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Album: Jazz

Jazz is a 1978 album by English rock band Queen. It was the band's seventh studio album, and comprises a number of different styles of music, including disco-funk ("Fun It"), vaudeville ("Dreamer's Ball"), hard rock ("Dead On Time") and a country-flavoured stomp ("Fat Bottomed Girls"). Curiously, it contains nothing recognisable as jazz, except perhaps the music-hall swing of "Dreamer's Ball". The album's eclecticism was alternately praised and criticised; it was subject to a viciously scathing Rolling Stone review by Dave Marsh which included the suggestion that "Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band." Nevertheless, the album made it to #6 on the American Billboard 200. The band had intended to sell the album with a poster depicting the all-female nude bicycle race staged to promote "Fat Bottomed Girls", but in the USA it was only available through mail order so as not to upset retailers. A small version of the poster comes with the Crown Jewels box set. Roy Thomas Baker temporarily reunited with Queen and became their producer for this album. It was 3 years since he co-produced Queen's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. But this album also was the last album he co-produced for the band. This was the first Queen album recorded outside the UK, for tax purposes. Included in the liner notes is the attribution "Thunderbolt courtesy of God", referring to the crash of thunder heard at the end of the song "Dead On Time" which May recorded with a portable audio recorder during a thunderstorm. The album artwork was suggested by Roger Taylor, who previously saw a similar design painted on the Berlin Wall. Track listing Side one "Mustapha" (Mercury) – 3:01 "Fat Bottomed Girls" (May) – 4:16 "Jealousy" (Mercury) – 3:13 "Bicycle Race" (Mercury) – 3:01 "If You Can't Beat Them" (Deacon) – 4:15 "Let Me Entertain You" (Mercury) – 3:01 Side two "Dead on Time" (May) – 3:23 "In Only Seven Days" (Deacon) – 2:30 "Dreamer's Ball" (May) – 3:30 "Fun It" (Taylor) – 3:29 "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" (May) – 3:15 "Don't Stop Me Now" (Mercury) – 3:29 "More of that Jazz" (Taylor) – 4:16 Bonus tracks (1991 Hollywood Records CD reissue) "Fat Bottomed Girls" (1991 Remix by Brian Malouf) - 4:22 "Bicycle Race" (1991 Remix by Junior Vasquez) - 4:59 Song information Mustapha Main article: Mustapha "Mustapha" ( Sample (help·info)) is a song written by Freddie Mercury. It was released as a single in 1979. The lyrics consist mostly of Persian, which is not understandable for those who are not familiar with the language. The only understandable words are "Mustapha", "Ibrahim" and the phrases "Allah, Allah, Allah will pray for you", "salaam aleikum" and "aleikum salaam". The rest is improvised words like "ichna klibhra him" and "rabbla fihmtrashim". In live performances, Mercury would often sing the opening vocals of "Mustapha" in place of the complex introduction to "Bohemian Rhapsody", going from "Allah will pray for you" to "Mama, just killed a man...". However, sometimes the band performed an almost full version of the song, with Mercury at the piano. Fat Bottomed Girls "Fat Bottomed Girls" was written by May with lead vocals shared by May and Mercury in the album version. On stage Mercury sang the entire song, with Taylor and May doing harmonies. Jealousy "Jealousy" was penned by Mercury and features May playing his Hairfred acoustic guitar placing small pieces of piano wire under the frets to produce the "buzzing" effect of a sitar. All vocals were recorded by Mercury. It was released as a single in 1979. Bicycle Race "Bicycle Race" (Sample (info)) is a complex composition by Mercury. It features several modulations, unusual chord functions, a metre change (4/4 to 3/4 and back) and a programmatic section (a race of guitars emulating the bicycle race). If You Can't Beat Them "If You Can't Beat Them" was another Hard Rock composition by John Deacon and was a live favourite for the band in late '70s. It is one of the few songs by Deacon where May plays all the guitars and contains a guitar solo of over two minutes, making it one of the longest guitar solos in a Queen song. Let Me Entertain You "Let Me Entertain You" was written by Mercury, directed towards the audience. The line "we'll sing to you in Japanese" is a reference to May's Teo Torriatte, from A Day at the Races. The idea of a guitar riff in parallel sixths was re-used later in the Innuendo track, "The Hitman". Dead on Time "Dead on Time", written by May, features some of the fastest