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We Are the Champions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"We Are the Champions"
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
B-side"We Will Rock You"
Released7 October 1977
Format7-inch single
GenreArena rock
LabelEMI (UK)
Elektra (US)
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Producer(s)Queen, assisted by Mike "Clay" Stone
Queen singles chronology
"Long Away"
"We Are the Champions"
"Spread Your Wings"
Audio sample
"We Are the Champions"

"We Are the Champions" is a song by the British rock band Queen, first released on their 1977 album News of the World.[1] Written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, it is one of Queen's most popular songs and one of rock's most recognisable anthems.[2] The song was a worldwide success, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.[3][4] In 2009, "We Are the Champions" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame[5] and was voted the world's favourite song in a 2005 Sony Ericsson world music poll.[6] In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest in the history of popular music.[7]

"We Are the Champions" has become an anthem for victories at sporting events,[2] including as an official theme song for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and has been often used or referenced in popular culture. The song has also been covered by many artists.

On 7 October 2017, Queen released a Raw Sessions version of the track to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of News of the World. It was made from previously unheard vocal and instrumental takes from the original multi-track tapes. It also presents for the first time the original recorded length of the track, which is two choruses more than the 1977 edited single.[8]


Written by Freddie Mercury, "We Are the Champions" was built on audience response following a concert at Bingley Hall, Stafford in which the audience sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" to the band.[9][10][11] It embodies numerous elements of arena rock,[12][13] with Brian May stating, "We wanted to get the crowds waving and singing. It's very unifying and positive."[14]

Musically, it is based on Mercury's piano part, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon providing a drums and bass guitar backing. May overdubbed some guitar sections, initially subtle, but building to a "solo" played simultaneously with the last chorus. Mercury employed many jazz chords (major and minor 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th harmonies), and the choruses featured these voiced as 4 and 5-part vocal harmonies. The lead vocal is very demanding and strident (highest point is a C5 both belted and in falsetto), with one of Mercury's most notable performances taking place at the Live Aid concert, at Wembley Stadium, London in 1985.[15]

The single featured "We Will Rock You" as a B-side, and followed the song on the album. The two songs were often played consecutively at the close of Queen concerts, and are customarily played together on radio broadcasts (in album order).[2] Keeping with tradition, it was also used to close the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with all the show's acts joining in behind the lead vocal of Liza Minnelli.[2]

Music video

The video for the song was filmed at a special video shoot with fan club members at the New London Theatre Centre on 6 October 1977 and was directed by Derek Burbridge. An alternate version which starts in monochrome before blasting into colour as the drums and guitars kick in was broadcast on Top of the Pops 2 and comprises alternate footage shot on the same day.


In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that the song was the catchiest song in the history of pop music, despite its not hitting #1 in the charts in any major market. Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen said of the study, "Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology; from the physics and frequencies of sound that determine pitch and harmony, to the hi-tech digital processors and synthesisers which can add effects to make a song more catchier. We’ve discovered that there’s a science behind the sing-along and a special combination of neuroscience, math and cognitive psychology that can produce the elusive elixir of the perfect sing-along song."[7]

Chart performances

In 1977–1978, "We Are the Champions" was released as a single in many countries, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] number 4 on Billboard in the US,[4] the top 10 in Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway, and top 15 in Germany, Austria and Sweden.[16][17]

In 1992, 1993 and 1998, the single was re-released in France, totalling 45 weeks on the chart and peaking respectively at #19, #14, and #10 during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[17]


Track listings

Charts and certifications

Crazy Frog version

A cover version by Crazy Frog titled "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" was released as a single on 5 June 2006, to coincide with the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Vocal arrangements include a sample portion of Queen's original recording.

Music video

The music video depicts Crazy Frog in bed dreaming that he is competing in a soccer match against Killbots. Though outnumbered, he easily defeats and humiliates them. One goal rebounds off the net knocking him out and causing him to briefly wake up. Having defeated his enemies he finds himself hovering in a soccer universe.

He happens to glance at hundreds of clones marching toward him. He panics and runs in fear. He reaches a tall stairway leading up to a giant gold trophy. Crazy Frog becomes exhausted near the top unlike his indefatigable pursuants. The trophy turns into a giant soccer ball that begins to roll rapidly down toward Crazy Frog.

Crazy Frog is crushed and falls with the ball all the way back to the ground, startling him enough to wake up. When the music video was originally released online, it appeared as it was released. However, the current version lacks the soccer ball being kicked and the accompanying sound effects.

After being internationally released, it was shown before the animated movie Cars.

