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Sebastian: exception of rules23 Apr 2003 18:45

hi again, I think that as a follow-up to your speciall effects list we can include a list of cases when the band's usual things were broken. And it goes this way:


Songs with more than one bass tracks

Leroy Brown (bass and double-bass)
Radio Ga Ga (two kinds of synth-basses and a real one)
Breakthrou (synth and real)
The Millionaire Waltz


Songs with 2+ piano tracks:

Nevermore ("lead piano" and the "ring" tones)
You're My Best Friend (electric pianos)
Save Me (on the second verse Fred's piano joins Brian's)
Teo Torriate (grand piano of Fred and plastic piano of Brian)
Under Pressure (lick and chords)
Bring Back That Leroy Brown (upright and grand)
Sail Away Sweet Sister (acoustic and electric)
The March Of The Black Queen


Bass, piano or lead vocals not panned centre

Millionaire Waltz (intro)
Who Needs You (vocal)
White Man (vocal)
Doin' All Right (piano)


Songs without bass

Who Needs You
God Save The Queen (probably)
Is This The World We Created
Love Of My Life (live)
You Take My Breath Away
Several songs from Flash Gordon
We will Rock You (album version)
Dear Friends
Piano versions of Forever and One Year Of Love


Songs without guitar

Melancholy Blues
Dear Friends
One Year Of Love
Parts of Flash Gordon


Freddie's Songs Without Piano or Keyboards

Ogre Battle
Great King Rat
Stone Cold Crazy
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Mad The Swine
Is This The World We Created (co-written)


Songs without percussion

Nevermore (album version)
Dear Friends
Parts of Flash Gordon
Is This The World We Created
You Take My Breath Away (I don't remember very well)


Non-Roger songs with Roger on lead vocals"

Keep Yourself Alive ("do you think...")
Father To Son (ending)
Doin' All Right (BBC Version - last verse)
The March Of The Black Queen ("my life is in your hands...")
No One But You (2nd verse)
Let Me Live (although he wrote the lyrics to his verse)
Mother Love (demo versions)


Roger's songs without Roger's voice (even on harmonies)

These Are The Days Of Our Lives
Calling All Girls
Instrumental tracks from Flash Gordon
A Dozen Red Roses For My Darling
Machines (unless the robotic voice is by Roger, but it could be also Brian or Fred)
Thank God It's Christmas
A Kind Of Magic


Brian's Songs without his voice (even on backing vocals)

Dear Friends
See What A Fool I've Been
It's Late
Dancer (although the lower voice of the harmony can be by him)
Doin' All Right
Bijou (although he didn't write the lyrics)
Gimme The Prize
Is This The World We Created (co-written)
Don't Try So Hard (co-written)
The Hero


Brian's Songs With Freddie on the piano

White Queen (BBC Version)
Sail Away Sweet Sister
Too Much Love Will Kill You (Queen version, Brian has reported to play synths but he didn't say anything about the piano)
Mother Love (unless the piano track is done on a synth)
Save Me (2nd piano)
Doin' All Right (there's one part during the solo which is clearly Freddie's, it's about 10 seconds)
Teo Torriate (grand piano)
Scandal (not really sure that it's a piano though)


1.PD 23 Apr 2003 22:57
Some additions from the top of my head:
March Of The Black Queen has additional piano too (4:02).
Save Me - me and Philipp used to debate about this, as I was sceptic. I'm still unsure.

Doing All Right - piano is not in the centre.

Who Needs You - lead vocal is not in the centre. Also the intro of White Man.

Millinaire Waltzer may have additional bass somewhere, but it's probabbly just a mixing trick.
2.Sebastian 23 Apr 2003 23:56
do you know what's up with Phillip now?

btw, probably you already know it but Brian told me exactly where he played piano, and he did play on 'All Dead', then that changes everything

we cannot believe the credits anymore

as for 'March...', are you sure that was an additional piano? I always tought he did it "live"
3.PD 24 Apr 2003 06:52
"March Of...": I think it's obvious if you listen to the record at 4:02. Simple chords in the right, melodic figures in the left chanel.

Frankly I don't know what's up with him. We used to emailing ca 4 years ago. I guess his email address is still valid...

I didn't know you've asked Brian and he answered. Was it via the Soapbox? Maybe it's time for me too to ask some things.
4.Sebastian 24 Apr 2003 13:00
yes it was by soapbox, I didn't think he was going to answer me so soon

what are you going to ask him by the way?
5.PD 24 Apr 2003 17:54
It's difficoult task to compile the most important questions.
here is a sketch of my letter:

... I'm interested in songwriting details. I have quite a few questions, maybe too much to answer them all. If you answer only one or two, that's gonna be fine too...

