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Debunking the scandal: Did they really remove ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ from Queen's 'Greatest Hits'?

What's really behind the 'Fat Bottomed Girls' mini scandal? Here: Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury performs in Germany (1986)
What's really behind the 'Fat Bottomed Girls' mini scandal? Here: Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury performs in Germany (1986) Copyright MARCO ARNDT/AP
Copyright MARCO ARNDT/AP
By David Mouriquand
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Before you cry foul and start complaining about ‘woke culture’, this mini internet scandal might not be what you think it is...

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Move along, kids – there's nothing to hear here. Specifically no songs about sizeable derrieres.

Queen's ubiquitous compilation album 'Greatest Hits' is getting a new release that has one glaring omission: the fourth track on the band’s original 1981 best-of album, 'Fat Bottomed Girls', has been excised from the version of the album released via Yoto, a “screen-free Internet radio service for children”.

The song, which was released in 1978, is considered one of Queen's raunchier tracks, with lyrics such as, " Left alone with big fat Fanny / She was such a naughty nanny / Hey, big woman, you made a bad boy out of me. "

As you can imagine, the internet cried foul and demanded an explanation.

For their part, Yoto describes the album on its website as the “ideal introduction to the music of Queen for young music lovers,” and included a warning to parents about the band’s adult themes, including “occasional references to violence and drugs.”

The note added: “These are the original and unedited recordings. Whilst no swear words are used, parental discretion is advised when playing this content to or around younger children.”

Before you too start sharpening your pitchforks, complaining about ‘woke’ culture, and bemoaning how a beloved track about big bums is out while the track ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and its saucy lyrics “ I am a sex machine ready to reload like an atom bomb / About to oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, explode ” did make the cut, it’s worth keeping in mind that song omissions are standard for best-of albums depending on territories.

Queen’s 'Greatest Hits' has always had an evolving tracklist depending on the country.

The UK edition had ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ but was missing tracks like ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ and ‘Under Pressure’, which were both on the 1981 US and Canada editions. The original UK edition also lacked ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ from its tracklist, and the Japanese edition included ‘Now I’m Here’ and ‘Teo Torriatte’ - both absent from the UK version.

The new Yoto streaming version has included three songs not on the original US album: ‘Now I’m Here’, ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ and ‘Sevens Seas of Rhye’.

While it might be tempting to cry foul and criticise "PC gone mad", consider this: Why on earth would they cut ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and keep ‘Bicycle Race’, which have reciprocal lyrics?

Indeed, ‘Bicycle Race’ features the line: “ Fat bottomed girls, they’ll be riding today ” (while ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ says “ Get on your bikes and ride ”).

This is not a case of overzealous and misguided protection or removing a song from musical history – they've just made their picks. Simple as that.

And if Yoto's move was truly a bid to shield the kiddies at all costs, would they have included the songs ‘Now I’m Here’, featuring mentions of being “down in the dungeon just peaches and me”; ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ with the line “Can you feel my love heat?”; or ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ and its tales of destruction of the ruling class and the constant threats being made?

Doubtful.

This is just another case of so-called pundits desperately crowbarring a liberal-bashing agenda into any story just so the whining quota is met for the day.

To end on a lighter note, here's a song that did make the cut: 

Lovely.

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