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PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS FORUM IS TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS VERSION OF QUEEN SONGS SITE.
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Sebastian: next ten12 Jun 2003 17:35
here it goes.

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CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE
Really a complex song. It's surprising that Freddie didn't have experience on that style, because it's great. This was the band's first #1 on the United States. It's really simple, only eleven chords and all major.
Backing track was John on bass, Roger on drums and Freddie on guitar (apparently for the first time on recordings). Freddie later recorded handclaps, a second acoustic guitar and the lead vocal.
Brian arrived later and recorded the solo guitar. Then he and Freddie recorded two-part harmonies, each one is sung unison by both of them. At the end ("yeah yeah") it's only Freddie.
Freddie (1980): "The first couple of nights were nerve-wracking, but it was okay after that. You see, I wrote Crazy Little Thing on guitar and played rhythm on the record, and it works really well because Brian gets to play all those lead guitar fills as well as his usual solo. I'm somewhat limited by the number of chords I know. I'm really just learning, but I hope to play more guitar in the future"Freddie (1980): "Crazy Little Thing Called Love took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can't play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think."
Brian (1998): "The guys put down the backing track for that one when I was out doing something in Munich, where we were working; Freddie said he wrote the song in his bathtub at the Munich Hilton. I came back and thought, 'Oh my God, it's almost finished. Let me put some guitar on It before they stick It out.' Fred plays the rhythm acoustic guitar. All I really did was add a kind of ersatz rock and roll solo and some backing harmonies and it was done"
Brian (2000): "I wasn't even there when they recorded that song. When I arrived it was almost completely done, Freddie had played acoustic guitar, cause that rhythm on there is Freddie"
Roger (2000): "It's Freddie on acoustic. It took half an hour to record, it's very fresh"
Roger: "It's not rockabilly exactly but it did have that early Elvis feel, and it was one of the first records to exploit that. In fact I read somewhere - in Rolling Stone I think it was - that John Lennon heard it and it him the impetus to start recording again. If it's true - and listening to the last album it certainly sounds as if he explored similar influences - that's wonderful"
John (1982): "Freddie wrote that on acoustic and it just had a natural feel with him playing guitar."

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SAVE ME
Brian's ballads were becoming each time bigger. This is a major example of that. Probably he wrote it on the piano.
Basic track was Roger on drums, John on bass and Brian on piano. On overdubs, Brian recorded double-tracked 12-string acoustic guitars, a three-part electric guitar choir. There's a second piano track, both him or Freddie could have done it.
Freddie sang lead vocals, which are harmonized on choruses by Roger on top and Brian on bottom. Brian added some three-part "oh" on the second verse and at the end.
Brian (2000): "We wrote really separate in those days, and you know, we never really talked about what the songs meant. I wrote it about a friend, someone who was gong through a bad time. Someone whose relationship has been totally fucked up"
Brian (2003): "For the record, as far as I remember I played piano on Doin' All Right, Father To Son, Now I'm Here, Dear Friends, Teo Torriate and All Dead All Dead. Notably not on Sail Away Sweet Sister, but yes on Save Me, Las Palabras De Amor, Flash and The Hero, plus organ on Wedding"
Peter Hince (2001): "Brian did play piano on Save Me and Teo Torriate"

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NOW I'M HERE
One of those unforgettable rock pieces from Brian. It was the second single from the album and the last song of it to be written and recorded.
Basic track consisted of bass, drums and rhythm guitar. Both Roger and John were given freedom to play their parts as they wanted to increase the live feeling. Brian later added another rhythm guitar and three other tracks for overdubs and the solo. He also played piano, which appears on the solo playing chords. Freddie added an organ for the reprise of the intro.
Vocals are quite tricky to analyse. They're all panned center, except for the echoes of Freddie's lead. The "just a new man" line is a three-part of all Freddie, while the next ("live again") adds one Brian's voice in the top. It's quite weird to listen Brian's voice on top, and also for a Brian's arrangement to have a four-part harmony.
The "whatever came of you and me" is a three part with Freddie on top, Brian on middle, no idea who's on bottom, it's hard to notice as they're all panned the same way. Roger joins with his falsettos for a four part in "America's new bride to be". "Don't I love her so" is three-part (Freddie, Roger, Brian from the top), and all the "yeah" are in the same way as the "America" part.
Brian (2003): "For the record, as far as I remember, I played piano on Doin' All Right, Father To Son, Dear Friends, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriate and All Dead All Dead"
Freddie (1976): "That was nice. That was a Brian May thing. We released it after Killer Queen. And it's a total contrast, just a total contrast. It was just to show people we can still do rock 'n' roll -- we haven't forgotten our rock 'n' roll roots. It's nice to do on stage. I enjoyed doing that on stage."

