Dada-Dun-dun-dun. . . “Another one bites the dust.” An iconic bassline followed by the chorus starts of this big hit by Queen, released in the year 1980. I can’t hear this one without thinking about roller skating, as it was a popular one at the roller rinks when I was eight years old. The song takes me back to spinning around the rink, in the reddish glow of dimmed lights, with a disco ball throwing scattered reflections around the room, the smell of popcorn wafting from the concession stand. I spent a lot of time at roller rinks, those nightclubs for kids, from ages 6 to 13 or so. This is the only Queen song I remember hearing while getting my roller boogie on, and I’m not sure why the association is so strong.
I’m not a big Queen fan. I like some of their songs enough to have an MP3 version of their greatest hits. Freddie Mercury had a voice for the ages, and he was a great showman if you happen to be in the mood for it. The band were good songwriters. I just never got into their whole thing. Although “Another One Bites the Dust” hit number one on three US charts and in Canada, I put this on the Favorite 80s Songs list only because of the roller skating association. If “Bohemian Rhapsody” were an 80s song, I’d include it because of the Wayne’s World movie scene. Sometimes a good memory is enough to make you smile a little when you hear a song, and that has value.
About that bassline, though – it was “inspired” by the bassline in Chic’s “Good Times.” It’s as close to Chic’s as the bassline in Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” was to the one in “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie. Payback?
Here’s a mashup of “Good Times” and “Another One Bites the Dust”:
You know you want to watch that Wayne’s World clip. Watching it almost thirty years later, my main thought is that Garth’s glasses were terribly uncool then, but they are now.