“I want to Break Free” was the second single taken from Queen’s 11th studio album, The Works. Released in the U.K. and U.S. a few weeks apart in April 1984, the single flew up the first country’s charts to number three. An evenly balanced collection of typically eclectic Queen rock, The Works was a worldwide smash on the strength of four hit singles, each one composed by a different member among the band’s talented pool of songwriters. “I want to Break Free” was bassist John Deacon’s entry whose intention was to have the song be about the male perspective of the women’s liberation movement.
However, it is probably best remembered for the outrageous, wildly popular video made for it. A large-scale production of Hollywood-like proportions, the short film featured the entire band dressed in drag and emulating an old, popular British soap “Coronation Street.” The opening sequence features all the band members in drag (Mercury as a housewife, Deacon as grandmother, Taylor as a schoolgirl, and May as a housewife). This confused many people, particularly in America, who didn’t catch the reference. People became offended at the cross-dressing and the video was banned from the popular TV Network: MTV. Brian May was asked in an interview with Q magazine March 2011 whether each band member’s character in the video was an accurate reflection of their personalities? He replied: “Of Course! Everybody thinks that was Freddie’s idea because it looks like something that he would love to do but it actually came from Roger’s girlfriend at the time, strangely enough. It was her idea to pastiche the Coronation Street women.”
This controversial, up-beat mixture of pop and rock has definitely earned its place as #10 on the list.
Here! Listen and find out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Zo4AVL7AE#t=41