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Sebastian: Short notes on Queen Songs ... again06 Oct 2003 22:08
Please don't let this forum die. We have to do something about it. Anyway, some of the new stuff I've learned, just in case some of you is interested:

- Roger had Radio Ga Ga for himself, until John created the bass-line. It turns out that Roger wrote the track in LA and even locked himself in a different room of the studios to work on it all by himself. John heard the track and invented the bass-line, and when Fred heard it, he sent Roger on a ski-trip and completely re-arranged the track. That's how it ended being a Queen song.

- November 6th 1972, historical date. Reason: For the first time in the Queen story, Freddie played piano on stage. It was the white Bechstein. The concert was arranged by Trident Sound Productions (and by arranged I mean thay also supplied the gear), who had a special deal with the Bechstein piano store Jacques Samuels (that's why the piano of Trident Studios was also a Bechstein). So we finally solved this.

- Thank God It's Christmas is Roger's. Brian said that they both had the idea for a xmas single and they both wrote a song each one. Roger's was the best so they chose it. Brian's song was the one he did with Anita 4 years later. The reason of the double credit must be because when it was accepted to be a Queen track, perhaps Brian re-arranged it or inserted a new section (I suspect of the bridge).

In fact the double credit songs would deserve a separate chapter. While some few of them are one person in lyrics and one in music ('Rain Must Fall'), it seems like in most cases one person wrote 65-70% of both lyrics and music, and the other helped to change a little or something.

'Mother Love' is credited to Fred and Brian, but David Richards always referrs to it as Brian's. Also Brian said 'Friends Will Be Friends' is Freddie's, and then Fred and John worked together polishing it. Peter Freestone credits both 'Friends' and 'Pain' to John, and said that Fred helped with it, and John wanted his contribution to be recognised. He also credits 'Bijou' to Freddie only. I kind of agree with that. Brian wrote the solo, but it was over the chords Fred had done in the keyboards, and also Fred wrote the lyrics.

Mercury referred to 'Cool Cat' as "one of my songs", in a similar way John said "Brian wrote a song in the last album (The Works) about the American government". I wonder which song is that. Perhaps 'Hammer', but I heavily suspect it's 'Is This The World'. So, see, John credits this just to Brian.

'My Baby Does Me' is credited to Fred and John, but apparently Fred wrote the lyrics, and according to John he also wrote the bass-line. So this is much more Mercury than Deacon.
1.PD 06 Oct 2003 23:02
> Please don't let this forum die.
As for me: I will try to get back. The tabs and chords (and my life) kept me busy, but now the actual updates close this period. I'm five articles behind my plans, I can't foresee how quick I can go on.

> Roger had Radio Ga Ga for himself, until John created the bass-line.
I suppose that the bassline in RG must have been one of the last step in the songwriting process. The characteristic of the bassline:
long notes on the root + occassional treble figures + plus a syncopated rhythm figure. The ending bassline is superb.

Thanks Sebastian for the infos.

2.Sebastian 06 Oct 2003 23:27
perhaps the bassline John created that Fred loved and made him transform RGG into a Queen track, was different from the one that was in the released version
3.BrianMay 09 Oct 2003 02:21
Freddie didn't send Roger away, Roger asked Freddie to help him a little bit, cause he knew it could be a hit
4.Sebastian 09 Oct 2003 13:19
it wasn't like that either. Roger just went to ski and Fred took the song.
5.PD 16 Oct 2003 07:13
Brian anwers, including Sebastian's questions:


I wish my questions posted half year ago would be replied too, but see hardly any chances for that.
6.Sebastian 16 Oct 2003 14:14
you should ask again, have a strategy like I did

I had asked the harpsichord question about three times and it finally got answered. Also I asked a lot of different issues that never got (and never will get unless I ask again) responses. Those were, as far as I remember, confirmations about songwriters of Don't Try So Hard, Kashoggi's Ship, Let Me Live and Hang On In There, info about Brian's Les Paul, the eternal Who Needs You thing (I asked it like three times and "forced" some friends to do it as well, you know, strenght the chances...), and if there was a relation between 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Jesus'.

I suggest you to do the same, it's better if you separate your questions into small groups and send them to him separately, with good creative titles (mine was 'Instruments Oddyssey'), there you'd have a better chance that he at least answers one of them.

I think what helped me was also that I related my question to a recent answer he gave to someone else, and that coincidentially two more people asked about "secrets" of the same era. It's luck as well.

