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Sebastian: A resume of my songwriters research07 Oct 2003 13:49
a couple of weeks ago I wrote a summary of the "who wrote what" issue, from two different perspectives: musical/lyrical analysis, and quotes. It might have several mistakes and that's why I'm bringing it here, if it's good enough maybe someday I can sell it to a magazine or something...

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Amongst Queen fans one issue that has been discussed for years is who is behind the songs credited to “Queen”, because it’s kind of logical that four people can’t think of the same chords and lyrics at the same time. Here I’ll put the results of a long research work, but it’s better that you can make your own conclusions, based on them:


PART I: MUSICAL/LYRICAL ANALYSIS

People use to have their own trademarks. Perhaps not as recognisable as their voices, but still at some level some of the songs can be totally identified. As for lyrics, I’m not a poet or a writer whatsoever, so I can’t look into specific details. In fact they all wrote different kinds of lyrics, so I think we can’t (or at least I can’t) find any trademark, except for Roger: blonde girls and fast race cars, and youth/past ages (Old Friends, No More Fun, Tenement Funster). Still there isn’t a law or a quote that confirms that the other three never wrote about that.

As for the music itself, it’s good to put all that “if the song has many guitars, it’s Brian’s”  crap to rest. Even if Brian wrote most of the guitar songs, the remaining members of the band also wrote several songs in which guitar is the main instrument, easily I can name two examples from each one: Ogre Battle, Modern Times Rock N’ Roll, If You Can’t Beat Them, Need Your Loving Tonight, Tenement Funster, Great King Rat.

There are some clues, not concrete proofs, but they work. For example, songs sung by Roger or Brian or with strong participation in harmonies assure with about 80% accuracy that they’re the songwriters. But there are exceptions (Roger sings lead vocals in some parts of Black Queen, Doin’ All Right and Father To Son, and they’re not his songs, and he sings all the harmonies in Dancer, which is Brian’s). Another thing is that the person who plays keyboards (if it’s not Freddie), is the writer of the song. This time the accuracy is much bigger, I give it a 98%.

Now, there’s something else: in some specific cases, there are orchestral parts that only Freddie could have enabled. That’s not only a matter of expertise, but also practice. John, Roger or Brian don’t have enough knowledge to create something like Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s true that Brian did write some “guitar orchestras”, but they were just three part harmonies, like if you arrange a block of vocal harmonies but instead of singing them you play each part in the guitar. But as long as tempo, key and meter changes are concerned, Freddie is the only one who did them. To arrange an orchestra is totally different. Now, each one of the songs credited to the band, are analysed this way:

Stone Cold Crazy: The structure is so simple that anybody could have written it. Nothing special.

Hangman: It’s riff-driven and based in power chords. It’s a little more characteristic of Freddie’s guitar songs in early 70s (like Jesus) but in general terms they’re trademarks of the way they all wrote early. Bass doubles rhythm guitar, something to which there are examples by Roger (Modern Times) and Brian (Son And Daughter) too.

Under Pressure: The piano is just hitting chords, four pear measure. No arpeggios or chord-bass-chord stuff. That’s definitely a Roger trademark (check Tenement Funster or I’m In Love With My Car), but although it almost proofs Roger arranged it, it still doesn’t mean he wrote the song. Guitar is based in arpeggios, something that’s also Rogeresque (Tenement Funster, Rock It, More Of That Jazz, A Human Body).

Soul Brother: The music sounds to me more Freddie because it’s like his home style: piano ballad. But it can be easily from anyone else too, with arrangements from Fred.

