took the better part of 1981 off to work on the follow-up to their big 1980 hit The Game
, fans were confident that the band's next release would follow in their winning tradition of classic albums. Unfortunately, this would not be the case. Unlike its predecessor, Hot Space
was an inconsistent effort, marred by unfocused songwriting and material that was simply not as strong as their earlier work. Since they had just previously enjoyed a massive hit with the disco-fied "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen
decided to dedicate the entire first side of the album to dance music, something that alienated their longtime rock fans. And while the single "Body Language" nearly cracked the U.S. Top Ten, the rest of the dance material was easily forgettable -- "Back Chat," "Staying Power," "Action This Day," and so on -- however, the album was not a total washout. The more rock-oriented second side did contain some great tracks, such as "Put Out the Fire," "Calling All Girls," "Las Palabras de Amor," and the David Bowie
collaboration "Under Pressure." But it was not enough to save Hot Space
from a cruel critical and commercial fate, as its ensuing world tour marked the last time Queen
would perform in the U.S.