QUEEN – I can remember like it was yesterday, it was 1980 and I wanted so badly, as a Christmas gift from my Mom and Dad, Queen’s The Game album. I can recite what and how many albums I received as gifts from my parents when I was young, due to the fact that I so deeply appreciated each one. While growing up, my family may not have been “rich” with money, instead we were pretty “rich” with love. As a young dude, I never expected more than one album as a gift from my parents, with each passing Christmas and birthday. Receiving an album a few times during the year, as a thank you for helping out around the house and yard, was reality as well. Therefore, that “one” album at Christmas held some weight… and each album gift was always one of my choices that I made known to anyone who would listen.

1980 came upon me as a breakout year in my life… for I finally broke out of eight years of parochial school. (A Catholic School). I was now an official high school student… enrolled as a freshman. My Rock and Roll taste buds were changing by the week it seemed… so many bands I was hearing on the FM dial, still, so little funds to buy them.

When Christmas of 1980 finally rolled around, I was anxious as to whether or not an album would be under the tree at all. If there was an album, which one would it be? I had jotted down just about every KISS album on that wish list back in 1980, save for Double Platinum and Dynasty, which I already owned. I remember putting Queen’s The Game down on my wish list, I needed a real Queen album and this one would be as good as any. All I did own of Queen at this time in my life was the 45 rpm of We Will Rock You/We Are The ChampionsCrazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites The Dust were enormous hits for Queen on the FM dial in 1980. Each time I heard these two songs back then, it felt like Rock and Roll magic in my brain.

Once I heard these next two songs from this powerful Queen album, I was literally covered in ostrich bumps: Play The Game and Need Your Loving Tonight. The Hartford, Connecticut FM stations were very cool back in the late ’70’s on through the ’80’s, their spinning these deeper album cuts from The Game only made it more clear to me, that I absolutely needed this album! Listening to the song Play The Game made me feel like I was walking on air. It still does have that affect on me. Sure, Another One Bites The Dust has been overused commercially over the decades, I do understand. This entire Queen album still makes me feel more powerful than I really am… it’s as if it lifts me up and puts the troubles of the day below my feet.

I did see a wrapped album under the Christmas tree, that Christmas morning back in 1980 and it had my name on the tag. It was from Mom and Dad. Once the wrapping was taken off, (gently I might add, as not to damage a cool album), my eyes widened as big as Pennsylvania Dutch pancakes on a Saturday morning. Queen. The Game. In my hands, the entire album. Yes, I played it on my turntable every day during my freshman year in high school. Back in 1980, hearing the song Dragon Attack was a quick study in Hard Rock 101 for me.

This Queen album, single handedly inspired me as a high school freshman, in ways that I cannot even explain. The operatic and prolific vocals of the late and ultra legendary Freddie Mercury, the ever distinguishable guitar tone of Brian May and the rhythm being solidly accented by John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums. A Rock album for the ages was and still is – The Game.




  1. I truly miss Freddie Mercury. His death is the only “Celebity” death that evoked a response form me. It broke my heart. I felt, in my soul, that something special was gone form this world and the Sun would necer shine as bright. I have this album on DVD-A and it is Brilliant. I am a QUEEN fan through & through. I was 10 when this album was released and I had no idea why, but I knew I had to have more of it. I didn’t know the term Heavy Metal, Rock ‘N’ Roll, or Pop. I just knew that good music is good music. If I liked it , I liked it… and I love “The Game” and Queen as a whole. There will never be another like Freddie Mercury.

  2. I like Queen but would ya believe I don’t own a single Queen studio album? All I have are the CLASSIC QUEEN and GREATEST HITS compilations.

  3. nice post and it brought back some fond QUEEN memories from the Kinger as well.

    I was in a similar situation as yours while growing up – getting a whole album was a big deal (I used to get singles/45’s and be happy). And this was usually around X-Mas and birthdays – lucky for me my birthday is in December (and close to the 25th) so it was always twice the fun!

    so my funny QUEEN story starts with me being a wee young lad @ 12 years old. And it was an 8 track! not an album, the reason being was because I was a proud owner of a big-ass “square” boom box. Well to be more precise it was half a boom box with only one large speaker.

    I will never forget that thing and how I loved it dearly! Why was I in such love with the little G.E. “Loudmouth” as they called it? – because it was PORTABLE and ran on a 6-8 gigantic D batteries.

    So I used to ride around all over town on my Schwinn bicycle (one that I modified into a custom “BMX” bike at that) blasting QUEENS ‘The Game” 8 track like there was no tomorrow. It played until the street lights came on at night – and that was the time my butt had better be home, no matter if I was down the street, at the neighbors or SEVERAL streets away peddling around jamming!

    Fun times man…

    …except, when I wanted to hear “Another One Bites The Dust” again and I had to wait for it to come around again. So of course you would hear a lot of: “ca’shink, channel two, nah keep going, “click-click” ah channel three, pretty good but not what I want….”ca-shink” again (went the push button track selector)…channel 4 damn!

    Good stuff…

    needless to say – I wore out my copy of “The Game”. Luckily I hit the jackpot one day and my mother bought the entire KISS collection for me at a garage sale. Was that the ultimate find? They were really cheap and in great condition too – as a matter of fact I still have all of them!

    I played them over and over, every day! Probably one of the best gifts I ever received. I could not believe it when I opened that cardboard box = ahhhhhh, pure KISS heaven!

    That’s funny that QUEEN gave you “ostrich bumps”, I’ve never heard that expression before! I’ve heard of “goose bumps” and or even someone refer to that same thing recently as “chicken skin” but never “ostrich” (man, all of those sound funny now that I am thinking about it and typing them)!

    Before my mom had a stroke (recently) we watched the entire QUEEN Live at Wembley reaaaally loud! I turned her on to Queen many years ago and she was tickled pink when I fired that baby up on the DVR that night.

    Now that is a “Metal” memory I will never forget!

    Thanks for sharing….

    P.S. I just looked up “Loudmouth II” for the heck of it – holy moly, I think I got some of those darn “ostrich bumps”…there it was:

    The eight track was shoved into the side. Shoulder strap and all…man life was so much more simple back then wasn’t folks?!!

    Curt “Kinger”
    Demolish Lair

  4. Huge Queen fan thanks to my older brother who had ‘ A Night in the Opera’ on cassette which I stole from him and could not stop playing over and over.

    When I was ten the first Queen song I heard was ‘ Another one Bites the Dust’ which I used bop around too, Queen was a class act.

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