Queen

Spread Your Wings

Composed by John Deacon

Song Review by

Although he was not as prolific as Brian May or Freddie Mercury, John Deacon frequently wrote well-crafted and often moving pop songs for Queen’s albums. One of his best contributions to the group was "Spread Your Wings," a stellar highlight from News Of The World. The emotional lyrics tell the tale of Sammy, a dreamer who sticks to his guns despite the discouragement of those around him. Interspersed with the element of his story is a chorus designed to encourage dreamers everywhere: "Spread your little wings and fly away/Fly away, far away/Pull yourself together ‘cause you know you should do better/That’s because you’re a free man." The melody is appropriately emotional, pairing verses that build from a soft midtempo pace to thrilling heights with a rousing chorus whose ascending runs of notes add an uplifting touch to the song. Queen piled on the anthemic touches for their recording of "Spread Your Wings," coming up with a mix of pounding piano lines, soaring guitar riffs and judiciously applied drum fills that give it the sense of high drama it needs. Best of all, Freddie Mercury wrings every drop of emotion out of the song with a gutsy vocal that conveys all the pain and hopefulness that the lyric’s main character feels. It all added up to a stunning synthesis of power and emotion that has became a top-40 hit in the U.K. and remains a much-beloved favorite to many Queen fans.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
News of the World 1977 Hollywood 4:34
Live Killers 1979 Hollywood 5:15
No Image 1981 Pioneer
The Crown Jewels 1998 Hollywood 4:35
Greatest Video Hits, Vol. 1 2002 Eagle Rock
Greatest Karaoke Hits 2004 EMI / Toshiba EMI
Greatest Hits/Greatest Karaoke Hits 2007 EMI Music Distribution
The Singles Collection [13 CD] 2008 Parlophone 1:10
Deep Cuts, Vol. 2 [1977-1982] 2011 Island 4:34
Queen 40 Limited Edition Collector's Box Set, Vol. 2 2012 Hollywood / Hollywood Records (UK) 4:34
No Image 2012 Eagle Vision
Queen Forever 2014 Virgin EMI
The Studio Collection 2015 Virgin EMI 4:35
No Image CT Music Enterprise
blue highlight denotes editor's pick