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GOOD OLD FASHIONED LOVER BOY
One of Freddie's styles on the golden era of the band was kind of cabaret influenced. This song is very Freddiesque, not only because of the key (Eb major). It seems a lot like an improved version of Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon.
Basic track was Freddie on piano, John on bass (playing more or less the same as Freddie's left hand) and Roger on drums. Overdubs: some woodblocks and a triangle. Anybody could have played them - band members, crew, engineers, etc. -
The guitar arrangement is one of the best Freddie made on that album. It's again an improved version of what he wrote on Lazing. While on the 1:07 minute song there was a hocket between a three-part guitar choir and one lead, this time the hocket was between three lead guitars and five-part choirs. Brian played them so excellently.
On vocals, we find Freddie on lead, except the "hey boy" part, where it's Mike Stone, the sound engineer. Harmonies are always three-part, on the "faster faster" verse, it's all Freddie. The "love you love you" part before Mike sings is done by Roger on top, Freddie on middle and Brian on bottom (it's not a sexual act, by the way). All the rest of harmonies ("long hot summer nights" and the choruses) are by Freddie on the top, Roger on middle and Brian on bottom. Fred added a second vocal which does the "one two three..." part, and some overdubs. On the last chorus it says "there he goes again", another connection with Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon.
Freddie (1977): "One of my vaudeville numbers. I always do a vaudeville track, though Loverboy is more straightforward than Seaside Rendezvous, for instance. It's quite simple piano-vocals with a catchy beat; the album needs it to sort of ease off"

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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
This extraordinary rock anthem is one of the best known songs by both the band and all the 70s music, including Wings's Mull Of Kintyre, which was the song that avoided the Champions - Rock you single to be #1. It presents some Freddie-esque stuff, like the non-binary meter (Somebody To Love), and the use of keys with flat notes (C minor, Eb major, F minor, Ab major...). The arrangement is really clever and yet easy listening.
Backing track was Freddie on piano, John on bass and Roger on drums. The bass is playing mostly the same left hand piano, but with variations (see Bohemian Rhapsody for a similar, although more primitive arrangement). Piano is playing more simple patters, with some classic Freddie licks (like the high pitched notes after "time after time" or the fast 16-per-measure bass notes before the first chorus). The bass on the intro is a nice Freddie arrangement, kind of orchestral.
Brian added three guitars, one of them is the lead, and the other two are double-tracked rhythm. Lead vocals are by Freddie on two tracks. The five part harmony of the climax are totally done by Freddie, demonstrates his evolution and how he could recreate an entire choir by himself. The chorus is again five-part (if we count the lead, which is on top) and again all sung by Fred.
Freddie (1977): "It’s the most egotistical and arrogant song I’ve ever written. That song, We Are The Champions has been taken up by football fans because it's a winners' song. I can't believe that someone hasn't written a new song to overtake it. Certainly it's 'a relationship that could be, but I was thinking about football when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something the fans could latch on to. It was aimed at the masses; I thought we'd see how they took it. It worked a treat. When we performed it at a private concert in London, the fans actually broke into a football chant between numbers. Of course, I've given it more theatrical subtlety than an ordinary football chant. You know me. I certainly wasn't thinking about the press when I wrote it. I never think about the British music press these days. It was really meant to be offered the musicians the same as the fans. I suppose it could also be construed as my version of 'I Did It My Way.' We have made it, and it certainly wasn't easy. No bed of roses as the song says. And it's still not easy.""Brian: "I can understand some people saying We Are The Champions was bombastic. But it wasn't saying Queen arc the champions, it was saying all of us are. It made the concert like a football match, but with everyone on the same side"
John (2001): "One of our best songs"

