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Fat Bottomed Girls

"Fat Bottomed Girls" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by guitarist Brian May, the track featured on their 1978 album Jazz and later on their compilation album Greatest Hits. When released as a single with "Bicycle Race", the song reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart and number 24 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

The song is formed around an open bluesy, metallic guitar tuning, and opens with its chorus. It was one of the few Queen songs played in an alternative (drop D) guitar tuning. The song's music video was filmed at the Dallas Convention Center in Texas in October 1978.

Song and lyrical content

The two songs were released together on a double A-sided single, and both songs refer to each other. Near the end of "Fat Bottomed Girls", the song references "Bicycle Race", with Mercury shouting, "Get on your bikes and ride!" "Bicycle Race" reciprocates with the lyric "fat bottomed girls, they'll be riding today".

Live performances

Queen performed "Fat Bottomed Girls" in concert from 1978 to 1982. Since its release, the song has appeared on television and film, and has been covered by a number of artists.

The song was performed on the setlists of their Queen + Adam Lambert tours in 2012, 2014–2015, 2016 and 2017–2018 featuring Adam Lambert and at the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2013 as Queen + Adam Lambert featuring Fun. It was also performed during the Return Of The Champions Tour and the Rock the Cosmos Tour, both tours by Queen + Paul Rodgers.

Versions

The song featured a different vocal arrangement from the studio recording when performed live. In live performances, the lead vocals during the chorus were sung by Freddie Mercury and harmonised with an upper voice (Roger Taylor) and a lower voice (Brian May). In the studio version, there is no higher harmony. The lead vocals on the verses are sung by Freddie Mercury, while Brian May sings the lead vocals on the chorus.

The single version (which can be found on Greatest Hits, but not the 1992 US "Red Cover" version) omits the extended guitar interludes between the verses and fades out before the ending.

In the US, the 1991 Hollywood Records reissue of Jazz included a bonus remix by Matt Wallace.

In 1992, Organized Konfusion remixed the track for inclusion on the later-cancelled BASIC Queen Bootlegs compilation. This version included an alternate vocal track by Mercury, as well as hip-hop production and added rap verses.

Legacy

During an interview with AVClub, Michael McKean stated that "Fat Bottomed Girls" was an influence for the song "Big Bottom" in the film This Is Spinal Tap. The song is also featured in the opening credits of the 2004 documentary film Super Size Me.

Sales and certifications

Personnel

  • Freddie Mercurylead and backing vocals
  • Brian Mayelectric guitar, lead chorus and backing vocals
  • Roger Taylordrums
  • John Deaconbass guitar

    Live recordings

  • Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl
  • Return of the Champions
  • Super Live in Japan
  • Live in Ukraine

    Chart performance

    Weekly charts

    Year-end charts