“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is a rockabilly song originally recorded and made famous by British rock band Queen. It was penned by band lead vocalist Freddie Mercury in 1979. The song is included on their 1980 album called The Game. In addition, it also appears on Queen’s 1981 compilation album, Greatest Hits. The band together with German producer Reinhold Mack produced the song and released it on October 5, 1979.
To note, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was a massive hit in 1979 until the early ’80s. In fact, it went no. 1 in five countries, namely, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, and the U.S. Additionally, the song also penetrated music charts in nine other countries. It was also a year-end chart performer in 1979 and 1980. Moreover, it ranked no. 25 in the UK music charts in 1979. Meanwhile, the song peaked at no. 3 in Australia, no. 2 in Canada, no. 10 in New Zealand, and no. 6 in the U.S. in 1980.
In an interview with Melody Maker in 1981, Freddie Mercury revealed that he composed “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” on guitar in just five to ten minutes. He said:
“‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It’s a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn’t work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.”
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love:” Queen’s Tribute to Elvis Presley
When Freddie Mercury was composing the song, he got inspired by the King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley. Well, in fact, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is a tribute of Mercury to Presley. In an interview, the band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, said that Mercury penned the song in just ten minutes while lounging in a bath in his hotel in Munich, Germany during one of their extensive recording sessions.
After writing the song, Mercury presented it to Taylor and guitarist John Deacon. All three loved the newly created song and later asked their new producer Reinhold Mack to record it. It soon materialized when they recorded it in June 1979 at the Musicland Studios in Munich. Reportedly, the whole song was recorded in less than 30 minutes.
Dwight Yoakam’s Version
Since the release of the song, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” has been covered by many artists. One of the most notable covers is the version of country music artist Dwight Yoakam. The cover was produced by American guitarist and music producer Pete Anderson. Yoakam featured the cover of the song on his album Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Dwight Yoakam’s Greatest Hits from the 90’s in 1999. He released it as a single on May 19, 1999.
While the original version of the band Queen was a massive hit, Yoakam’s version fared well. In its first appearance on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks, it placed no. 65. In 1999, it peaked at no. 12 on the U.S. country singles charts. In Canada, it reached no. 19 on the RPM Adult Contemporary while no. 1 on the RPM Country Tracks.
On the other hand, it ranked no. 35 on the UK Singles Chart, no. 64 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and no.12 Billboard Hot Country Songs.
Watch Dwight Yoakam’s version of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” below:
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Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Dwight Yoakam, Queen