 I'm interested in the musical input of guest arrangers, especially Howard Blake's input on "The Kiss" and "Who Wants to Live Forever. More specifically:
 Was it Freddie who came up with the chord progression of the orchestrated half of the song, and with those parallel harmonies played by strings in the middle of the orchstrated section? I know the score is credited to Mr. Blake, but I don't know whether Freddie's harmonies were orchestrated by Mr Blake?
 There is a nice chain of minor chords at end of "who Wants To Live Forever". Was it Mr Kamen's contribution or yours?
 Could you tell some interesting details about "who wrote what" in the double-credited songs? For example in "Doing All Right", "Is This The World We Created".
 Doing All Right has a novel songform considered it was written in 1968 (?). Can you remember where the idea/influence came from?
 I'm also interested with major or notable examples of non-credited musical inputs inside the band (especially up to the "Magic" album).
 In the early days were you aware of progressive rock bands? If yes, which ones? How much were you and Freddie conscious about using unusual chord progressions, key changes, rhythmical tricks, and clever songforms?
 There are some tricky rhythms in "Save Me", at least it always manages to confuse my inner "metronome" when I try to toe-tap the beats. Was it difficoult to write?
 There are some occassional time changes in Brighton Rock before the echo is turned on. Have you had to discuss with Roger about the actual drumline before the recording?
 I'm also curious of your techiques of constructing vocal harmonies especially the more sophisticated harmonies: horizontal or vertical approach, was it a teamwork on the rehearsals or did you work out them alone.
 Could you tell me some examples of Queen songs that were started their life in a different key?
 In an interview you told that some solos in the outro of "Good Company" were recorded by you track by track. I guess the "pozan" guitars were recorded this way. The "clarinet" guitars too?
 David Richard told that he suggested a key change in "The Show Must Go On". Were there any similarly important contribution by any studio producer affecting the musical framework of any particular Queen song?

And finally a request-question: could it be possible to put online scans of some of the hadwritten lyrics (with chords or harmony-sketches)? I have seen only two of these: "Princes Of The Universe" and "Jealousy".


by the way Seb, congrats. As I saw you've "provoked" the most informative reply from Brian since ages.
6.Sebastian 24 Apr 2003 23:01
did you send him your mail yet? If you haven't, Mr. Richards told me his major contributions to the band's arrangements and I'm contacting a friend who is expert on Mack and can tell me his trademarks. I think that's a question we can find out by other way.

Thanks for the "provocation", Brian's a very good person, I only expected him to tell me a one line answer. I just hoped to see "Doin' All Right" or "Modern Times Rock N' Roll" or "I didn't play actually but we couldn't correct it on the credits"

And as for 'The Kiss' I doubt that he knows about it. According to John the album was done in a separate way, each one working out on his songs, I don't think Brian was present when Freddie recorded it
7.wiz eutropio 25 Apr 2003 14:46
Following the indications of the musical sheets published by EMI in England "Save Me" has 2 pianos.
Another interessant exceptions is "Fat Bottomed Girls", because the instruments weren't tuned in a standard way: the E cord in fact is tuned down to D.
8.Sebastian 25 Apr 2003 15:46
yes, on Fat Bottomed Girls Brian makes a "mistake", when he played G chord with F bass, I don't think he ment to do it
9.PD 30 Apr 2003 17:47
> did you send him your mail yet?
Not yet.

There are some questions I could address to Mr Richards too. One day I collect them too.

Regarding "The Kiss" there is a chance Brian knows the answer in spite of his supposed absence from the recording. If he doesn't, that's a pitty.

> Following the indications of the musical sheets published by EMI in England
> "Save Me" has 2 pianos.

the sheets are not always reliable. But they may be right on this. I have my own doubts because I can't hear two pianos being overlapped.

Fat Bottomed Girls was indeed accompanied with so called drop-D tuning and so were both White Man and The Prophet's Song. On concerts they played the latter two segued.
10.Sebastian 30 Apr 2003 18:20
> There are some questions I could address to Mr Richards too. One day I collect them

can you tell me which are those? I can help you out
11.Agogobell 23 Jun 2012 17:37
I think nevermore may have guitar.

And you forgot MFK on the 2 pianos! remember the overdubbed piano solo near the end!
12.TurbanGuy4k 28 Jul 2020 15:09
 Death on Two Legs has three bass tracks
The intro is a double bass and electric bass playing at the same time
The actual song has bass overdubs as well
Listen at 1:38 of this video (https://youtu.be/atOOhuL77NA" title="https://youtu.be/atOOhuL77NA">https://youtu.be/atOOhuL77NA">youtu.be) for an example
13.TurbanGuy4k 28 Jul 2020 15:11
 Where is the electric piano in "sail away sweet sister"?
14.TurbanGuy4k 09 Sep 2020 15:14
 11: Nevermore does have guitar
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