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Headlong (song)

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Dec 16, 2021

Headlong” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was released as the third single from Queen’s 1991 album Innuendo.

1991 single by Queen
“Headlong”

Artwork for UK release
Single by Queen
from the album Innuendo
B-side
  • “All God’s People”
  • “Mad the Swine” (12″ and CD singles only)[1]
Released 14 January 1991 (US)
13 May 1991 (UK)
Recorded Early 1989  mid-1990
Genre Hard rock[2]
Length 4:38
Label Parlophone(Europe)
Hollywood(North America)
Songwriter(s) Queen
(Brian May)
Producer(s) Queen and David Richards
Queen singles chronology
I’m Going Slightly Mad
(1991)
Headlong
(1991)
I Can’t Live with You
(1991)
Alternative cover

Artwork for US release
Music video
“Headlong” on YouTube

The song was written by Queen guitarist Brian May, who intended to record it for his then-upcoming solo album Back to the Light (1992), but when he heard Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury sing the track, he allowed it to become a Queen song. As with all the songs on Innuendo, the track was promptly credited to the entire band.

The song was the first single to be released in the United States under their contract with Hollywood Records on 14 January 1991, though it was not released in the United Kingdom for another four months (the first single in the United Kingdom was “Innuendo”, which Hollywood eventually released in the US as a promotional single for radio stations). The song charted on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States at #3.

The cover of one of the CD singles is inspired by Grandville illustrations, as are all of the other singles from the album.

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“Headlong” was the third single release from the album Innuendo in the band’s native UK. Released in May 1991, it entered the UK singles chart Top 30 in its first week, and it peaked at number 14 during the following week. It was the second highest-charting song, off of the album, after the song “Innuendo“, which had reached the top of the charts.[3]

The music video for “Headlong” was one of the final Queen videos shot with lead singer Freddie Mercury, some 12 months before his death from AIDS, though it was actually shot before the “I’m Going Slightly Mad” video (released as the second single in the UK). The video showed the band in the studio performing the song (in a stage-like setup), as well as shots of the band working in the studio. The version of the song in the video includes an extra short section after the second chorus not released in any audio format to date.

The performance footage (Mercury wearing a yellow sweater) was shot in December 1990 and the studio footage (of Mercury wearing two different blue shirts) in November 1990, both at Metropolis Studios in London (the exterior of which is shown at the beginning and the end of the video). The footage were part of the Innuendo EPK filmed at Metropolis Studios at the end of 1990. This is also the last colour video of Freddie Mercury, whose health was declining due to the HIV virus which would claim his life on 24 November the following year. The next videos, I’m Going Slightly Mad and These Are the Days of Our Lives were recorded during February and May 1991 respectively, both in black-and-white.

Like all other videos for the Innuendo album, the “Headlong” clip was directed by Austrian director team DoRo, consisting of Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, who had been regularly working for Queen since the video for the 1986 single “Friends Will Be Friends“.

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