World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

We Will Rock You

"We Will Rock You"
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
A-side "We Are the Champions"
Released 7 October 1977
Format 7" single
Genre Arena rock[1]
Length 2:02
Writer(s) Brian May
Queen singles chronology
"Long Away"
"We Are the Champions" /
"We Will Rock You"
"Spread Your Wings"
Music sample

"We Will Rock You" is a song written by Brian May and recorded and performed by Queen for their 1977 album News of the World.[2] Rolling Stone ranked it number 330 of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004,[3] and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) placed it at number 146 on its list of Songs of the Century. In 2009, "We Will Rock You" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[4][5]

Other than the last 30 seconds containing a guitar solo by May, the song is generally set in a cappella form, using only stomping and clapping as a rhythmic beat. In 1977, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were issued together as a worldwide top ten single.[6] Soon after the album was released, many radio stations began playing the songs consecutively and without interruption.[7]

Since its release, "We Will Rock You" has been covered, remixed, sampled, parodied, referenced and used by multiple recording artists, TV shows, films and other media worldwide.[8][9] Since its release, the song has become a staple at sports events around the world as a stadium anthem, mostly due to its simple rhythm.[10][11]


  • Original Queen version 1
    • History 1.1
    • Personnel 1.2
  • Five + Queen version 2
    • Tracklisting 2.1
  • Chart performance 3
    • Queen version 3.1
    • Five + Queen version 3.2
    • KCPK remix 3.3
  • Certifications 4
  • Cover versions 5
  • Live cover performances 6
  • Remixes 7
  • Sampling 8
  • Parodies and references to the song 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Original Queen version


Both "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were written in response to an event occurring in their 1977 British Tour.[12] The band had played a gig at Birmingham's Bingley Hall, and, according to Brian May:[13]

'We did an encore and then went off, and instead of just keeping clapping, they sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" to us, and we were just completely knocked out and taken aback – it was quite an emotional experience really, and I think these chant things are in some way connected with that.'

One version was used as the opening track on their 1977 album News of the World. This version consists of a stomp-stomp-clap-pause beat, and a power chorus, being somewhat of an anthem. The stamping effects were created by the band overdubbing the sounds of themselves stomping and clapping many times and adding delay effects to create a sound like many people were participating. The durations of the delays were in the ratios of prime numbers, a technique now known as non-harmonic reverberation.[14] A tape loop is used to repeat the last phrase of the guitar solo three times as opposed to Brian May playing it three separate times on the recording.[15] The "stomp, stomp, clap" sounds were later used in the Queen + Paul Rodgers song "Still Burnin'".[16]

When performed live, the song is usually followed by "We Are the Champions", as they were designed to run together.[6] The songs are often paired on the radio and at sporting events, where they are frequently played.[6] They were the last two songs Queen performed at Live Aid in 1985.[17]

Queen also performed an alternate version "We Will Rock You" known as the "fast version", featuring a faster tempo and a full band arrangement. The band would frequently use this version to open their live sets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as heard on the albums Live Killers (1979), Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl (2004), Queen Rock Montreal (2007), and the expanded edition of News of the World (2011). A studio version of the fast version is also known to exist, recorded for John Peel's show on BBC Radio 1 in 1977. It is part of a longer cut that starts out with the slow version. In 2002, the fast version was officially released on a promo single distributed by the tabloid The Sun. The "fast" BBC studio version can also be found on The Best of King Biscuit Live Volume 4. Between the two versions, there is a brief cut of a woman discussing Brahmanism, used in a BBC Radio documentary. The fast version is also used as the curtain call music for the musical of the same title, after the finale, which is a pairing of the original "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions."

Since its release, the song has become a staple at sporting events around the world as a stadium anthem, mostly due to its simple rhythm. It was the most played song during the 2008 and 2009 seasons of National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.[10][11]


  • Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals, handclaps, footstomps
  • Brian May – electric guitar, backing vocals, handclaps, footstomps
  • Roger Taylor – backing vocals, handclaps, footstomps
  • John Deacon – backing vocals, handclaps, footstomps

Five + Queen version

"We Will Rock You"
Single by Five + Queen
from the album Invincible
  • Megamix
  • Keep on Movin' (The Five-A-Side Mix)
Released 17 July 2000
Recorded 1999
Length 3:08
Label Sony BMG
  • Richard Stannard
  • Julian Gallagher
  • Silver (UK)
  • Gold (Australia)
Five singles chronology
"Don't Wanna Let You Go"
"We Will Rock You"
"Let's Dance"
Queen chronology
"Under Pressure (Rah Mix)"
"We Will Rock You"
"Flash (Vanguard Mix)"

In 2000, English boy band Five released a cover of "We Will Rock You". It was released from their second studio album, Invincible (1999). Released on 17 July 2000, the song features two members of Queen: Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums; however, they do not sing any vocals on the track. Freddie Mercury had died in November 1991, nearly a decade before this version's release, and John Deacon had retired from public life in 1997, three years before the release of the Five cover.

