Cool Cat is a funk rock disco song by Queen. The song was recorded in July 1981 at Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland and was first released as track B5 on Hot Space on 1982-05-21 and again on 1982-06-01 as the B-side of the single, Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love).
The music and lyrics were composed by John Deacon and Freddie Mercury. The original recording featured backing vocals and speech by David Bowie who recorded them during the session for Under Pressure, however Bowie didn't like his attempts and asked to have his vocals removed. Bootlegs of this version existed for years, but the actual master was finally released in 2020 on a special edition album. A remix called the Disco Perfection Mix, which also features Bowie's backing, also exists. On the album recording, Freddie Mercury sings falsetto vocals and plays the electric piano and, unusual for the band, John Deacon plays all other instrumentation including electric guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, and drum machine. The song was produced by Reinhold Mack.
The song is about an egotistical smooth-talking cool person seen through the eyes of an admirer who was emotionally abused by him or her on their rise to the top. However, the "cool cat" couldn't make it big, and now the admirer, still enamored, encourages him or her to slow down before the burn out.
I first heard this song after buying Hot Space in the late 1990s. Although it was never too important to me, I've always liked the song and enjoy hearing it. It has a much stronger funk and disco sound than most of Queen's catalog, so it's a nice break. I also really respect John Deacon more for recording most of the song's instrumentation himself and love his slap bass.
Ooo, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, aw! You're taking all the sunshine away. Making out like you're the main line. (I knew that) 'Cause you're a cool cat, Tapping on the toe with a new hat. Ooo, just cruising, Driving along like the swing king. Feeling the beat of my heart, huh-huh! Feeling the beat of my heart. Ooo, you're a cool cat. Coming on strong with all the chit chat. Ooo, you're all right. Hanging out and stealing all the limelight. Messing with the beat of my heart. Ooo, messing with the beat of my heart, yeah. Ooo... you used to be a mean kid, Ooo, making such a deal of life. Ooo, you were wishing, and hoping, and waiting, To really hit the big time. But, did it happen? Happen? Nooo! You're speeding to fast. Slow down, slow down, you'd better slow down, Slow dooown, ah! Uh, you really know how to set the mood, And you really get inside the groove, yeah. Cool cat, tapping on the toe with a new hat. Ooo, just cruising, Driving along like the swing king. Feeling the beat of my heart, Feeling the beat of my heart, yeah-yeah! Feeling the beat of my heart. Can you feel it? Feeling the beat of my heart, yeah-yeah. Feeling the beat of my heaaart, yow! Ooo, ooo, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, ooo!