and most aggressive guitar work by its author, as well as some equally complicated yet ferocious drumming by Taylor. Performed at breakneck speed, it was considered by most fans to be an ideal live number, but was curiously never played in concert; May would only incorporate snippets of it in his guitar solos during the Jazz Tour. The song resembles "Keep Yourself Alive" from Queen's self-titled debut album. Particularly the guitar play is similar to that of Keep Yourself Alive, although it's faster in "Dead on Time". In the last chorus, the words "keep yourself alive" are sung, and in the lyrics attached to the album, those words are written in capitals. The song ends with the sound of a thunderbolt, followed by Mercury screaming "You're dead!" The thunderbolt was actually recorded by May on a portable recorder during a vicious thunderstorm. Amusingly, the album's liner notes credit the thunderbolt to God. In Only Seven Days "In Only Seven Days" resembles Deacon's previous song, "Spread Your Wings". Deacon also played acoustic guitar and electric guitar. Dreamer's Ball "Dreamer's Ball" is May's tribute to Elvis Presley, who had died one year before. The arrangement for the concert version was completely different, with May and Taylor doing vocal brasses. Fun It "Fun It" was a funk track with a disco vibe by Taylor, where both Mercury and himself shared the vocals. Taylor did the lead vocals, while Mercury was backup. Taylor used Syndrum pads and played most of the instruments. Leaving Home Ain't Easy "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" was a ballad by May, who also sang all the vocals (lead and harmony). His voice was sped up for the bridge. Don't Stop Me Now "Don't Stop Me Now" is Mercury's top 10 single in the UK and is one of Queen's most famous songs. May's only input is a short guitar solo and backing vocals. More of that Jazz "More of that Jazz" is yet another one of Taylor's bitter comments about current society and the way rock and roll is disrespected. It is loop based and Taylor plays most instruments and sings all vocals, reaching some very high notes (peaking on a E5). The outro also contains short clips from many songs on the album, including "Dead on Time", "Bicycle Race", "Mustapha", "If You Can't Beat Them", "Fun It" and "Fat Bottomed Girls". Personnel Freddie Mercury: Lead Vocals, Piano, Backing Vocals Brian May: Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals Roger Taylor: Drums & Percussion, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass John Deacon: Bass, Electric & Acoustic Guitars Sound engineers: Geoff Workman John Etchells Singles Four singles were released from the album: "Bicycle Race"/"Fat Bottomed Girls (edit)" – Elektra E45541; released October, 1978 "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottomed Girls" were released in 1978 as a double A-side; the band staged a famous nude, all-female bicycle race to promote the single. The bicycle race took place on 17th September 1978 at Wimbledon Stadium in London. The picture sleeve showed a rear view of one of the ladies on her bicycle, but in the U.S. a pair of red panties were painted on to avoid public outcry. Legend has it that the band borrowed the bicycles from a store ("Halfords," according to the liner notes), but upon returning them were informed that they would have to purchase all the seats, as they had been used in an improper manner (i.e. without clothing). Fat Bottomed Girls also contains one of Roger Taylor's most memorable drum fills at about 2:52 on the album Jazz, but at 2:16 on greatest hits. "Mustapha" was released in 1978 in only Bolivia, Spain, Yugoslavia and Germany. Its B-side was "Dead On Time" ("In Only Seven Days" in Yugoslavia). "Don't Stop Me Now"/"More Of That Jazz" – Elektra E46008; released February, 1979 "Don't Stop Me Now" was released in 1979; its B-side was "In Only Seven Days" ("More Of That Jazz" in the USA and Canada). "Jealousy"/"Fun It" – Elektra E46039; released April, 1979 "Jealousy" was released in 1979 in the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, and Canada; its B-side was "Fun It" ("Don't Stop Me Now" in Russia, on a blue flexi disc). Charts Country Charts Sales Peak position Weeks Certification Portugal 1 France 2 Gold 220.000 United Kingdom 2 27 Platinum 500.000 Canada 3 Platinum 200.000 Netherlands 4 Platinum 100.000 Germany 5 Gold 450.000 Japan 5 Gold 200.000 Norway 6 11 Sweden 6 7 Platinum 80.000 United States 6 17 Platinum 1.500.000 Austria 8 28 Gold 35.000 Italy 36 100.000 Swiss Platinum 60.000 User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.