One Vision

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Song Review by Greg Prato

While some doubted if Queen was still a true "rock band" by the mid-'80s, the quartet silenced their critics by issuing one of their best all-time rock anthems, "One Vision," in 1985. It was also a first in Queen's recording history -- never before had all four bandmembers co-written a song together. The song has since been speculated to be inspired by either the band's show-stopping set at Live Aid in the summer of 1985, or by the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King (the lyrics recount a man battling and overcoming the odds). The song begins with a dreamy haze of studio sound effects, before it erupts into an explosive riff by guitarist Brian May. Freddie Mercury hands in another spectacular vocal performance -- and while the song is a serious one for the most part, the band's sense of humor rears its head at the very end of the track, when you can you subtly hear Mercury sing "Just give me, give me, give me FRIED CHICKEN" (just as the listener expects him to say "ONE VISION"). The recording of the song was documented on video and was included on the first volume of the now out-of-print home video trio Magic Years. It captures the songwriting process quite honestly, as evidenced when some Queen members don't see eye to eye with the way the track is coming out.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
A Kind of Magic 1986 Island / Universal 5:11
Rocks, Vol. 1 1997 Hollywood 5:09
Greatest Hits: I II & III: The Platinum Collection 2001 Hollywood 4:01
Absolute Greatest 2009 Parlophone 4:04