Queen - I Want To Break Free (1984)
- 80's score: 2.33
"I Want to Break Free" is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by their bass guitarist John Deacon. It appears on ...
"I Want to Break Free" is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by their bass guitarist John Deacon. It appears on the album The Works (1984), and was released in three versions: album, single and extended. It came to be included in most live concerts by the group, in several videos and in The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert where it was sung by Lisa Stansfield.
The song is largely known for its music video for which all the band members dressed in drag, a concept proposed by Roger Taylor, which parodied the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street. The second part of the video included a composition rehearsed and performed with the Royal Ballet and choreographed by Wayne Eagling. Whereas the parody was acclaimed in the United Kingdom, where cross-dressing is a popular trope in British comedy, it received controversy in the United States.
After its release in 1984, the song was well received in Europe and South America and is regarded as an anthem of the fight against oppression. The single reached only number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but reached number three in the UK and was certified silver with over 200,000 copies sold. It also topped the charts of Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The song features on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits II.
Following in the tradition of cross-dressing in British comedy, the music video for "I Want to Break Free" sees the members of Queen appear in a suburban house dressed as women, a parody of the characters from Coronation Street. Mercury, as a housewife, vacuums the floor and sings the first verse. He opens a door leading to a dark space, where the group appear surrounded by figures wearing miner's helmets. Mercury dances to a glowing box and reappears with several dancers dressed in spotted leotards, and perform a dance. In the house, Mercury sings and goes upstairs. The group appear in the dark space again.
The video opens with a scene of typical British residential streets in the morning, intercut with shots of a teasmade waking Brian May's character up. The terraced houses are located in Leeds, in the neighbourhood Harehills. The roof of a terrace, most likely between "Sandhurst Terrace" and "Dorset Rd" can be seen in the opening shot. In the second scene the camera pans along a terrace and stops at the house where the action supposedly happens. It is located on "41 Dorset Mount" in real life and has a slightly different floor plan than the set used in the video. A part of the "Dorset Mount" street name plate can be seen on its wall just a second before Brian May gets out of bed.