One Vision: Thanks to the ‘Magic Years’ video we know Brian played keyboards. That’s an obvious clue that he wrote or co-wrote it. Besides that, the intro is reprised as bridge just as in Leaving Home Ain’t Easy and 39, but also Freddie wrote one song with that: Keep Passing The Open Windows. The opening section itself is totally a Brian trademark (parallel sixths over pedal bass like in Doin’ All Right and Hammer To Fall). In fact the pedal bass is something Brian did a lot (Flash, Keep Yourself Alive, Brighton Rock, Fat Bottomed Girls, Prophet’s Song, Teo Torriate, Tie Your Mother Down…), although there are examples by Freddie (My Fairy King, March Of The Black Queen) and John (In Only Seven Days). Another important fact: Brian is the one who sings the slowed down “mysterious ways” line. That can be considered part of the lead melody, so, technically, Brian co-sings lead vocals, which is another element that guides us into thinking he wrote the track.

Party - Kashoggi’s Ship: Nothing specific from anyone of the band members, but the way they’re prolonged into each other suggests that the same person who wrote one wrote the other (at least the basic chord progression, because the lyrics could be easily written by different people).

The Miracle: Very particularly Freddie-esque. Without getting into the little orchestral parts, the chord progression itself is something that only matches him. If you’re used to play Queen songs, specially on keyboards, and you take a sheet of this track, you start to play it and you can notice so easily that the style is as recognisable as his voice in this piece.

I Want It All: Verse and chorus are based in the same chord progression. That’s something Roger used more (I’m In Love With My Car, Tenement Funster), but easily any rock songwriter (from Mick Ronson to Ringo Starr) could write a song with that. But there are more details: first chorus is only sung by the lead vocalist, then the second is by the whole harmony bounce. And that’s characteristic of Brian (Sail Away Sweet Sister, Resurrection, All The Way From Memphis – although he didn’t write the latter, he arranged it for his solo album). In the bridge the singer is switched, like in Sail Away, and guess who the other singer is: Brian!.

Invisible Man: It’s a one-bridge model, something Rogeresque (Modern Times Rock N’ Roll, Tenement Funster, Drowse, More Of That Jazz, The Loser In The End), although there are some songs by the others with the same model (Lily Of The Valley, I Want To Break Free, Life Is Real, Brighton Rock, Hammer To Fall, Play The Game). But there’s another hint to Roger: he co-sings the track, and sang the demo.

Breakthru: The intro is definitely Freddie (harmonies with more than four parts, and the way the piano is arranged). The rest of the track is really simple: no modulation. Anyone could have came up with that.

Rain Must Fall: The Caribbean feel of the song is a clue to John, also the way it’s based around e-piano chords is something only he did, and specially in that era (One Year Of Love, Pain Is So Close To Pleasure).

Scandal: No keyboards in the demo, so in a way we can take Freddie out of the discussion. I think (not sure though) there’s pedal bass in this track, which is a trademark from Brian.

My Baby Does Me: Although they all four wrote down-beat songs, only Freddie and John did in a pop approach. Besides that, it’s also based in e-piano chords.

Was It All Worth It: The orchestral parts could have been written only by Freddie. Besides that the song is somehow simple in structure and chord progression, so anybody could have contributed with that.

Hang On In There: The chord progression and piano arrangement of the second part of the track is very Freddie-esque, but the intro is definitely not. I think it’s so cleverly arranged to be John or Roger, so that leads us to Brian, but just the intro, not the rest of the track. As for verse, chorus and bridge, they’re slightly Freddie but anybody could have done them.

Chinese Torture: Apart from the fact that it’s almost entirely done on guitars, it doesn’t seem like consciously written, it’s more like an improvisation or something recorded just for fun.

Stealin’: The song just uses three chords (C#, F#, G#), which are a little more likely from Roger, but anybody could have came up with them,

Hijack My Heart: The fact Roger sings it leaves clear that he was involved, but it can be Roger + someone. Still, the lyrics are more his style (cars and blonde girls), and the music as well (very few chords arranged in a similar way to the song Sheer Heart Attack).

My Life Has Been Saved: The chord progression is closer to John or Brian, and the piano part is almost surely not played by Freddie, basing in the way it’s played. It’s not Brian’s style either, and definitely not Roger.

