Queen: The making of One Vision

"One Vision" is a song written and recorded by British rock band Queen, first released as a single in November 1985 and then included on their 1986 album A Kind of Magic. It was originally conceived by Roger Taylor. The song has been speculated to be inspired by either the band's "show-stopping" performance at Live Aid earlier in 1985, or by the life and exploits of Martin Luther King, with the lyrics recounting a man battling and overcoming the odds. In the 2011 BBC documentary, Queen: Days of Our Lives, Taylor stated his lyrics were "sort of half nicked off Martin Luther King's famous speech." The song's music video featured a "morphing" effect of the band's famous pose in 1975's "Bohemian Rhapsody" video to a 1985 version of the same pose. The song was included in all Queen's live concert performances of The Magic Tour, as the very first song of each concert. They claimed they chose "One Vision" as the introduction song because its intro made a perfect concert introduction.


"One Vision" contains mysterious and distorted beginning vocals (which on the album and extended versions, also appear throughout Roger Taylor's drum section and in the end), most prominently the vocals retained in the single version. The most prominent distorted vocals relay new lyrics when played forwards; they say, "God works in mysterious ways... mysterious ways...". It is clearly shown during the portions of the studio recording session of "One Vision" on both the Magic Years documentary and the DVD Greatest Video Hits II that Freddie Mercury sings the line. The synthesiser part from the last part of the intro is repeated in the "I had a dream" section, complete with the last elongated note. The ending or outro varies from version to version. In the single version, it's a simple "Vision vision vision..." echo, while the album version adds to it some synthesiser music, a random bit of distorted vocals and the prominent beginning distorted vocals. "Blurred Vision" adds an even longer version of the elongated note ending the normal song's intro, and a random distorted vocal. The live performances of the song added an additional section in the beginning of the song, right after the guitar riffs without the percussion, and a big finale, which included ad-libbed vocals by Mercury. The ad-libbed vocals were not present on all performances though. The final line of the song (in the studio, live, and "Blurred Vision" versions, in the album and extended versions the line before the final "God works in mysterious ways... Mysterious ways...") is "fried chicken", although the lyrics say "one vision". This was the result of trying to come up with the proper wording of the song, and since it was not working, Mercury at some point introduced words that had nothing to do with the song for fun. The "fried chicken" final line survived, as a humorous note within the deep and inspired contents of the song. The music video to "One Vision" mainly showed the band recording the song at Musicland Studios in Munich and was the first to be directed and produced for Queen by Austrian directors Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, also collectively known as DoRo. DoRo and Queen developed a fruitful working relationship which would result in numerous acclaimed and award-winning videos (for "Innuendo" and "The Show Must Go On", among others). The video also featured a "morphing" effect of the band's famous pose in 1975's "Bohemian Rhapsody" video to a 1985 version of the same pose. The video even shows John Deacon on the drums. "One Vision" became another hit single for Queen in many countries, usually reaching the Top 40, where it did in the Netherlands (#21), Switzerland (#24), and Germany (#26). It also had very minor chart success on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #61. It became a big hit in the band's native UK, peaking at #7 in the singles chart, a strong showing for a rock band at a time when pop music was by far the more dominant genre in Britain. It also made #10 on Australia's ARIA Chart.

One Vision

Queen members:
Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals
Brian May - electric guitar, synthesizer
John Deacon - bass guitar
Roger Taylor - drums, electronic drums

This is the film of the "One Vision" recording session at Musicland Studios in Munich.

"One Vision" recording session