Chart performances

The single had its greatest success in France. It went straight to #1 on 10 June 2006, and stayed at this position for five weeks. It remained for nine weeks in the Top 10, seventeen weeks in the top fifty, and twenty five weeks in the chart. On 30 August 2006, it was certified Gold disc two months after its release by SNEP, the French certifier, and became the fifteenth best selling single in 2006 in that country.

Track listings

CD single
  1. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (radio edit) – 2:57
  2. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix) – 5:49
Maxi single
  1. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (radio edit) – 2:57
  2. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (house mix) – 6:04
  3. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix) – 5:51
  4. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (club mix dub) – 5:17
  5. "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)" (video)


Weekly charts

Chart (2006) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[38] 13
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[39] 4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[40] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[41] 2
Denmark (Tracklisten)[42] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[43] 10
France (SNEP)[44] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[45] 10
Ireland (IRMA)[45] 23
Italy (FIMI)[46] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[47] 100
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[48] 30
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[49] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[50] 11
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[51] 5
UK Singles (Official Company Charts)[45] 11
Chart (2010) Peak
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[49] 32
End of year chart (2006) Position
Austrian Singles Chart[52] 44
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[53] 36
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart[54] 12
French Singles Chart[55] 15

Certifications and sales

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
Belgium[56] Gold 9 September 2006 20,000
France[57] Gold 30 August 2006 200,000 205,908[58]


Other versions and samplings

Live covers


  1. ^ BRITs 25 Song Award: We Are The Champions – Queen BBC Retrieved 21 January 2011
  2. ^ a b c d We Are the Champions: Song Review AllMusic Retrieved 21 January 2011
  3. ^ a b c UK Singles Chart (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  4. ^ a b c d Billboard (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  5. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame Award Retrieved 21 April 2011
  6. ^ Haines, Lester (29 September 2005) 'We Are The Champions' voted world's fave song (Sony Ericsson world music poll) Retrieved 21 April 2011
  7. ^ a b We Are The Champions voted catchiest pop song of all time... by scientists, The Daily Mail, 29 September 2011
  8. ^ a b "We Are The Champions & We Will Rock You - The Unheard 'Raw Sessions'". Queen Online. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Queen interview: Brian May on We Will Rock You". Absolute Radio. YouTube. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  10. ^ Interview with Tom Browne for BBC Radio One, broadcast Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 1977
  11. ^ Queen's 'News of the World': 10 Things You Didn't Know Rolling Stone. Dan Epstein. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
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  13. ^ Huang, Hao (2012). Music in the 20th century. 3. Coda Books Ltd. p. 508. ISBN 978-1-9085-3884-0. Queen (...) proved expert at creating crowd-pleasing and long lasting anthems such as "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" — popular songs for the burgeoning stadium-rock circuit.
  14. ^ For the first time ever...Queen: Ten great hits from the sensational rock band Mail Online Retrieved 21 January 2011
  15. ^ "Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury" BBC News Retrieved 22 January 2011
  16. ^ a b Irish Single Chart (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "We Are the Champions", in various singles charts (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  18. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  20. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 5 February 1978. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  21. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 28, 1978
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  23. ^ "Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales: Nov 17, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved 24 November 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
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  27. ^ Hunter, Nigel; Scaping, Peter, eds. (1978). "Top 100 Singles in 1977". BPI Year Book 1978 (3rd ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 216–17. ISBN 0-906154-01-4.
  28. ^ 1978 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  29. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  31. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 30, 1978
  32. ^ 1998 French Singles Chart Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  33. ^ "Rock Songs - Year-End". Billboard. 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  34. ^ a b French certifications and sales:
  35. ^ "British single  certifications – Queen – We Are the Champions". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 December 2015. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type We Are the Champions in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ Copsey, Rob (20 November 2018). "Queen's bestselling singles on the Official UK Singles Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
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  38. ^ " – Crazy Frog – We Are the Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  39. ^ " – Crazy Frog – We Are the Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
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  43. ^ "Crazy Frog: We Are the Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
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  51. ^ " – Crazy Frog – We Are the Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  52. ^ 2006 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved 17 May 2008)
  53. ^ 2006 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  54. ^ 2006 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved 29 July 2008)
  55. ^ 2006 French Singles Chart Archived 4 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 16 December 2007)
  56. ^ Belgian certifications (Retrieved 11 August 2008)
  57. ^ French certifications Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 16 December 2007)
  58. ^ 2006 French Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 December 2007)
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External links

This page was last edited on 31 December 2018, at 03:38
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