Innuendo: The Spanish solo itself is something any of them could have written, even at 10% of speed, but it’s not so hard to create. The orchestral part in the middle is something only Freddie could do. As for the “main” part of the song, it’s more Freddie-esque, in the way the riff is transposed (check out My Fairy King, Master Stroke, Bohemian Rhapsody).

I’m Going Slightly Mad: F and G chords half-diminished are a clear hint to Freddie, as is the main key of the song: Eb minor. The key shift is nothing particular from anybody in the band. Brian sings the harmonies.

Headlong: All of them wrote songs in D Major throughout the band’s life. The G-E-F guitar riff used in the outro sounds more Brian (listen to his solo career), and the fact May did it in his solo tours also gives a clue to him. But anyway they all could write beat-driven tracks with many guitars.

I Can’t Live With You: Similar case to Headlong, few chords and beat-driven. Anybody could do that although Brian is a little more characteristic of that kinds of tracks.

Don’t Try So Hard: The general structure leads to Brian, without any doubt, specially the parallel keys (E major and E minor). But there are some parts that are surely Freddie: oscillating harmonies and orchestral spacer before the solo, and the last part of the chorus. Just play it and you’ll notice it’s him.

Ride The Wild Wind: Beat driven sort of song, sounds a little more like Roger but also the others could have done it. We have more hints to Roger though: he co-sings it (and sang the demo too), and did it in his solo tour in 1994.

All God’s People: Orchestral, arranged in a way beyond Brian’s, John’s or Roger’s abilities. The credit is Queen/Moran. And it’s Freddie the one who worked with Mike Moran (although Brian did after Fred died).

These Are The Days Of Our Lives: No modulation, and the chord progression is very similar to some Roger track called Heaven For Everyone. Plus, Roger did it in his solo tours.

Delilah: It sounds like one of the songs of the ‘Mr Bad Guy’ album. Pop in a way that probably Brian or Roger would never write. I also doubt John would do something like that.

The Hitman: The song’s music leads totally towards Freddie: the real lyrics are just in the beginning, then it’s a kind of improvisation over a huge instrumental section (like Living On My Own), the key is shifted down and then comes back (like Let Me Entertain You), a small orchestral part somewhere, and acyclic song-form (My Fairy King, Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, Princes Of The Universe). As contrast to that, there’s a 1 minute demo sung by Brian, and he also sings all the harmonies. But that doesn’t mean he wrote it, there are several other possible reasons he did that (just for fun, or they had a deadline and Fred was sick, etc).

Bijou: The orchestral backdrops done in the synth are totally something from Freddie, no doubt. The guitar solo is too complex to have been invented by anyone except Brian, who was the fan of Jeff Beck within the band (someone whose style is very similar to this song).

The Show Must Go On: The sequence could be by anybody. Brian does most of harmonies (“learning/turning” and the ending are 100% by him). Both Brian and Roger performed it in their solo tours.

Lost Opportunity: Brian sings it, but it can be Brian + someone. For example Brian + Roger and they choose who sang it better. It’s a three-chord song though, something only Brian did, but it could be the one time that some of the others tried that style out.

It’s A Beautiful Day: Acyclic form (which points to Freddie), and modulation (which almost certainly excludes Roger).

Let Me Live: No modulation, so it’s an open debate, anyone could do it. The arrangement is based on piano, but it could be that someone else wrote it and Freddie arranged it for piano. Then it’d be more likely from Roger or John, because Freddie didn’t arrange Brian’s pieces so often, but again, it could be one of the few times he did.

You Don’t Fool Me: Kind of a simple track, anybody could do it.

A Winter’s Tale: Nice Freddie-esque modulations. Somehow John could also have done them.

Track #13 (Untitled): Chords are the opening section of It’s A Beautiful Day. Nothing else to say.


PART II: QUOTES FROM BAND AND PEOPLE CLOSE TO THEM:

Now to more definitive and believable arguments:

Stone Cold Crazy

1986: Brian says that it came from the whole band.

