John Deacon’s Surprise at How Heavy ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ Became
Queen bassist John Deacon recalled that he’d written a “light-hearted” set of lyrics to go with his song “Another One Bites the Dust,” but had to change his approach after the band recorded the backing track.
It appeared on their 1980 album The Game and became their second No. 1 hit in the U.S. and also spent more time in the Top Ten than any other single of that year. However, it went through some changes of direction first, as Deacon told Mary Turner of Westwood One in 1981.
“To ‘bite the dust’ is a cowboy phrase, and that’s all I had at first – just the line,” the bassist said “When we went in the studio I actually had a set of lyrics that nobody had ever seen. I hadn’t shown them to anybody, I was so embarrassed about them!” He recalled they were “all about cowboys,” adding: “there’s a little story, and at the end of each verse, another one bit the dust.”
Things changed in the band’s recording studio in Munich, Germany. “We did the backing track and it was sort of a bit heavier, whereas the cowboy thing was a bit more light-hearted and humorous,” Deacon said. “So I decided to change the lyrics; I had to come up with three different verses for it.”
Queen – ‘Another One Bites the Dust’