Hot Space


Jump to: navigation, search
Hot Space
Hot Space, 1982
Released 21 May 1982 (UK),
22 May 1982 (US)
Recorded July 1981 - March 1982 at Mountain and Musicland Studios
Length 43:33
Label EMI
Producer(s) Queen, Mack, and David Bowie
Queen chronology
Greatest Hits
Hot Space
The Works


The eighteen months between The Game and Hot Space were some of the most enjoyable and creatively triumphant for the band: not only did they achieve two Number One singles and worldwide success with The Game, but they also toured South America for the first time, playing to a legion of vociferous fans who had been massive Queen fans but never had the opportunity to see their favorite band. The warm welcome the band received would stay with them forever, and all would speak with immense affection about their experiences in South America for years after.

With all of this globe-trotting, there was no real desire to jump back into the recording studios to record the inevitable follow-up to The Game, but it was in the summer of 1981 that sessions started. As with previous sessions, the band had no finished material to work on, merely half-baked germs of ideas. Instead of returning to Musicland Studios, though, the band finally recorded in their recently-acquired Mountain Studios, which they had last used on Jazz in the autumn of 1978. As luck would have it, David Bowie happened to be recording in the same studio at the same time, and engineer David Richards suggested that they work on something and see what happens. Thus, Under Pressure was born, based on an idea by Roger called 'People On Streets' which, prior to Bowie's arrival, then became Feel Like.

Sessions were interrupted for a tour of Mexico in the autumn of 1981, as well as the filming of Queen's first concert video, We Will Rock You in Montreal. Sessions resumed in the New Year, though this time at Musicland Studios, where Freddie became encapsulated by the night life; even the others started to go out and party heavily, resulting in the normally sober Brian to become severely inebriated during recording sessions. It was after a particularly raucous night of partying that Brian, after having a few, recorded the solo to Put Out The Fire and insisted that Mack bathe it in echo. The band would later recall this period with very little fondness, especially Brian, who stated that this was a dark period for them.

Hot Space was released in May 1982, just as the supporting tour was drawing to a close; the band had essentially toured in support of the Body Language single, which was released at the beginning of April and drew tepid reviews, peaking at a dismal #25 in the UK, their worst placement for a homeland single since Love Of My Life in June 1979. Other singles from the album weren't much better; only Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love) would reach the Top Twenty, peaking at #17 in June, but Back Chat reached #40 in August. In America, Body Language fared surprisingly better, peaking at #11, though further singles performed worse: Calling All Girls reached #60 in July, while Staying Power, an odd choice of single, wouldn't chart at all. As for the album, it reached a respectable #4 in the UK, while in the US, it peaked at #22, one position better than Flash Gordon but, considering that The Game had reached #1 less than two years prior, this was a huge disappointment, and a relative failure; the band would never again reach the Top Twenty in the US album charts.


Vinyl version

  • Side 1:
  1. Staying Power
  2. Dancer
  3. Back Chat
  4. Body Language
  5. Action This Day
  • Side 2:
  1. Put Out The Fire
  2. Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)
  3. Calling All Girls
  4. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
  5. Cool Cat
  6. Under Pressure (with David Bowie)

1991 Hollywood Records CD

  1. Staying Power
  2. Dancer
  3. Back Chat
  4. Body Language
  5. Action This Day
  6. Put Out The Fire
  7. Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)
  8. Calling All Girls
  9. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
  10. Cool Cat
  11. Under Pressure (with David Bowie)
  12. Body Language (remix)

2011 Universal Records CD

  • Disc 1:
  1. Staying Power
  2. Dancer
  3. Back Chat
  4. Body Language
  5. Action This Day
  6. Put Out The Fire
  7. Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)
  8. Calling All Girls
  9. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
  10. Cool Cat
  11. Under Pressure (with David Bowie)
  • Disc 2 – Bonus EP:
  1. Staying Power (live version, Milton Keynes Bowl, June 1982)
  2. Soul Brother (non-album B-side)
  3. Back Chat (single remix)
  4. Action This Day (live version, Tokyo, November 1982)
  5. Calling All Girls (live version, Tokyo, November 1982)
  • iTunes-exclusive bonus videos:
  1. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love) (Top Of The Pops version, June 1982)
  2. Under Pressure ("rah" remix promotional video)
  3. Action This Day (live version, Milton Keynes Bowl, June 1982)


  • Musicians:
John Deacon - bass guitar, synthesizer, rhythm guitar on Staying Power, Back Chat, and Cool Cat, drum programming on Cool Cat
Brian May - guitars, vocals, synthesizer, synth bass on Dancer, piano on Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano, synthesizer, synth bass and drum programming on Staying Power and Body Language
Roger Taylor - drums, electronic drums, vocals, synthesizer, rhythm guitar on Calling All Girls
Mack - synthesizers
David Bowie - vocals on Under Pressure


