By: Amber Harvey
Thirty-one years ago today, the taste of theatrical quartet Queen took on a whole new flavor with the 1982 release of their 10th studio album, Hot Space. Diehard fans either loved or hated the record — mostly the latter—for being heavily-synthesized and disco-inclined, as well as for deviating from the band’s original formula.
Neglecting the motto attached to their albums for years, “No synthesizers used on this record,” Hot Space was the vehicle through which Queen’s front man Freddie Mercury began to experiment with and embrace a musical style that was more new wave, dance-pop and funk than rock and roll. If that wasn’t enough to rattle fans, Mercury’s new look – closely-cropped hair, signature chevron mustache and strictly-leather attire – certainly was.
Peaking at #22 on the Billboard 200, Queen’s Hot Space didn't quite match up to the roar of their previous album, The Game, which reached #1 in the U.S. with such iconic hits as “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Despite its less-than-optimal reception, the album’s final track and first release, “Under Pressure,” gives us reason enough to praise the album. Co-written with David Bowie in a late-night jam session, the melancholy yet warm lyrical content of the #7 Mainstream Rock hit is deeply moving, poignant and timeless.
While Hot Space does not define the musical style that many of Queen’s fans came to know and love throughout the ‘70s, it is very-much representative of the band in its boldness, high energy and theatrical delivery. For this reason, we celebrate its anniversary today!
For more information on Queen, visit their website and be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below.