The song charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, making it Five's second number-one single, and their ninth consecutive top-ten hit.[18]


  1. "We Will Rock You" (Radio Edit) – 3:08
  2. "Keep on Movin'" (The Five-A-Side Mix) – 3:32
  3. "We Will Rock You" (Video) – 3:08
  1. "We Will Rock You" (Radio Edit) – 3:08
  2. "Invincible Megamix" (Including "We Will Rock You") – 4:19
  3. "Invincible Megamix" (Video) – 4:19
UK Cassette single
  1. "We Will Rock You" (Radio Edit) – 3:08
  2. "Keep on Movin'" (The Five-A-Side Mix) – 3:32
  3. "Invincible Megamix" (Including "We Will Rock You") – 4:19
European CD single
  1. "We Will Rock You" (Radio Edit) – 3:08
  2. "Invincible Megamix" (Without "We Will Rock You") – 3:43
  3. "We Will Rock You" (Video) – 3:08

Chart performance


Region Certification
Italy (FIMI)[50] Gold
United States (RIAA)[51] Gold

Cover versions



  • 2000: American hip hop producer DJ Hurricane and vocalist Scott Weiland collaborated on a cover of the song for the album Don't Sleep.[55]
  • 2000: Actress Kimberly Williams performs an alternate version of the song for the television miniseries The 10th Kingdom.
  • 2001: German singer Max Raabe covered the song with the Palast Orchester in a 1920–1930s band style.
  • 2003: John Farnham performed a rendition for his Greatest Hits CD, featuring samples from the original recording.
  • 2003: A remix by KCPK, sung by a chorus of children, was released in a series of animated Evian adverts which aired in France, Germany and Belgium. The remix was later released as a single and entered the local charts.[56]
  • 2004: American pop singers Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Pink used this song in an international commercial Pepsi campaign and the song was released on Pepsi Music 2004: Britney Exclusive CD.[57]
  • 2005: Canadian rock band Nickelback covered the song as a bonus track, through a promotion with Walmart, for their album All the Right Reasons. It was also included on the album's lead single "Photograph" as a B-Side.
  • 2009: Australian Idol winner of season 7 Stan Walker did a cover on the show and recorded a version on his debut album Introducing Stan Walker (2010).[58]
  • 2012: German classical violinist David Garrett covered the song on his 2012 studio album Music.
  • 2013: American musical TV series Glee covered the song in the twentieth episode of their fourth season, "Lights Out".[59]

Live cover performances


  • 1992: Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose performed the song with Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.[60][61]
  • 1992: U2 used the song as a set list opener before they performed on stage during the Zoo TV Tour.[62]
  • 1993: Nirvana performed it in São Paulo, Brazil, changing the lyrics to "we will fuck you".[63]
  • 1996: Alanis Morissette and her band ended the first encore of her "Can't Not" Tour (following the song, "You Learn") with a cover of the song, with Alanis playing the "stomp-stomp-clap" rhythm on drums.[64]







  • 2002: American rapper Eminem sampled the "stomp-clap" on his album The Eminem Show for the song "'Till I Collapse".
    • 2004: He also sampled it on his song "Puke" from Encore.
    • 2010: The song "Cinderella Man" from Recovery, features the "stomp-clap" beat.
  • 2005: Edson & Hudson sampled the "stomp-clap" on their hit "Galera Coração".
  • 2003: Kid Rock samples the song on "Hillbilly Stomp" from his self-titled album. The song uses banjos, dobros and slide guitar to make it sound unique.
  • 2006: American industrial metal band Revolting Cocks used the sampled "stomp-clap" for the song "Revolting Cock au Lait" and its shorter version "RevColution Medley", both of them from the album Cocked and Loaded.
  • 2007: Bon Jovi used the song as intro of their song "Summertime" in all the Lost Highway Tour.
  • 2007: Prince used the song as the introductory music of his halftime show at Super Bowl XLI on 4 February in Miami, Florida.
  • 2009: Japanese rock band Garnet Crow sampled the "stomp-clap" in their song "Doing All Right."