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FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS
Brian's hard-rock side was always present on the albums. This piece was completely arranged by him as well. One of his trademarks present on the track is the simplicity.
The backing track consisted of drums by Roger (I love the way Brian arranges them on his songs, like on Dead On Time or Sweet Lady), bass by John (playing several slides) and rhythm guitar by Brian. Then Brian added a lead guitar and that was it.
Vocally, we find a three part choir on the intro. As opposite to the live versions (main melody on the middle and done by Freddie, and harmonized by Brian on bottom and Roger on top), this time Brian is singing the main melody, which is on top. Freddie's voice is pretty clear, it sings the middle part. The lower voice isn't either Brian, Roger or Freddie. It must be John then, and it's quite low, singing a B2 on "let it all hang out". All the voices are double-tracked, but with exception of the lower, panned center.
While Freddie sings the verses, we should really consider this song a duet between Brian and himself, because on the choruses is the writer of the song who sings the lead melody, while Fred is on harmonies (those are only two-part).
Brian (1983): "Fat Bottomed Girls I thought was okay, but fairly banal. I thought people would be much more interested in Dead On Time, but it didn't really get that much airplay."
Brian (1993): "To be truthful, I'm always slightly dissatisfied with my sound on record. Sometimes it was close, like on Fat Bottomed Girls. In the studio I thought it was "IT" in capital letters but by the time we got out onto a record and I heard it on the radio I thought, "No, it's not really there.""
Brian (1998): "There is a kind of a mixed history to that song really. I can't even tell you some of the stuff that's in there. It's a mixture of various kinds of people. But, I guess, positive feelings of people who surround the business. I'm not always talking about sex, you know. But sometimes it is. It's about people who give comfort and support and make the whole business go around."
Brian (1998): "I think the chorus just popped into my head as a tune and a set of words. Same as Tie Your Mother Down did. I didn't know what the hell Tie Your Mother Down was supposed to mean, off the top of my head. But it became something that meant something: a teenage rebellion song. And Fat Bottomed Girls became a song about the girls who help the spirits of the performers backstage, I suppose. The groupies or whatever. In light of what we were saying before about Freddie's sexual orientation, I remember thinking, "Freddie's going to have to sing this and I'm going to write it so you can take it any way you like. You can be into anything and this would still make sense." And I remember thinking, "This is kind of interesting: Why does everybody love casual sex with people that they otherwise wouldn't want to be with? Why does that mean so much to them? Where does it come from?" So some other words are about things that people will possibly remember from their youth. I saw a smile when Freddie was singing it, but we never talked about it. We didn't with our songs. Odd, isn't it? You'd think we would talk about our lyrics with each other, but we never did. It was kind of an unwritten law that you really didn't explain your lyrics to the other guys. But I wanted Freddie to be comfortable with it. And it's a fun song. But I still wonder how Freddie felt about it. I don't know if he knew that I wrote things to make it fun for him too. Delicate ground, isn't it?"

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FLASH'S THEME
As the album was produced by Brian (with Mack), it was pretty obvious that he would take the main sequence. But as difference with the others, he did invite the entire band to participate. Apart from the fact that he sang and played keyboards, we can tell it's Brian's song because of the use of pedal bass (One Vision, Leaving Home Ain't Easy).
Basic track is Brian on piano, John on bass and Roger on drums. Roger then added a Timpani, and Brian recorded a double-tracked synthesiser track and a three-part guitar harmony.
Lead vocals are by Brian and Freddie, harmonies are a three-part done in the usual live way (highest voice: Roger, middle voice: Freddie, lowest voice: Brian).
Brian (1994): "On the face of it, that's a very odd song, but within the context of the film I think it works. There is a part of me that likes the simplicity of it all, and I suppose it's on the verge of kitsch"
Brian (2003): "For the record, as far as I remember I played piano on Doin' All Right, Father To Son, Now I'm Here, Dear Friends, Teo Torriate and All Dead All Dead. Notably not on Sail Away Sweet Sister, but yes on Save Me, Las Palabras De Amor, Flash and The Hero, plus organ on Wedding"

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MISFIRE
John's songwriting started here. As it's pretty obvious, his first arrangement would have several trademarks from the best and next musicians he had (i.e. Brian and Freddie), as his style wasn't defined yet. We see three-part guitar harmonies, four-part vocal harmonies appearing during the solo.
The main instrument is John's double tracked acoustic guitar. There are thirteen electric guitars.  One of them is playing the solo, the rest are grouped in four three-part choirs. Two of them are overdriven and played by John, the others appear at the end and are played by Brian. The "almost all guitars by John" remark suggests that he also played the solo, since they're in a kind of tie without counting it. Freddie sang two lead vocal lines, plus a four-part harmony, and Roger played drums as well as John played bass.

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Probably my favourite song from John besides My Life Has Been Saved. It's a shame that John stopped writing that kind of songs for about eight years. It's again totally arranged by its creator. The piece itself is a kind of improved version of Spread Your Wings, even it's written on the same key.
Basic track was Freddie's jazzy piano, Roger's small drum-kit, and John's inspired delicious melodic bass-line. Freddie sang the only vocal line of the track.
John added an acoustic guitar in a similar way he did on Spread Your Wings, and then Brian added four guitar layers which just play chord notes. The arrangement of them is classic John, see You're My Best Friend for a similar one.