Hangman

2001: Peter Hince (one of the band’s assistants) said it’s Freddie’s.

Under Pressure

1984: John said that the song is essentially Freddie’s, but Brian had strong input in the middle part, and the bass-line was created by David Bowie

1998: Brian credited the bass-line to John

2002: Brian said that David Bowie was the main lyricist, but that he put all to sing how the melody should sound and compiled a vocal out of that. Roger said that it was originally called People On Streets, and that the production was mainly David and himself. He then credited John for the bass-line.

One Vision

2003: Brian mentioned that the opening section was born from his ramblings on a Kurzweil keyboard.

Party

1989: Roger admitted to be absent at the time the guys wrote the track.

2001: David Richards (producer) said that the initial idea was Freddie on the piano, who started to sing “we have a good time”.

Kashoggi’s Ship

1989: Roger said he wasn’t present but then he corrected himself and said he was present on it but absent on Party.

2001: David credited the lyrics to all four.

The Miracle

1989: Freddie in two different interviews credited the lyrics to all four. In one of them he also said that the initial chord progression and the theme of the song came from John and himself.

1994: Brian said it’s Freddie’s

2001: David credited both chords and lyrics to Freddie

2002: David said Innuendo, Was It All Worth It and this one were mainly Freddie’s

I Want It All

2001: David mentioned it’s Brian’s

Invisible Man

1989: In one interview Roger said that he had the original idea. In another one, made to all the band, the interviewer asked who was responsible for the track, and both Brian and Freddie answered “Roger”, who then told how everybody came in and added stuff to the song, and that he thought of the beat and lyrics after reading some book.

2001: David credited the song to Roger, but mentioned he seemed to remember John also did something.

Breakthru

1989: Freddie explained that he wrote the intro, and the rest of the song is basically Roger.

2001: David credited the song to Freddie and Roger

Rain Must Fall

2001: David said it was John on music and Freddie on lyrics

2002: David said John played keyboards

Scandal

1989: Roger and Brian were asked about this track. Roger turned to Brian and said “I think this is yours”

2001: David said it’s Brian’s

2003: Brian mentioned he played keyboards there

My Baby Does Me

1989: Brian said it was Freddie and John. Then they two argue over who wrote the bass-line (Fred said it’s John, John said it’s Fred).

2001: David said that John beat rhythm and Freddie wrote the lyrics and melody

2002: David said John played keyboards

Was It All Worth It

1994: Brian credited it to Freddie

2001: David said the music was Freddie’s, but the lyrics by all four, more specific the “we love you madly part” was Roger’s

2002: David said that Innuendo, The Miracle and this one were mainly Freddie’s.

2003: Brian said he played keyboards there.

Hang On In There

2001: David said it’s Freddie’s

2003: Brian mentioned he played synthesiser there

Chinese Torture

2002: Brian described that it was something he recorded just for fun and wanted to throw away, but then Freddie came and helped to re-mix it, and they liked it.

Stealin’

2000: Mack mentioned that in 1987 Freddie told him that he was working on that song, and owed the way he wrote and arranged it to the work they did in Munich in early 80s.

My Life Has Been Saved:

2001: David credited the song to John

2002: Brian was asked about the keyboard of the song and he answered “you should ask John”

Innuendo:

1994: Brian said that they all were improvising and then Freddie started off the lyrics, and Roger finished them. The middle part is Freddie’s, and Brian participated in the arrangements of the heavy guitar solo.

1995: David told the first idea was a jam in the casino hall by Roger, John and Brian. Fred heard it, loved it and started to sing along to it.

2001: David said it was an improvisation except for the middle part.

2002: Roger said that the lyrics were mainly by him. David mentioned that Was It All Worth It, The Miracle and this one were mainly Freddie’s. Robert Plant said Fred had told him that they wrote the lyrics as a tribute to Led Zeppelin.
 
