On this day in 1980: Queen were enjoying their second of four weeks at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is included on their 1980 album ‘The Game’, and also appears on the band’s compilation album, ‘Greatest Hits’ in 1981. The song peaked at #2 on the U.K. singles Chart in 1979, and became the group’s first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. in 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks. It topped the Australian ARIA charts for seven weeks
Freddie Mercury has said that he composed “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” on the guitar in just five to ten minutes.
‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It’s a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn’t work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.— Freddie Mercury
The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley. Roger Taylor added in an interview that Mercury wrote it in just 10 minutes while lounging in a bath in the Baverischer Hof Hotel in Munich during one of their extensive Munich recording sessions. Mercury took it to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them, with their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. The entire song was reportedly recorded in less than half an hour (although Mack says it was six hours). Having written “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” on guitar and having played an acoustic rhythm guitar on the record, for the first time ever Mercury played guitar in concerts, for example at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.
Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1980:
1 1 CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE –•– Queen (Elektra)-11 (2 weeks at #1) (1)
2 3 YES, I’M READY –•– Teri DeSario with K.C. (Casablanca)-16 (2)
3 2 DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME –•– The Captain and Tennille (Casablanca)-20 (1)
4 6 LONGER –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-12 (4)
5 8 DESIRE –•– Andy Gibb (RSO)-6 (5)
6 7 ON THE RADIO –•– Donna Summer (Casablanca)-8 (6)
7 4 CRUISIN’ –•– Smokey Robinson (Tamla)-22 (4)
8 5 ROCK WITH YOU –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-18 (1)
9 13 WORKING MY WAY BACK TO YOU / FORGIVE ME GIRL (Medley) –•– The Spinners (Atlantic)-12 (9)
10 15 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (Part 2) –•– Pink Floyd (Columbia)-7 (10)
11 11 ROMEO’S TUNE –•– Steve Forbert (Nemperor)-14 (11)
12 12 DAYDREAM BELIEVER –•– Anne Murray (Capitol)-11 (12)
13 14 AN AMERICAN DREAM –•– The Dirt Band (United Artists)-13 (13)
14 17 THE SECOND TIME AROUND –•– Shalamar (Solar)-13 (14)
15 19 TOO HOT –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-7 (15)
16 24 HIM –•– Rupert Holmes (MCA)-7 (16)
17 18 SEPTEMBER MORN’ –•– Neil Diamond (Columbia)-11 (17)
18 20 HOW DO I MAKE YOU –•– Linda Ronstadt (Asylum)-5 (18)
19 23 REFUGEE –•– Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Backstreet)-6 (19)
20 22 WHEN I WANTED YOU –•– Barry Manilow (Arista)-12 (20)
On this day in 1985: Wham! started a three week run at #1 on the U.S. album chart with ‘Make It Big’, which eventually went on to sell over 6 million copies in the U,S.
‘Make It Big’ was the second studio album from British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984. In comparison to their earlier work, the duo had more control over the album’s production, as Michael became the sole credited producer, a position he would subsequently hold on all future releases until the group split in 1986. The album was a critical and commercial success, hitting #1 in both the U.K. and the U.S. and spawning four singles, all topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.