Country Release date First appearance in charts Peak position Chart run Weeks in chart Additional comments
UK - 15 May 1982 4 4-8-10-18-17-13-12-12-21-21-28-30-42-45-44-36-71-75-77 19 3 weeks in Top 10
USA - 29 May 1982 22 59-31-26-22-22-22-56-56-66-81-81-81-80-80-130-142-176-176-182-199-199 21 -
Austria - - - - - -
Finland - - - - - -
Germany - - - - - -
Japan - - 6 - 11 -
Italy - - 8 - 13 -
Netherlands - - 2 - - -
Portugal - - - - - -
Spain - - - - - -
Sweden - - - - - -
Switzerland - - - - - -
Information supplied by Fedepeti, 24 August 2004


Under Pressure, 1981
Body Language, 1982
Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love), 1982
Back Chat, 1982
Calling All Girls, 1982
Staying Power, 1982


Rolling Stone, 1982
Queen has always ruled by sound instead of soul, and Brian May's orchestral guitar creations are what captured–and has kept–the group's hard-rock following. But on Hot Space, with the John Deacon/Roger Taylor rhythm section continuing to write funky songs and with a vocal contribution from David Bowie, Queen offers a bit more than bluster.
"Back Chat" is a hot rock-funk tune, with guitar tracks as slick as an icy dance floor. An elastic beat puts some spring into a fine rocker, "Calling All Girls," while Freddie Mercury's Mick Jagger-like falsetto on "Cool Cat" takes the band as close to a street corner as it'll ever get. Shortly before Hot Space's release, Bowie removed his vocals from "Cool Cat" (Billy Squier was a last-minute substitute), but he remains front and center on "Under Pressure," a number on which Mercury manages to ape both Hall and Oates, while making Bowie sound positively soulful.
The rest of Hot Space is, at best, routinely competent and, at times, downright offensive. "Give me your body/Don't talk," sings Mercury in "Body Language," a piece of funk that isn't fun. For unsurpassed solipsism, however, he offers "Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)": "Torsos in my closet/Shadows from my past/Life is real." As Mercury slips into a breathless, Plastic Ono-sounding "real," one is grateful that soul is still something money can't buy.
Sounds, 08.05.82
4 stars
It really is time that headbanging stopped bemoaning the loss of the HM antics of early Queen. it only, after all, lasted for a couple of albums, which puts the bitching on a par with those who endlessly compare Lou Reed solo with his comparatively few Velvet Underground LPs. Queen are an all-round experimental UK pop group! Love them or...
The recent hits pack was a surprise, in that it was hard to accept how many of their singles were bloody good gun. OK. I agree that 'We Will Rock You' sucks a humungus one, ditto the operatic bilge, but perhaps taking their cue from the D'Oyly Carte Gilbert And Sullivan mob going down of late, this here 'Hot Space' eschews the massed Kop crowd of Freddie Mercuries for a fairly lickable funkpop that extends the 'Under pressure' vibe wrought with Duke Bowie.
Themewise, it's all narcissism of a decidedly tongue-in-bumcheek style, from the first, beautifully horn-y (by courtesy Arif Mardin) 'Staying Power', a balsa-ballsy reconstruction of the 'Another One Bites The Dust' riff. Not that the other odd traits and traces are entirely gone. 'Put Out The Fire' is Queen's topical antigun song, with plenty screaming Brian May axe histrionics, logically enuff followed by their 'Song For Lennon', a ballad in the old boy's mode called 'Life Is Real'.
Generally, the harder funk pose is tucked into side one, titles like 'Dancer' and 'Body Language' explaining themselves better than I might, though certain tunes (esp. 'Back Chat' and 'Action This Day') are always immediately numberable as sheer Queen attack, no matter the stylistic cloaking.
Side two has a candymix of phasers, acoustics and electrics in 'Calling All Girls', followed by a slip back to the sleazy keyboard/vocal pomp sobs in 'Las Palabras De Amor', a languid summer streak and slow slide through 'Cool Cat' and the cornerstone 'Under Pressure' itself.
Queen have, I say, never made particularly blindingly super albums, but even if you view the hideously-clad 'Hot Space' as 'samey' rather than 'cohesive' (listen to part two again), you'll have to agree it shows more restraint and imagination than tripe like 'Jazz' and is attuned to the mood of the moment in some small way. Maybe they listened to their own hits disc and, suitably impressed, tried to do it again in the (hot) space of one album? Or maybe DB shocked 'em into life?
They may have been gone some time, but Queen have come into the hot space. (Sandy Robertson)


Japan Promo LP, 1982
Japan LP, 1982
Korea LP, 1982
Korea LP, 1982
Mexico LP, 1982
Japan Remaster, 2001
Japan Remaster, 2004
USA 8 Track, 1982
Colombia Cassette, 1982
UK Cassette, 1982

Promotional Material

UK magazine ad