Staying Power is a disco/funk rock song by Queen. It was recorded between June 1981 and March 1982 and first released on the album Hot Space on 1982-05-21. The album version was also released as a Japanese single on 1982-07-31 with Calling All Girls as the b-side, and as the b-side of most versions of the Back Chat single. An extended remix version by John Luongo was released as a promo in the US in November 1982 which included an extended remix of Back Chat as the b-side. There is also an unreleased demo version which features additional guitar instead of a horn section.
The lyrics and music were composed by Freddie Mercury and it was produced by Queen and Reinhold Mack. On the album recording, Freddie sings, plays electric bass, and synthesizer, Brian May plays electric guitar (Red Special), Roger Taylor plays electric drums and programmed a Linn LM-1 drum track, and John Deacon plays electric guitar (Fender Telecaster). The horn section was arranged by Arif Mardin. The song was played throughout the Hot Space tour, and well into The Works tour. When the song is played live, the electronics are scaled back and the song has a much stronger funk rock style than disco.
As it is the first song on the album Hot Space, it was the first song from the album I heard (other than from compilations). I remember being interested in the song right away as it had a fairly different sound compared to everything I had heard of Queen up until that point, particularly because of the horn section. I continued to like the song and it eventually became my favorite on the album. The song's lyrics are pretty self-explanatory, describing a new couple being able to last together for a long time, but they're loaded with fun innuendo. Some of them are subtle double-entendres like "staying power" meaning both the ability to last long together as a couple and the ability to last a long time having sex, while others are right out in the open, "I wonder when we're gonna stick it," and "blow baby, blow!"
Ah! Let me show it to you! Yeah! Ow! Yeah, yeah! See what I got. I got a hell of a lot, yeah! Tell me what you feel, Is it real is it real? You know I got what it takes, And I can take a lot. Did you hear the last call baby? You and me got staying power, yeah, yeah! You and me we got (uh) staying power, woah! Staying power. (I got it, I got it.) I wonder when we're gonna make it. I wonder when we're gonna shake it. Rock me baby rock me, C'mon you can shock me. Let's catch on to the groove, Make it move make it move, yeah. You know how to shake that thing. We'll work it, work it, work it. You and I can play ball baby. You and me got staying power, yeah, yeah, yeah! You and me we got staying power! Alright, ha ha! Woo! Ha ha! Woo! Yeah Woooo! Yessir! Uh! Ohhhhhyeaaaah! I wonder when we're gonna make it. I wonder when we're gonna shake it. Have fun. Gotta fire down below. I'm just a regular dynamo. Want some smooth company? Don't lose control just hang on out with me. Got to get to know each other, But we got plenty of time. Did you hear the last call, baby? You and me got staying power, yeah! Huh! You and me we got staying power. Yeah yeah. Power! Power! Power! Power! Power! Power! Staying Power! I wonder when we're gonna stick it. I wonder when we're gonna trick it. Blow baby, blow! Let's get down and go go. Get yourself in the mood, Got to give a little bit of attitude. Baby don't you crash, Let's just trash, trash, trash. Did you hear the last call baby? You and me got staying power, oh ah, oh ah, yeah! You and me we got (yeah) staying power. I like it. Staying power. Oh ah, oh ah! Yeah, yeah! Gotcha!
- youtube.com/watch?v=LRfgNSCokmE - Album version and lyrics.
- youtube.com/watch?v=OF-16yhUsgg - Extended version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=eidqXw6H4G4 - Demo version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=Vg1oxQh8Z04 - Live at the Milton Keynes Bowl, 1982.