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Sebastian: I need your help again27 Feb 2003 23:20

Can you please help me to find out what is exactly Brian's contribution to Don't Try So Hard?

David Richards said it clear: Fred wrote the lyrics, and the music is Fred+Brian, all the
song is very much Freddie to me, so, what did Brian do?

1.PD 28 Feb 2003 18:46
In songwriting point of view I can't say too much. The songform is relatively straightforward. The key is a "guitar" key: e minor, that switches to the paralallel E major for the Bridge which is closer to Brian's style than to Freddie's. A(n early) Freddie-esque detail in the arrangement is the oscillating harmony (before the solo). We have a chromatic line-cliche (end of Chorus), that is closer to Freddie, but could be easily Brian's contribution too, just like the C/D chord which is also Freddie-esque (It's A Beautiful Day, You Take My Breath Away).
2.Sebastian 01 Mar 2003 12:45
Thanks. Do you mind if I put those words on my page? of course they'd be credited to you
3.PD 01 Mar 2003 14:59
Of course you can. If you credit me, do it as "PD".
4.Sebastian 06 Mar 2003 13:16
I think I'll have to abuse of your noble spirit again. Can you tell me about Cool Cat? is this John or is it Freddie?
5.PD 06 Mar 2003 20:25
I strongly suspect that the Intro/Verse riff (and also the Chorus riffs) came from John. The reagee like guitar playing (John was the biggest admirer of Marley in the band), the assymmetric 3+3+2 beat is also you can find in Who Needs You and In Only Seven Days. I have no idea for the Bridge. The has remarkably long lead melodies without repetition. That's a Queen trademark (not particularly characteristic for the Game-Space era though), it can be either John's or Freddie's influence. I suspect that Freddie contributed with the big part of the lead melody.
6.Sebastian 07 Mar 2003 12:57
in fact that's a very mysterious song. Brian and Roger were not involved as John/Freddie played all the guitars and the drums are done on a machine which John programmed
7.Sebastian 26 Mar 2003 16:35
btw, can you tell me about 'You Don't Fool Me'? I know it's Freddie + Roger, but no more
8.PD 28 Mar 2003 21:23
It's difficult to recognise member-specific trademarks here.
The solo section with a chord-progression that is taken not from normal sections (Verse, Chorus Bridge) is slightly Roger-esque (all four members wrote at least one song with this feature).
The use of turn-around chord progression (I > bVII > IV > I) is something non-Freddie-esque.
Stylistically the closest song I can think of is Back Chat.
9.Sebastian 29 Mar 2003 03:19
no wonder why people thought it was from John. I think I'll have to ask somebody about that, and by somebody I mean David Richards or Brian
10.Sebastian 04 Apr 2003 20:26
by the way, can you please help me again? I need to know about Machines and Thank God It's Christmas please
11.PD 04 Apr 2003 21:16
I'm helpless with Machiness in terms of searching for trademarks. Still it's definitely not John or Freddie, but the credits tell us this too. It's a "missing link" toward Don't Lose Your Hand, but I can't tell you exactly why. Maybe the arrangement... Without "Machiness" DLYH would be one of the most surprising Queen tracks ever. The songs is accompanied with power chords most of the time. The song is in G Major the chord functions: bVII, I, bIII, V/V, IV, (V), no minor chords. The "machine-talk" tune has triplets throughout.

"Christmas" is  strange. It has modulation which is definitely not Roger-esque. There are two different Chorus sections in the song which makes me associate with Heaven For Everyone, a Roger track. The meter is 6/8 which is rather a christmas-song trademark, than a songwriter trademark. There are some triplets (hemiolas) thrown in the tunes.
Lets see the harmony: it start in G Major with diatonic chords (not many dissonances) except a bVI. G is a "guitar key", earlier it was not Freddie's favourite, but Friends Will Be Friends and "More To Life" are in G too, and the latter too has bVI chord (Eb). The Chorus is in E. This type of modulation (I mean modulation to VI) is relatively rare in the songbook of Queen, at the moment Hammer To Fall is the only example I know, but there may be more...
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