I’m Going Slightly Mad:

1994: Brian said it’s Freddie’s. Jim Hutton (Freddie’s lover) also credited the song to Freddie.

2001: David told Freddie wrote it

2002: Roger said it’s Freddie’s

Headlong:

1991: Brian said he wrote it along with I Can’t Live With You for his solo album.

1994: Brian told he was heavily involved in it.

2001: David credited the lyrics to all four.

I Can’t Live With You:

1991: Brian said he wrote it along with Headlong for his solo album

1994: Brian told he was heavily involved in it.

2001: David credited it to Brian

2003: Brian mentioned he played keyboards on it

Don’t Try So Hard:

2001: David said the music was Freddie and Brian and the lyrics Freddie

Ride The Wild Wind:

2001: David credited it to Roger

All God’s People:

1991: Brian credited it to Freddie

1994: Brian said it’s Freddie’s.

2001: David told it was Freddie and Mike Moran

These Are The Days Of Our Lives:

1991: Brian told that he showed the solo to Roger and asked him to let it grow on him and let it be in the track. That suggests that someway Roger “owned” the song.

1999: Roger was asked about which was his favourite song that he wrote for the band, he answered “Days Of Our Lives”.

2001: David credited it to Roger

Delilah:

1991: Nuno Bettencourt (guitarist of Extreme) said it was Freddie’s. Brian was with him and didn’t correct him, hence, it must be true. The same year Brian was asked if Freddie wrote the song for his cat and Brian answered “yes”

1994: Jim Hutton told the story of how Freddie wrote it in Switzerland

2001: David credited it to Freddie

The Hitman:

1991: Brian said it’s Freddie’s. Then Brian changed it to be playable on guitar, and then John changed that version and made a new one, which is the one found in the album

1994: Brian said he was heavily involved with it

2001: David said he had two memories: one of Brian and one of Freddie

Bijou:

2001: David said that Freddie invented the title and played the string part in the keyboard. Then Brian played the solo over that. It took about one hour.

The Show Must Go On:

1994: Brian said that the sequence came from Roger and John, then Brian sat down with Freddie and they two decided the theme of the song and wrote the first verse together. All the rest was Brian.

2000: Brian mentioned he wrote it with Freddie sitting next to him.

2001: David credited the track to Brian. Brian said he wrote lines for Freddie to sing. In a different interview he said that he just recycled one of the riffs Freddie, Roger and John were playing, did some demos with vocals and guitars, and showed it to the guys, and they liked it.

2003: Brian said he played keyboards

It’s A Beautiful Day:

2001: David told it was Freddie’s

You Don’t Fool Me:

2001: David credited the lyrics to Freddie and the music to Freddie and Roger.

A Winter’s Tale:

1994: Jim Hutton mentioned in his book that Fred had written this track that was yet unreleased

1995: David said it’s Freddie’s

2001: David said it’s Freddie’s

2002: Brian told it was Freddie’s

Track #13 (Untitled):

2001: David said it was started by him having fun with a sampler, taking the chords of Beautiful Day and making them loop forever, and putting some Fred’s voices through strange echoes. Then Brian and Roger came and added some stuff of their own.
1.PD 08 Oct 2003 22:21
> if it's good enough maybe someday I can sell it to a magazine or something...
The topic definitely deserves to put on paper, but one has to be very careful not to draw too deep consequences. The collection of quotes are helpful. Thank, that you personally have investigated many of them.

> there are orchestral parts that only Freddie could have enabled.
> That’s not only a matter of expertise, but also practice.
> John, Roger or Brian don’t have enough knowledge to create something
> like Bohemian Rhapsody
Sometimes I feel that it BR was an achivement where Freddie went beyond his own limitations.
Similar impression I had with Brian and his orchestration in Good Company. While it surely has some "generic" sections (not for RnR's standard tough) some parts of it are pretty cleverly arranged. Or the overture of Brian's Back To The Light album. It's fantastic.

