QUEEN released their sixth studio album News of the World on October 28, 1977 via EMI Records and Parlophone Records for the UK and Elektra and Hollywood for the US and Canada. News of the World was the second album produced by Queen themselves (the first being A Day at the Races) and recorded at Sarm West and Wessex Studios, London and co-produced and recorded by Mike Stone.

The album cover was painted by American sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas. Drummer Taylor has Astounding Science Fiction (October 1953 which has a cover art depicting a giant smart tobot holding the corpse of a man. The caption reads: “Please… fix it, Daddy?” to illustrate the story “The Guld Between” by Tom Godwin. The painting inspired the band to contact Freas, who agreed to alter the painting for their album cover, replacing 1 dead man with 4 “dead” band members (Taylor and Deacon fell to the ground).

The inside cover (the fold) of the robot extends its arms to capture people in an auditorium where bodies are being moved. Fras said he was a classical music fan and did not know Queen, and only listened to the band after working on the cover because he thought he would hate them, and would mess up his ideas, but then he liked their music instead.

The original painting (also titled The Gulf Between) is featured on the cover of Freas’ art collection As He Sees It (Paper Tiger, 2000). The album title is taken from the famous British newspaper of the same name, News of the World.

The singles: (1). We Are the Champions was released on October 7, 1977 in the UK as the first single and reached No. 2. On the US it reached No. 4. On the B-side was We Will Rock You. (2). Spread Your Wings followed as the second single from the album. Released in the UK on February 10, 1978, it reached No. 34, (3). It’s Late was the last single from the album and was only released as a single in the US, Canada, Japan and New Zealand in 1978. It only reached No. 74 in the US, failing to chart in other countries.

News of the World received mixed but generally positive reviews, with AllMusic giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars, Q giving it 3 out of 5 stars and Sputnikmusic giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars while Rolling Stone gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

In Creem magazine’s annual poll, readers voted News of the World as the 19th album of 1977. The two opening tracks, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions have been used many times in pop culture.

Song List: (1). We Will Rock You, (2). We Are the Champions, (3). Sheer Heart Attack, (4). All Dead, All Dead, (5). Spread Your Wings, (6). Fight from the Inside, (7). Get Down, Make Love, (8). Sleeping on the Sidewalk, (9). Who Needs You, (10). It’s Late, (11). My Melancholy Blues, (12). We Will Rock You (1991 bonus remix by Rick Rubin), (13). Feelings Feelings (Take 10, July 1977), (14). Spread Your Wings (BBC session, October 1977), (15). My Melancholy Blues (BBC session, October 1977), (16). Sheer Heart Attack (live in Paris, February 28, 1979), (17). We Will Rock You (fast) (live in Tokyo, November 1982), (13). My Melancholy Blues (live at the Summit, 1977), (14). Sheer Heart Attack (live at Hammersmith, 1979), (15). We Will Rock You (Queen Rocks version, 1998).

Personnel: – Freddie Mercury: lead and backing vocals, piano, cowbell on “Who Needs You,” – Brian May: electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on “All Dead, All Dead” and “Sleeping on the Sidewalk”, maracas on “Who Needs You,” – Roger Taylor: drums, percussion, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Sheer Heart Attack” and “Fight from the Inside”, rhythm guitar and bass guitar on “Fight from the Inside” and “Sheer Heart Attack,” – John Deacon: bass guitars, Spanish guitar on “Who Needs You”. [sources/photo special]