Parodies and references to the song

  • 1987: Henry Rollins did a parody of "We Will Rock You" titled "I Have Come to Kill You".[83]
  • 1990: At the start of the Cheers episode "Severe Crane Damage," Norm Peterson's tapping of a pencil against the bar gradually leads everyone present to start the stomp/clap rhythm and sing the chorus.
  • 1991: Full House, in the episode "Happy Birthday Babies Part 2", when Becky is breathing to ease her contractions, she breathes to the stomp/clap rhythm, and Danny jokingly sings "We will, we will rock you."
  • 1994-95: Domino's Pizza would use the theme for their "Gotta be, gotta be Domino's" campaign. The jingle was originally used for the introduction of buffalo wings to their menu.
  • 1998: In sitcom Friends episode "The One Where Ross Moves In", Ross moves in with Chandler and Joey and left a recording in their answering machine singing: "We will, We will, call you back".
  • 2001: In the intro to the film A Knight's Tale, the song can be heard while the crowd produces the associated rhythm.
  • 2003: Blondie's song "Good Boys" uses the line "You got me on your face/A big disgrace."
  • 2004: Scum of the Earth did a cover version on their debut album Blah...Blah...Blah...Love Songs for the New Millennium. However, the song title was changed to "Pornstar Champion" with modified lyrics.
  • 2006: In "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", an episode of The Simpsons, Lenny and Carl sing "We Will Rock You", while kicking the toolbox where Marge Simpson is hidden.
  • 2007: In "The Storm", an episode of Drake & Josh, all of the people in Drake and Josh's house start singing the song after the crank-able television breaks.
  • 2010: The cast of the Off-Broadway musical Avenue Q performed covers of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" in a video spoof of the Muppets' Bohemian Rhapsody.[84]
  • 2012: In "He Will Mock You", an episode of The Annoying Orange, a spoof of the song called "He Will Mock You" was sung when Orange, Pear, Midget Apple, and Marshmallow backfire after Orange gets mocked by a coconut, a lime, and a banana.
  • 2012: In the edition of WWE Raw of 12 March, The Rock performed his version during the Rock Concert segment by adding references to Team Bring It and fans chanting "Cena Sucks" in the chorus while taking aim at John Cena before they square off at WrestleMania XXVIII.[85]
  • 2013: German power metal quintet Helloween released a song on their Burning Sun EP, which will be later released in their Straight Out of Hell album, called "Wanne Be God, which was created to be similar to "We Will Rock You" and is dedicated to Freddie Mercury.[86]
  • 2014: Indonesian singer Ahmad Dhani made a video with three Indonesian Idols for supporting the Indonesian Candidates Prabowo Hatta and Ahmad Dhani wears a Nazi Costume. It was noted as one of the worst political campaigns ever.[87]