> It’s true that Brian did write some “guitar orchestras”,
> but they were just three part harmonies,
Sometimes he went beyond the three parts. And sometimes his three-part harmonies were as sophisticated as most of Freddie's.


> like if you arrange a block of vocal harmonies but instead of
> singing them you play each part in the guitar
there is not much difference between the harmonization of vocals and guitars. But it's not a minus for the guitar arrangements.

> But as long as tempo, key and meter changes are concerned,
> Freddie is the only one who did them
All of them changed the key. Roger rarely, John sometimes, Brian quite often, Freddie the most.
Meter changes: they did it too infrequently, to see trends in it. Roger changed the meter in Rock It.

> To arrange an orchestra is totally different.
What exactly want to prove with this point?


> Stone Cold Crazy: The structure is so simple that anybody could have written it.
according to form analysis "Crazy Little Thing" could have written by any of them.

> Under Pressure: The piano is just hitting chords, four pear measure.
> No arpeggios or chord-bass-chord stuff.
The four in a bar piano chords can be found in Death On Two Legs, and also in My Fairy King.
While the guitar arpeggio intri is definitely Rogeresque, OTOH the use of pedal point is definitely not Rogeresque.

Soul Brother:
It's quite simple song in terms of form. The harmony has the bVI > bVII > I progression that is Freddiesque in context of the Game era. I've just noticed the "chromatic bVII" progression in it as well. (C > G > Bb > F)

> One vision: Brian is the one who sings the slowed down “mysterious ways” line.
He also sung it on concerts (Wembley).

Pedal bass: the In Only Seven Days does it for minimal extent compared to the other examples.
Brigton Rock is not the best example either (unless you are talking about the live version, but it's not tcombined with parallel sixths. Tie Your Mother Down detto. Las Palabras and Hammer To Fall are better examples.


> you start to play it and you can notice so easily that the
> style is as recognisable as his voice in this piece.
especially the key choice. The other three went rarely if ever "beyond" the one-flat keys (d minor and F major, the keys behind them: Bb Major, Eb Major, Ab Major, Db Major), except were they tuned down the guitar.


I Want It All: I have doubts Ringo Starr could have written anything like I Want It All. Not his style in terms of melodic shape.
2.BrianMay 09 Oct 2003 02:28
"Hangman: It’s riff-driven and based in power chords. It’s a little more
characteristic of Freddie’s guitar songs in early 70s (like Jesus) but in
general terms they’re trademarks of the way they all wrote early. Bass doubles
rhythm guitar, something to which there are examples by Roger (Modern Times) and
Brian (Son And Daughter) too."

Freddie came up with the original idea before Queen started out, but the reason why it sounds like something Brian could've written or Roger, is because the song evolved through the years, the only bootlegs we heard of this song are from late 1973-75, that means they played this song almost 4 years, so the song we can hear on bootlegs, is probably a bit different to the original way Freddie meant it, Thats because theres a little bit of Brian in there, and a little bit of Roger, and a little bit of John aswell
Same goes for Stone Cold Crazy
3.Sebastian 09 Oct 2003 14:45
oh God, I had written a very long response but it failed to be sent. So, as Ratty said "here we go again":

The theme Brian-Freddie as songwriters and arrangers is similar to the band comparison between Def Leppard and The Beatles. My faovurite band is Beatles, way more than Def, and my favourite songs on each album tend to be Brian's and in a couple of cases John's. But I consider Def Leppard are a better band and Fred is a better (or more accomplished) songwriter.

And in the Queen world there are two factors that tend to piss me off: Fred is extremely underrated and Brian is hugely overrated, in the sense that I've met a lot of buddies who actually believe Brian conducted the orchestras of 'Who Wants To Live Forever', 'Furia' and even 'Barcelona', because Mike's hair in the video is a little similar to Brian's.

