Happy 40th to the Most Iconic Song Ever

Boom-Boom-Clap! Boom-Boom-Clap! Forty years ago today, the most iconic song in popular music history – We Will Rock You­ – was released. There probably isn’t one second of the earth’s daily rotation that this song isn’t being played somewhere, from high school pep rallies, to football games at every level, basketball arenas, baseball stadiums and soccer fields around the globe, not to mention a bazillion classic rock stations. Clocking in at just 2:00 minutes, We Will Rock You­ probably generates the highest royalty rate per minute of any song in history!

Ironically, it wasn’t meant to be that way. We Will Rock You­ was the B-side of the We Are the Champions single which reached #4 in the U.S. and #2 in the U.K. However, the order was reversed to open the album News of the World, and the rest is history, as the two songs are arguably the greatest one-two punch in rock (although one could make a strong case for the back-to-back appearance of Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) on Led Zeppelin II).

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the single, alternative versions of both We Will Rock You­ and We Are the Champions have been made available to stream and download. Here is the alternative version of We Will Rock You­ which begins with some studio chatter and ends with a more Hendrix-like solo than the original version.

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