By Amanda Wicks
What would anthemic rockers Queen sound like if they were sped up? That answer becomes clearer today with the release of “We Will Rock You (Fast),” which the band recorded in 1977 for DJ John Peel of the BBC.
Queen recorded the up-tempo version on the same day they released their album News of the World in the United Kingdom. After playing the track on the air, Peel asked, “‘We Will Rock You’ – profundity or just another teenage anthem!? I’ve never seen them live. I must admit I’d like to – a band that sounds like nutters, actually, and I like that because I like rock music to sound a little out of control.”
Out of control, indeed. The sped up version sounds like a cross between The Who and KISS, if those two bands somehow gave birth to Queen. Voiced by the inimitable Freddie Mercury, the song maintains a flare of its own, but it’s interesting to hear the change a faster rendition makes to their overall style.
The track appears on the upcoming release Queens On Air, which picks from the band’s many BBC performances. The two-disc compilation will feature 24 tracks. Those interested in even more material can check out the deluxe edition, which will include an extra three discs of interviews plus a disc consisting purely of live concerts, as well as a booklet of rare photographs. Queens on Air is available November 4. Listen to “We Will Rock You (Fast)” below.