THE WORKS (Queen album)

The Works (Queen album)

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Released 27 February 1984
Recorded August 1983 – January 1984
Studio Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California and Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
Genre Rock
Length 37:11
EMI Capitol
Queen Reinhold Mack

The Works is the eleventh studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 27 February 1984 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Capitol Records in the United States. After the synth-heavy Hot Space (1982), the album saw the re-emergence of Brian May and Roger Taylor’s rock sound, while still incorporating the early 80s retro futuristic electro pop of the German electronic underground (Freddie Mercury) and New York funk scenes (John Deacon). Recorded at the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, California and Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany from August 1983 to January 1984, the album’s title comes from a comment Taylor made as recording began – “Let’s give them the works!”. During the decade, after a conservative reaction against and ban of the music video for “I Want to Break Free” in the United States, the band decided not to tour in North America and lost the top spot in US sales, but sales around the world (especially Europe) would be even better. The Works has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

Following the release of and subsequent touring for their 1982 album Hot Space, the four members of Queen opted to take a break from the band the following year. While a spring tour of South America had been an early possibility, especially following the band’s success there two years prior, equipment and promotional problems brought an end to these plans. Brian May worked with Eddie Van Halen and others on the Star Fleet Project, while Freddie Mercury began work on his solo album. By August 1983, however, the band had reunited and began work on their eleventh studio album. It would be Queen’s first album for EMI (and its US affiliate Capitol Records) worldwide after the band nullified its recording deal with Elektra for the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

Recording commenced at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles – Queen’s first time recording in America – and Musicland Studios in Munich. Also during this time, their manager Jim Beach offered them the opportunity to compose the soundtrack for the film The Hotel New Hampshire. The band agreed, but soon discovered much of their time was being spent on the soundtrack instead of the upcoming album, and the project fell through. Only one song written for the soundtrack, “Keep Passing the Open Windows”, made it onto The Works. By November 1983, Roger Taylor’s “Radio Ga Ga” was chosen as the first single from the album. The Works was released on 27 February 1984.

Track listing

Side one

1. “Radio Ga Ga” Roger Taylor 5:44
2. “Tear It Up” Brian May 3:28
3. “It’s a Hard Life” Freddie Mercury 4:08
4. “Man on the Prowl” Mercury 3:28

Side two

No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. “Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’)” May, Taylor 5:10
6. “I Want to Break Free” John Deacon 3:20
7. “Keep Passing the Open Windows” Mercury 5:21
8. “Hammer to Fall” May 4:28
9. “Is This the World We Created…?” Mercury, May 2:13