QUEEN released their seventh studio album Jazz on 10 November 1978 via EMI/Parlophone in Europe and Elektra/Hollywood in the US. The album was recorded in July-October 1978 at Mountain Studios, Montreux and Super Bear Studios, Berre-les-Alpes, France. Roy Thomas Baker temporarily reunited with the band and became their producer.
It was three years since he co-produced their 1975 album, A Night at the Opera, but it would also be the last for him to co-produce the band’s album. The album contains a diverse musical style that has received both critical and acclaim. The album reached No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 6 on the Billboard 200. Jazz has sold over 5 million copies to date.
The full-length singles produced from Jazz were: Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls (13 October 1978), Don’t Stop Me Now (5 January 1979), Mustapha (April 1979, only for Bolivia, Germany, Spain and Yugoslavia), and Jealousy (April 1979, only for USA, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and USSR). Allmusic and Q magazine gave Jazz 4 out of 5 stars.
“Mustapha” is a song written by Freddie Mercury, which was released as a single in 1979. The lyrics contain both English and Arabic. Some of the words that are understood are “Mustapha”, “Ibrahim” and the phrases “Allah, Allah, Allah we’ll pray for You”, “salaam alaykum” and “alaykum salaam”.
“Bicycle Race” is an elaborate composition by Mercury. A bicycle race with naked women was held to promote this album and the single “Fat Bottomed Girls”/”Bicycle Race”. This photo was included as a poster in the center fold with the album Jazz. The US release does not include this photo, but does include an order form for it. This photo was also used as an alternative cover for the single “Bicycle Race”.
“Don’t Stop Me Now” is Mercury’s top 10 UK single and one of Queen’s most popular songs. May only included a few guitar solos and backing vocals. This song is used in one of the famous films today, Shaun of the Dead. Also, the BBC’s Top Gear show ranked it as the No. 1 song. 1 in an audience poll of Top Ten driving songs. Google also used this song for their Google Doodle to celebrate Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday on September 5, 2011.
Track List: (1). Mustafa, (2). Fat Bottomed Girls, (3). Jealousy, (4). Bicycle Race, (5). If You Can’t Beat Them, (6). Let Me Entertain You, (7). Dead on Time, (8). In Only Seven Days, (9). Dreamer’s Ball, (10). Fun It, (11). Leaving Home Ain’t Easy, (12). Don’t Stop Me Now, (13). More of That Jazz, (14). Fat Bottomed Girls (1991 bonus remix by Brian Malouf), (15). Bicycle Race (1991 bonus remix by Junior Vasquez)
Personnel: • Freddie Mercury: lead and backing vocals, piano, bicycle bells on “Bicycle Race”, • Brian May: electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, piano, co-lead vocals on “Fat Bottomed Girls” and lead vocals on ” Leaving Home Ain’t Easy”, bicycle bells on “Bicycle Race”, • Roger Taylor: drums, percussion, backing vocals, electric guitar and bass guitar on “Fun It” and “More of That Jazz”, lead vocals on “Fun It” and “More of That Jazz”, bicycle bells on “Bicycle Race”, • John Deacon: bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitar on “In Only Seven Days”, bicycle bells on “Bicycle Race”. [sources/photo special]