Wrote "Another One Bites The Dust"

Browse Song Catalog: BMI

John Deacon

Inductee
Born
Inducted

Queen's bass player

John Richard Deacon grew up in Oadby, Leicestershire, playing bass in a local band, The Opposition, before moving to study electronics in Chelsea College, London. He joined Queen in 1971 on the strength of his musical and electronic skills, particularly the home-made Deacy Amp which guitarist Brian May used to create guitar orchestras throughout Queen's career. From the third album, Sheer Heart Attack, onwards, he wrote at least one song per album, several of which became hits. As well as bass, Deacon played some guitar and keyboards on Queen's studio work, but was the only member never to sing on their records.

Deacon composed several singles for the group—including Top 10 hits "You're My Best Friend," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Back Chat" and "I Want to Break Free"—and was involved in the band's financial management. He became the fourth and final member of Queen, largely, as history recounts it, not only because he was a brilliant bass player, but he was also quiet and didn’t try to upstage the others, articularly the band’s lead singer, the very larger than life Freddie Mercury. At just 19, John was the youngest member to join the band.

That home-made amp, the ‘Deacy’, which helped John take his place in Queen is also now used by Brian May.

It wasn’t until the band’s third album, Sheer Heart Attack, that John’s first composition for Queen appeared, with the rather catchy "Misfire." More of a Pop/Motown kind of guy - strangely at odds with Brian and Roger’s rock roots and Freddie’s grand musical landscapes - John’s writing skills flourished in the recording sessions which followed. He would go on to compose some of Queen’s biggest and most popular hits including "You’re My Best Friend," "I Want To Break Free" and "Another One Bites the Dust," propelling Queen’s career to new heights in the US, topping the charts for three weeks and being voted the Favourite Single in the Pop/Rock category at the American Music Awards in 1981. The "Another One Bites the Dust" single was such a hit right across the board that it even found an audience on the black audience radio stations, reaching No. 2 in the national R & B charts. Along with "We Are The Champions" and "We Will Rock You," the song has passed into legend by becoming Queen’s third major sports anthem.

John joined his former bandmates for one final time in October 1997 for the recording of the Brian May song, ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young),’ released by Queen as apersonal tribute to the late Freddie Mercury.

Today John lives a life retired from Queen but still takes an interest in the continuance of the legacy of the band, and remains in contact with former bandmates, Roger Taylor and Brian May.

Known as "the quiet member" of Queen

Links

Acknowledgements

Biography & Discography:

BMI Database (www.bmi.com)

Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (www.grammy.com)

All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com)

Top Pop Singles:1955-1999
Whitburn, Joel
Record Research, Inc. 1999.

Top Pop Album:1955-2001
Whitburn, Joel.
Record Research, Inc. 2001.

Material and Memorabilia:

All Material provided is courtesy of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Archives.