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THE NIGHT COMES DOWN
One of the most underrated numbers of the entire album (together with Jesus and Seven Seas Of Thye..., it's the only one without BBC Version), but also one of the best. Being a very early recording, it's hard to determine trademarks from the band members.
We have traditional first album ingredients: acoustic guitars, three-part Red Special choirs, bass doubling guitars, three-part vocal harmonies, and a multiple intro which would be a feature of a lot of Queen songs (Party, '39, Was It All Worth It...).
Probably the entire song except for the guitar choirs was recorded at one take. Both Brian's acoustic guitar and the three part harmonies (Roger on top, Freddie on middle, Brian on bottom) received ADT (automatic double tracking) after they were done. John's bass and Roger's drums are really great, they were so locked even if they had met only recently. The guitar choirs are three-parted. Freddie sang the lead vocals.
The main reason of its wonderful sound is the production, done by Louie Austin in a very excellent way. Mr. Anthony didn't get along with the Queen guys and Mr. Baker wasn't as connected with them as he would be later.
1.PD 12 Jun 2003 22:19
"Crazy Thing": seven chords - not eleven. Contradiction: "Really complex song" - "it's really simple". I'd vote for the latter.

"Brian's ballads were becoming each time bigger." - Disagree. Take into count "White Queen", "Leaving Home" and compare them with his late period ballads. I think he could write great ballads at every stage of his carrier with Queen.


"Lover Boy" - "Sunday Afternoon" IMO was perfect for its length. I can't treat "Lover Boy" as its improved version, in spite of its more radiofriendly. The guitar solo in style is closer to "Killer Queen" than to "Sunday Afternoon". The latter is just a harmonized tune, "Lover Boy" has lots of additional harmony blocks.

Champions: there were two songs keeping back Champions from the No1 position. The other song was anABBA song. I dare not say Champions is the best known song of the decade. From "Stairway" to YMCA there are lot's of extremly wellknown hits. (Mull Of Kintyre BTW is pretty much forgotten in my country).
"The bass is playing mostly the same left hand piano" - disagree. This song has one of the most
melodic bassline, with lots of treble figures. Of course on many '1' beats John plays what Freddie plays with left hand, but except this John plays with much freedom.
2.Sebastian 12 Jun 2003 23:41
> "Crazy Thing": seven chords - not eleven. Contradiction: "Really complex song" -
> "it's really simple". I'd vote for the latter.

I don't know where did I have my head when I wrote complex, maybe I was thinking great.

> Take into count "White Queen", "Leaving Home" and compare them with his late period ballads. I think he could write great ballads at every stage of his carrier with Queen.

yes you're right, I had to leave and I only had Save Me and Crazy Little Thing left to do, so I finished them quickly, now I have more time and I think I'm going to repeat them

> I dare not say Champions is the best known song of the decade.

I didn't say best known, but one of the best known. And I still think that. You just hear it on a lot of sport events. Yes, virtually every person that knows a little about 70s knows stairway or ymca, but about every person that has watched a football world cup (which is a larger group) knows champions. I can't say which is the most famous, but which group contains them, it's possible

> "The bass is playing mostly the same left hand piano" - disagree. This song has one of the most melodic bassline, with lots of treble figures. Of course on many '1' beats John plays what Freddie plays with left hand, but except this John plays with much freedom.

yes I have to express myself better

btw, do you hear a synth on 'Save Me'? I saw that on Phillip's analysis, but I think all the sounds that could be a synthesiser are the Red Special, probably with treble booster or something.
3.wiz eutropio 13 Jun 2003 17:38
In "Save Me" there is a synthetiser with at least two different sounds: a "warm pad" [1:35] and some flange effects on the guitar solo from [2:24].
4.PD 13 Jun 2003 21:10
Yeah Champions is "one of the best known"-that's right. It was in top 10 over here on a recent radio-poll.

Some sentences should be rephrased, that's normal, happens to me too quite often. My favourite button is the "edit".

BTW: this ten article was only nine.:)
5.Sebastian 14 Jun 2003 13:37
oh right, I forgot to paste 7 days. Here it goes:

IN ONLY SEVEN DAYS
Probably my favourite song from John besides My Life Has Been Saved. It's a shame that John stopped writing that kind of songs for about eight years. It's again totally arranged by its creator. The piece itself is a kind of improved version of Spread Your Wings, even it's written on the same key.
Basic track was Freddie's jazzy piano, Roger's small drum-kit, and John's inspired delicious melodic bass-line. Freddie sang the only vocal line of the track.
John added an acoustic guitar in a similar way he did on Spread Your Wings, and then Brian added four guitar layers which just play chord notes. The arrangement of them is classic John, see You're My Best Friend for a similar one.


it's a shame I have no comments about this one
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