Freddie Mercury's homage to Elvis, which he wrote in minutes — in a bathtub — kicked off the group's best year on the U.S. charts.
QUEEN CHANNELED ELVIS PRESLEY to earn its first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which crowned the chart on Feb. 23, 1980.
The British quartet — Freddie Mercury, then 33; Brian May, 32; Roger Taylor, 30; and John Deacon, 28 — claimed hit albums in the 1970s with a blend of bold arena rock anthems, including 1978's No. 4-peaking "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" and the positively baroque "Bohemian Rhapsody," which hit No. 9.
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was a departure from the band's trademark swagger, a rockabilly-style number in which Mercury crooned over an acoustic guitar. The song was "Freddie's tribute to Elvis," May told U.K. station Absolute Radio in 2011. "He was very fond of Elvis."