


  • Freddie Mercury: lead and backing vocals, intro vocals on "Rock It (Prime Jive)", bridge vocals on "Sail Away Sweet Sister", piano, rhythm guitar on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", synthesiser
  • Brian May: electric, acoustic and twelve-string guitars, backing vocals, piano, lead vocals on "Sail Away Sweet Sister", synthesiser
  • Roger Taylor: drums, electronic drums, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, lead vocals on "Rock It (Prime Jive)", synthesiser
  • John Deacon: bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, percussion, tape effects

Additional synthesisers by Mack.


Chart positions

Chart (1980) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[12] 5
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[14] 1
Italian Albums Chart[15] 10
Japanese Albums Chart[16] 5
New Zealand Albums Chart[17] 11
Norwegian Albums Chart[18] 2
Swedish Albums Chart[19] 7
UK Albums Chart[20] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[21] 1
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums Chart[21] 8
West German Albums Chart[22] 2


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[23] Gold 25,000x
Germany (BVMI)[24] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[25] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Year-end charts

Chart (1980) Position
Austrian Albums Chart[28] 15
Canadian Albums Chart[29] 14
Italian Albums Chart[15] 40
Japanese Albums Chart[30] 79
UK Albums Chart[31] 46
Chart (1981) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[32] 44
U.S. Billboard Year-end[33] 55


  1. ^ Baker, Theodore; Nicolas Slonimsky (1965). Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: Centennial Edition (5th ed.). Schirmer Books. ISBN 0028655257. "The album yielded ... 'Play the Game,' which featured the group's first use of the synthesizer..." 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Record Mirror review (archived at
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ Washington Post review (archived at queenarchives)
  6. ^ The Game. Allmusic. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  7. ^ George Starostin review
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums". Out. 2008. Archived at
  10. ^ The Miracle. Allmusic. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  11. ^ On the Record 1982
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1980" (in Italian). accessdate = 2011-10-03. 
  16. ^ a-クイーン "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - Queen" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. a-クイーン. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Queen – The Game" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Queen in the field Interpret. Enter The Game in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  24. ^ "German album certifications – Queen – The Game" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  25. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Queen – The Game" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Queen – The Game". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Game in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Queen – The Game". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  28. ^ " - Jahreshitparade 1980". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  29. ^ "Top 100 Albums". RPM. 1980-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  30. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ23 (Top-23 international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1980". Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  31. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  32. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. 1981-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  33. ^ "The Billboard 200 - Year-end: 1983". Retrieved 2011-08-06. 

External links

Preceded by
Best of by Roger Whittaker
Dutch Mega Chart number-one album
12 July 1980
Succeeded by
Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones
Preceded by
Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones
UK Albums Chart number-one album
19 July 1980 – 1 August 1980
Succeeded by
Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple
by Deep Purple
Preceded by
Hold Out by Jackson Browne
Billboard 200 number-one album
20 September – 24 October 1980
Succeeded by
Guilty by Barbra Streisand
Preceded by
Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones
Canadian RPM Chart number-one album
11 October 1980 – 13 December 1980
Succeeded by
The River by Bruce Springsteen

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