Body Language (song)

Body Language (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Body Language

Artist = Queen
from Album = Hot Space
B-side = Life is Real (Song for Lennon)
Released = 19 April, 1982
Format = vinyl record (7")
Recorded = 1982
Genre = Dance, Funk
Length = 4:29
Label = EMI, Elektra
Writer = Freddie Mercury
Producer = Queen and Mack
Reviews =
Last single = "Under Pressure" (1981)
This single = "Body Language" (1982)
Next single = "Las Palabras de Amor" (1982)

Body Language is a 1982 disco/rock hit from the English rock band Queen. It was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury and was a fairly big hit in North America, where it received extensive radio-play. However, the single only received a luke-warm response in the United Kingdom. The track was the second single released from their 1982 album "Hot Space".


The massive success of "Another One Bites the Dust" inspired Queen to temporarily abandon their glam and experimental rock roots in the early 1980s, and experiment with disco, funk and soul music. "Body Language" and, more importantly, its parent album "Hot Space" were the results of this change. It contained no guitar during the body of the song, only a short two-note riff during the fade out; there were few hints that it was performed by the same band who had chalked up hits like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions". The song's key feature was its minimal, sparse production, with the emphasizing the "suggestive" lyrics, a "slinky" synth bass (Played on an Oberheim OB-X), and writer Freddie Mercury's moans and groans. This song was only played live during the North American leg of the Hot Space Tour, where the single received the most success. However, US fans sometimes booed the band when this song was played.


The drastic change causing the single to stall at #25 on the UK charts. However, it did far better in the U.S., where it peaked at #11, the Americans appearing to be a lot more supportive of Queen's forays into dance music. The B-side is "Life Is Real (Song for John Lennon)", this single was released just a little over a year after Lennon's assassination. In the US the accompanying music video caused a considerable amount of controversy. Due to thinly veiled homoerotic undertones plus lots of skin and lots of sweat (but apparently not enough clothing, save that worn by the fully clothed members of Queen themselves), it was deemed unsuitable for a television audience in 1982. It was not accepted by MTV, eventually becoming the first ever music video to be banned from that television station.

Popular culture references

*"Body Language" was danced to in solo performances by both Blake McGrath and Jessica Fernandez on So You Think You Can Dance. "Body Language" was danced to in the Top 12 performances as a Jazz routine by Pasha Kovalev and Sara Von Gillern on So You Think You Can Dance (Season 3).

*"Body Language" can be briefly heard in the 1984 documentary film Stripper, being performed to by dancer Sara Costa.


* A sample from "Body Language" is used for an ad-infinitum ending on Nine Inch Nails's Head Like a Hole single, on the 'Copper' mix of the title track.

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