On this day in music history: May 21, 1982 - “Hot Space”, the tenth album by Queen is released. Produced by Queen, Reinhold Mack, Arif Mardin and David Bowie, it is recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland and Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany from June 1981 - March 1982. Coming off of the highly successful “The Game” and the soundtrack for “Flash Gordon”, Queen begin work on their next album. Having scored one of their biggest hits with “Another One Bites The Dust”, lead singer Freddie Mercury is interested in further exploring that musical territory. However, guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor are both resistant to the idea, and abandoning their “no synthesizers” rule in spite of having used them on the two previous albums. The dance rock sound favored by Mercury is most pronounced on “Dancer”, “Staying Power” and “Body Language” (#11 Pop, #30 R&B, #62 Club Play). In the UK, response is lukewarm, but is better received in the US. The track features only minimal contributions from May and Taylor, with bassist John Deacon not playing on it at all. With Freddie playing most of the instruments, it marks the first time a drum machine is used on a Queen song. “Body” is also the subject of controversy in the US when the music videos’ erotic imagery cause it to become the first clip to be banned by MTV. It also causes further outcry for the picture sleeve, featuring a man and woman provocatively posed and nude, covered only in body paint. Queen’s US label Elektra Records hastily issues a second sleeve, replacing the offending images with the same graphics against a bright red background. Another song written by Mercury is the piano ballad “Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)” (also the B-side of “Body Language”), in tribute to John Lennon. The song “Under Pressure” (#29 Pop, #1 UK) is written out of a jam session at Queen’s studio in Montreux with David Bowie who had dropped by the studio to visit. Anchored by Deacon’s instantly attention grabbing bass line, Taylor’s in the pocket drumming, and Mercury and Bowie’s searing vocals, “Pressure” is an immediate standout. Released months in advance of the album, it becomes Queen’s second number one in the UK, but only cracking the Top 30 in the US, though MTV gives the video substantial airplay. It spins off a third single with the Taylor penned “Calling All Girls” (#60 Pop) but is not issued in the UK. When “Hot Space” is released, fans and critics are highly critical to Queen’s change in musical direction and in some cases react with disdain, marking the beginning of the bands commercial decline in the US throughout the 80’s. The album is remastered and reissued in 1991 with five additional bonus tracks. “Hot Space” peaks at number four on the UK album chart, number forty on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twenty two on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.