  1. ^
    • Furniss, Matters (2012). Queen – Uncensored On the Record. Coda Books Ltd. p. 52.  
    • Gaar, Gillian G. (4 December 2012). "Album reviews of Queen's second box set of reissues".  
    • Konow, David (2002). Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal. Three Rivers Press. p. 72.  
    • Serwer, Jesse (16 October 2012). "The 77 Best Rock Samples in Rap History – 41. Dame Dash Presents Dream Team f/ Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, Cam'Ron, Young Chris and Twista "We Are the Champions" (2002)".  
  2. ^ "Queen – News of the World".  
  3. ^ We Will Rock You at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 April 2007). Rolling Stone. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  4. ^ "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame – w".  
  5. ^ "Queen enter Grammy Hall of Fame".  
  6. ^ a b c Prato, Greg. "We Are the Champions – Song Review".  
  7. ^ "12-Inch Single Joins 2 Queen Hits".  
  8. ^ We Will Rock You" Still Most Popular Sporting Event Anthem""".  
  9. ^ "Greatest Rock Songs". Mystic Madness. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Was there ever a time when We Will Rock You did not exist?".  
  11. ^ a b We Will Rock You' Is Most-Played Song at Pro Sports Games for '08/'09 Season"'".  
  12. ^ "Queen interview: Brian May on We Will Rock You".  
  13. ^ Interview with Tom Browne for BBC Radio One, broadcast Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 1977
  14. ^ May, Brian (22 September 2007). "STAMPING ON PIANO'S?". Bri's Soapbox. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Queen's Brian May Rocks Out To Physics, Photography".  
  16. ^ Taylor, Gary (5 August 2011). Detalles del álbum at the Wayback Machine (archived 5 August 2011). Queen Online. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  17. ^ Stanford, Peter (24 September 2011). "Queen: their finest moment at Live Aid".  
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006).  
  19. ^ "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 70" (in Français). InfoDisc. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  20. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 15 augustus 1992" (in Nederlands).  
  22. ^ a b c d "Queen – Awards".  
  23. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  24. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Queen - We Will Rock You We Are The Champions search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  26. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions (Live At Wembley '86)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  27. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  28. ^ " – Queen – We Will Rock You" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  29. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  30. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  31. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  32. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 26 augustus 2000" (in Nederlands).  
  34. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  35. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – We Will Rock You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  36. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  37. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Five + Queen - We Will Rock You search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  38. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  39. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  40. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  41. ^ " – Five + Queen – We Will Rock You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  42. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-07-29" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  43. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  44. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  45. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  46. ^ "Billboard Hits of the World". Billboard 115 (24): 65. 14 June 2003.  
  47. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  48. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  49. ^ " – KCPK – We Will Rock You (Remix)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  50. ^ "Italian single certifications – Queen – We Will Rock You" (in Italian).   Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Queen in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  51. ^ "American single certifications – Queen – We Will Rock You".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  52. ^ "we will rock you by warrant". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  53. ^ Song > We Will Rock You at the Wayback Machine (archived 22 March 2012). Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  54. ^ "22) Dedicated To The One I Love". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  55. ^ "DJ Hurricane - Don't Sleep CD".  
  56. ^ We Will Rock You 2003 editions at the Wayback Machine (archived 6 April 2004). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  57. ^ Britney Spears Beyonce Pink-We will rock you at the Wayback Machine (archived 13 May 2010). Yahoo!7. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  58. ^ Stan Walker's Official Site at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 August 2010). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  59. ^ "GLEE Will Rock You! All The NEW MUSIC From Lights Out HERE!". 22 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  60. ^ "1992 The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  61. ^ "Axl Rose (Freddie Mercury cover) -We Will Rock You(Live Wembley)".  
  62. ^ "Showing details for U2's ZOO TV Tour". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  63. ^ "Há 18 anos, Nirvana realizava show histórico em São Paulo".  
  64. ^ "Alanis Morissette Setlist at Estadio Obras Sanitarias, Buenos Aires, Argentina". 26 October 1996. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  65. ^ We Will Rock You (Live) by Robbie Williams at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 October 2012). Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  66. ^ "KODA KUMI 10th Anniversary -FANTASIA- in TOKYO DOME (Hong Kong Version)".  
  67. ^ Celine Dion – Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert: Includes Dvd at the Wayback Machine (archived 8 December 2011). HMV. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  68. ^ "Katy Perry Performs "We Will Rock You" to Intro Russell Brand".  
  69. ^ "My Chemical Romance joined by Queen's Brian May at Reading Festival".  
  70. ^ The Voice': Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green Perform Queen Medley (Video)"'".  
  71. ^ "Olympics Closing Ceremony: Jessie J Joins Queen For 'We Will Rock You' Performance".  
  72. ^ Corner, Lewis (8 October 2012). "Tulisa, Lana Del Rey, Jessie J for new 'Radio 1 Live Lounge 2012' album".  
  73. ^ "Queen – We Will Rock You [The Rick Rubin "Ruined" Remix]".  
  74. ^ "Robot Rock vs. We Will Rock You (2:57)".  
  75. ^ Wisniewski, Dan (14 March 2011). "Queen's "I Want It All/We Will Rock You" Mash-up featured on Sucker Punch Soundtrack". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  76. ^ "Sucker Punch Soundtrack: Queen "I Want It All"/"We Will Rock You" Mash-Up ft. Armageddon Aka Geddy **mp3**". 2 March 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  77. ^ "Excision & Downlink - Rock You [FREE DOWNLOAD]".  
  78. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (22 August 2010). "Teenage Dream".  
  79. ^ [2]
  80. ^ Rainbird, Ashley (18 April 2011). "Lady Gaga to collaborate with Queen guitarist Brian May".  
  81. ^ McCabe, Kathy (2 November 2012). "One Direction's second album Take Me Home reviewed by Kathy McCabe song by song".  
  82. ^ "Ke$ha, Warrior: Review".  
  83. ^ Buckley, Jonathan; Ellingham, Mark (1999). Rock: The Rough Guide.  
  84. ^ Lehet, Michael (5 May 2010). "Avenue Q responds to Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody".  
  85. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (13 March 2012). "The Rock Sings Queen's We Will Rock You on Raw". Ultimate Classic Rock.  
  86. ^ "Straight Out Of Hell - Track by Track - Day 8: Wanna Be God". Official Helloween Facebook. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  87. ^ "Indonesia Nazi-themed campaign video sparks outrage".  

External links

Preceded by
"How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees
French number-one single (Queen version)
24 March 1977 – 31 March 1977 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Magnolias Forever" by Claude François
Preceded by
"Life Is a Rollercoaster" by Ronan Keating
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Five + Queen version)
29 July 2000 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"7 Days" by Craig David
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.