Freddie on the other hand is, because of his ridiculous extravaganzas, bi-sexual promiscuiscity (is that a word?) and common belief about who wrote what, considered a dog-bee who just asked the others to write songs for him to sing.

And it was way different: for 'The Miracle' Fred didn't participate much in 'Scandal' (the voice was the first take), 'I Want It All' (although he did play the keyboards), and just a little bit in 'Invisible Man',  but all the rest of tracks are written or co-written by him. In 'Innuendo' he was the main writer of 'Hitman', 'Don't Try So Hard', 'Innuendo' and 'Bijou', tracks that weren't considered of him. And also he wrote the three that were officially "accepted": Slightly Mad, All God's People and Delilah. For 'Made In Heaven' the three new songs are: Winter's Tale (Freddie), Mother Love (Brian/Freddie) and You Don't Fool Me (Roger/Freddie). So I don't understand the point of "write me songs so I can sing".

Brian's guitar work is so cool, but not as complex as fans use to believe. I remember hearing a comment of Brian as the "other" George Martin. And in songwriting general terms, he did write folk songs in a way Fred could have never done, but in contrast we've got Fred doing gospel, opera, waltz and camp songs that are very proffessionally written and that Brian never did.

As for limits, I don't think Bo Rhap is beyond Freddie's, I think that it was the limit. Somehow I think he gave his best on all his songs up to 1976 with 'Somebody', then it starts the middle period of his songwriting in which the songs, catchy as they are (Don't Stop Me, Crazy Little Thing), were way below his limits. While, as he said, he had to work like crazy for Bo Rhap, 'Life Is Real' or 'Play The Game' can be songs that he just woke up in the morning, sat on the Yamaha, and they just emerged, in a similar way happened to Lennon and Nowhere Man. Brian on the other hand always gave his best, as Mack confirmed. Fred wasted a lot of time IMO. Just listen to 'Body Language'

'Good Company' beyong Brian's limits? I think it's something else. As an arranger myself, I've learnt that subconsciously, when you arrange something for the first time, you guide yourself by the "models" you have. So it's so possible that Brian borrowed the trademarks from his favourite jazzists and pasted them in the song. John did the same on 'Misfire': Brian-like guitar harmonies and Fred-like vocal harmonies. The "never really anyone but me" part of GC is something I think that no rock musician could enable by himself/herself (except for Mick Ronson and the producers). Perhaps Fred also pasted trademarks from gospel choir arrangers in 'Somebody'

As for the fact that Brian or Fred could arrange or conduct orchestras, even if some of Brian's guitar harmonies were very well constructed, they're different levels. I'm pretty sure that the overture of BTTL must have been arranged and conducted by Howard Blake too.

I also thought Fred was unable to reach those levels, but now I have vague doubts. Barcelona's orchestra is credited to be co-arranged by Fred and Mike. Fred also mentioned a couple of times that the project was very hard for him to make because he had to make research and stuff, so it seems clear that he didn't leave all the dirty work to Mike. Even though I'm still convinced that there is more Mike input than Fred in the orchestras, Mercury definitely was involved much more than Brian in WWTLF or Paul in the Liverpool's Oratorio.

The other thing is 'Was It All Worth It' orchestra, something that I never imagined could come from Fred's head. But apparently there was no involvement from either David or Mike, it was all Freddie's, as opposite to 'Innuendo', in which Dave did something for the orchestral section.

Did I miss something? oh, right, the piano of UP. Death On Two Legs and My Fairy King are different approaches. 'King' is twicce octave bass, then once the chord and then octave bass again (or am I talking about my version of Magical Mystery Tour? somehow I always thought I had played it that way as a link to MFK...). Death On Two Legs is a kind of riff/hook. Under Pressure is, with some exceptions, just four times the chord, including the bass.

It seems weird to me that Roger mixed and produced the song if he and John were the poeople less involved in the songwriting. Perhaps the basic sequence was the first Mercury/Taylor collaboration that we know.

to be continued...
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