“Scandal” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was released as the fourth single from their 1989 album The Miracle and peaked at #25 in the UK. The single was released in the United States but failed to chart.
“Scandal”, written by Brian May, but credited to Queen, is about the unwanted attention May and lead singer Freddie Mercury received from the press in the late 1980s, involving May’s divorce from his first wife, Chrissie Mullen, and his relationship with actress Anita Dobson and growing media speculation about Mercury’s health. Mercury had tested positive for HIV in 1987, and did not announce he was suffering from the virus until the day before his death in November 1991, but changes in his appearance, particularly weight loss, helped fuel speculation that he was seriously ill.
May recorded the keyboards and guitars in one take. Mercury’s vocal was also done in one take.
The video for the song featured the band performing on a stage designed to look like a newspaper – it was filmed at Pinewood Studios in September 1989, and is notable for Mercury’s “gaunt” appearance.
In the audio commentary included with the video in Queen: Greatest Video Hits 2, Roger Taylor stated: “Not one of my favourite songs. One of the most boring videos we ever made.”