On the 20th of May 1977, Queen’s first and only EP single released UK only on the EMI label: ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy,’ ‘Death On Two Legs’, (Side A) ‘Tenement Funster (EP Single Edit)’ and White Queen (As it Began (EP Single Version)’ (Side
It peaked at No 17 on the UK charts.
Roger Taylor said of the EP back in 1977, “We wanted to give people a taste of our first four albums.”
Included on the EP: ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy,’ a Queen produced Top 20 UK hit from the album ‘A Day at the Races’ (released in December 1976); ‘Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)’ from ‘A Night at the Opera’ (released in November 1975); ‘Tenement Funster’ from ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ (released November 1974); and the extremely rare stand-alone single version of ‘White Queen (As It Began),’ a track from “Queen II” (released February 1974).
Queen and Roy Thomas Baker produced the latter three tracks.
The lead single is ‘Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy,’ it’s the 8th track of the album ‘A Day At The Races.’ This ragtime extravaganza was written by Freddie Mercury. With his sly vocals, you can hear the enjoyment of the studio in this item – glam, music hall and witty, there is more than a touch of the autobiographical in this decadent nighttime adventure.
It’s been documented that Freddie wrote this song about David Minns, his first known male relationship.
Freddie always had a wicked sense of humour, and insisted on injecting his songs with a tongue-in-cheek line or two. He once said in an interview, “Our songs are utterly disposable. I don’t want to change the world with our songs. People can discard them like a used tissue.”
Although Brian wasn’t convinced as he told Mojo in 2008, “That’s just Fred being clever. There was more to this than meets the eye … The fact that he said his song was disposable dispelled any pretension and stopped him having to talk about it. I knew Fred pretty damn well and I know a lot of what was going on and there’s a lot of depth in his songs. That false modesty shouldn’t mislead anyone. Even the light stuff and the humour had an undercurrent.”
Starting with ‘Funny How Love Is’ from 1974, Freddie would begin a series of lighthearted contributions to Queen’s albums, that culminated two years later with ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy,’ his last comedic music hall-inspiring song for nearly fifteen years.
The song is an innocent slice of schoolboy romance, as Freddie serenades the object of his affection while offering a night of wining, dining, dancing and debauchery. He’s clearly reveling in his lover boy charm, and, due to his romantic nature, hopes that the glitz and champagne won’t wear off the morning after. This song also features engineer and producer, Mike Stone singing the line, “Hey boy where’d you get it from, Hey boy where did you go?”
“It’s called ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy’, it’s one of my vaudeville numbers. It’s in my ‘ragtime’ mood. I always do a vaudeville track, though ‘Lover Boy’ is more straightforward than ‘Seaside Rendezvous, for instance. It’s quite simple, piano and vocals with a catchy beat. I get a chance to do one every album and this time, this is something I’ve come up with this time around. The album needs it to sort of ease off.”
Kenny: “Right, a little frilly number from the pen of Fred.”
(Freddie Mercury Interview with Kenny Everett of Capital Radio, 1976)
The song features sound engineer and co-producer Mike Stone taking over the lead vocals for one line: “Hey, boy, where’d you get it from? Hey, boy, where did you go?”
An official video was never made, though the band popped into the studios for an appearance on Top Of The Pops on the 14th of June 1977 (broadcasted the very next day), performing to a specially re-recorded backing track with a more aggressive sound. Roger Taylor sang Mike Stone’s line.