"Stone Cold Crazy"
Song by Queen
from the album Sheer Heart Attack
RecordedJuly–September 1974
Music video
"Stone Cold Crazy" (live at the Rainbow) on YouTube

"Stone Cold Crazy" is a song written and performed by British rock band Queen for their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack.[7] The song is the eighth track on the album. Although the song was not released as a single at the time, it was performed live at almost every Queen concert from 1974 to 1978.[8][9][10][11] "Stone Cold Crazy" is included on the band's 1992 compilation album, Classic Queen.[12]


"Stone Cold Crazy" is known for its fast tempo and heavy distortion, thus being a precursor to speed metal.[13] Music magazine Q described "Stone Cold Crazy" as "thrash metal before the term was invented".[5] In 2009, it was named the 38th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[14]

DRUM! called it an "early blisteringly fast song", describing Taylor's performance as "straight-up punk-rock drumming. [...] In essence, Taylor's groove is a double-stroke roll split between his bass drum and snare drum with some cool accents played on his crash cymbals. Taylor later re-enters with a dramatic and decidedly non-punk fill to restart the groove."[15]


Three different remixes were created in 1991. The first two, by Michael Wagener, were issued on different pressings of the 1991 Hollywood Records Sheer Heart Attack remaster, and on the Encino Man soundtrack.[16][17] The third one, by Trent Reznor, was released on several promo CDs in 1991/1992 and 1999.[18] The Wagener remixes are not very different from the original and feature slight remixing of the backing track. Reznor's version mixes the Queen sound with the industrial metal sound of Nine Inch Nails.[18] Reznor's remix includes studio sound bites from Queen at the beginning and end of the track. It was intended for inclusion as the ninth track on the cancelled 1992 Hollywood Records compilation BASIC Queen Bootlegs.[18]

Metallica version

"Stone Cold Crazy"
Song by Metallica
from the album Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary
StudioFantasy, Berkeley, California

Metallica covered the song as their contribution to the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary. This cover version was later used as a B-side of their "Enter Sandman" single and subsequently won a Grammy Award; it also appeared on their covers/B-sides album Garage Inc. The Metallica version of the song is more aggressive than the original; they also slightly altered the lyrics, adding two uses of the word "fuck" and changing the more humorous lines for more violent lyrics.

James Hetfield once performed it together with Queen & Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath (singing Metallica's altered lyrics) at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.[19][20] Metallica also played the song as an encore during their 1991–93 Black Album tour; it appears on the live CD Live Shit: Binge & Purge and the 2009 live DVD Français Pour une Nuit.

Other uses

The song is featured in the music video games Guitar Hero: Metallica and Rock Revolution, as well as downloadable content for Rock Band 3 and Rocksmith.[21][22]

See also


  1. ^ Blake, Mark (2011). Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81959-9.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Queen – Sheer Heart Attack". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. ^ Berelian, Essi (2005). The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal. Rough Guides. p. 2003. ISBN 978-1-84353-415-0. Glamorous and deadly, the band were hitting their stride with classics like "Killer Queen" and the truly fantastic hard-rock blitz of "Stone Cold Crazy".
  4. ^ Gold, Adam (30 June 2011). "Queen: 40th Anniversary Reissues". American Songwriter. Retrieved 11 June 2014. their greatest contribution to the pantheon of hard rock, "Stone Cold Crazy"
  5. ^ a b "Queen News: February 2011". BrianMay.com. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  6. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (25 April 2018). "10 Pioneering Speed Metal Songs Released Before Thrash's Birth". Loudwire. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  7. ^ Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 106. ISBN 9780793540426.
  8. ^ "Queen live on tour: A Night At The Opera". QueenConcerts.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Queen live on tour: Day at the Races (world)". QueenConcerts.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Queen live on tour: News of the World '77". QueenConcerts.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Queen live on tour: Sheer Heart Attack". QueenConcerts.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Queen – Classic Queen". MTV. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  13. ^ Jones, Chris (7 June 2007). "Queen Sheer Heart Attack Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  14. ^ Winistorfer, Andrew (5 January 2009). "VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs list only slightly less annoying than their hip-hop list". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  15. ^ Schlueter, Brad (19 April 2012). "Hot Licks: Roger Taylor's Regal Queen Licks". Retrieved 4 September 2016. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  16. ^ "Michael Wagener – Partial Discography". Michaelwagener.com. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  17. ^ Stone, Doug. "Original Soundtrack – Encino Man". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "Sheer Heart Attack". QueenVault.com. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  19. ^ McIver, Joel (2004). Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857120090.
  20. ^ "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert". Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  21. ^ Fahey, Mike (4 August 2008). "The Full Rock Revolution Setlist". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  22. ^ "Guitar Hero Songs: Stone Cold Crazy (1993)". Guitar Hero. Retrieved 16 August 2011.