By the way, I was one of the big quantity of people that asked him the date of 'Beautiful Day'. Even though he didn't answer directly to me, I'm so glad he finally did to one of us.
7.PD 23 Oct 2003 08:50
I'm too "shy" to try to cheat Brian with the "multi-poster" trick. I may re-post my questions tough.
8.Sebastian 23 Oct 2003 16:46
it's not cheating, it's just having better chances.

maybe I can help you although I feel bad to ask more things to brian if he already had answered me twice. but I recently made an instrument discovery that perhaps would interest him, I sent the conclusions by mail a couple of days ago, perhaps he hasn't read the mail. if he likes that (it's beatles-related so he very probably will) that can give me the "moral" right to ask him one more question

if that's the case, which one of your long mail do you think is the most important question for you?
9.PD 26 Oct 2003 09:54
Yeah. I thought some of us could "sign" a set of most wanted questions to be answered.
I suppose Jen (brianmay.com) has influence on which questions will be forwarded to Brian. Maybe Jen would give a chance to a multiple-signed request. My name alone is turned out to be lightwight to achive it. Another question that you may chose another questions than what I sent:

Who played the guitar solo in Who Needs You?
Were the solo fills fingerpicked?

In an interview you told that some solos in the outro of "Good
Company" were recorded by you note by note. I guess the "pozan"
guitars were recorded this way. The "clarinet" guitars were too?
I'm interested in the musical input of guest arrangers:

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 those were originally
Freddie's chords and harmonies?
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 considering it was written in 1968 (?).
Can you remember where the idea/influence came from?
As the legend says Stone Cold Crazy was the "son" of an old
Wreckage song. How much really was this song a teamwork?

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

I'm also interested in major or notable examples of non-credited
musical inputs inside the band (especially up to the "Magic" album).

There are some tricky rhythms in "Save Me", at least it often confuses
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?
As I know David Richard 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?
If yes, could you name a few?
Was it Roger playing guitar arpeggios in Tenement Funtster, More Of
That Jazz and Human Body?
Were these figures fingerpicked or done with plectrum?


these were my original questions I posted back in may. Jen asked me to reduce this set in order not to overhelm Brian. Then I re-posted a reduced version with strictly on-target questions. Since then my want-list has been completed with the "guitar-chymes" point.
10.Sebastian 26 Oct 2003 13:13
in response to your comments:

> I thought some of us could "sign" a set of most wanted questions to be answered.

It wouldn't be a bad idea. I can mail jen about it and tell her about the idea of a 30 points questionarie of direct wonderingments (is that a word?).

> Who played the guitar solo in Who Needs You?

I guess the question should have been longer (this one). If we ask "who played the solo" he immediatly thinks of himself, even if he doesn't remember correctly. I think it'd be better to "recreate" a little the environment of the song to him: if he played the solos, then everything john did, in his own song, was a strummed rhythm, while brian put about six guitar tracks and percussion... no sense. by other side it is true that both of them could handle the solo. Note that he included masterstroke as part of either opera or races and said it was recorded at wessex studios (used in races).

> 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 those were originally
Freddie's chords and harmonies?

You don't mention the song
> There is a nice chain of minor chords at end of "who Wants To Live
Forever". Was it Mr. Kamen's contribution or yours?

It's Michael's. Brian said in June at his soapbox that Michael had been hired to write the score, and at the same time he used some WWTLF references in his orchestral backdrops during McLeod's love scenes, Brian put a reference to Mike's Highlander theme at the end of the album track.

> For example in "Doing All Right", "Is This The World We Created".

as for doin' all right, that's a very good question in case we're not able to contact Tim. as for 'world' I got a 1984 interview in which the guy/girl says Fred that he/she thinks the lyrics are Brian's, and he answerers "no dear, they're mine". so it's kind of clear.

> Was it Roger playing guitar arpeggios in Tenement Funtster, More Of That Jazz and Human Body?

good questions again. But again I think it'd work to set him in more in the arguments of the question (he didn't even remember the band used to play Doin' All Right), for example tell him that Jazz and Game albums don't have credits but Sheer only credits Brian and John on guitar.
11.PD 01 Nov 2003 21:47
30 points are IMO way to much to overhelm good old Brian. There must be questions that no many people are interested for except me. Other people (including you or Wiz) are interested for another kind of questions.
Blah blah blah (I lost the point meanwhile ...)

> You don't mention the song
Ooops. The "song" is The Kiss by the way.

Regarding WWTLF: I knew Brian's quotes, but it didn't convince me about the origin of that particular chord sequence.

Regarding "...World...": according to the quote the lyrics belong to Fred. Now I'm interested in the music, that can co-written.

There are new interesting infos on "...Sidewalk" available at Brianmay.com. Thanks to Niek.
12.Sebastian 01 Nov 2003 22:15
by the way, Freddie did send Roger on a skiing holiday and Rog didn't ask Fred to help him with Radio. The quote is "Roger was just thinking about it as just another track. And I just said no, I think it needs… so I virtually took it over. And I sent him on a ... he went on a holiday skiing for about a week, and came back and…"

Yeah I did know you were talking about 'The Kiss', but perhaps he wouldn't...

If the lyrics of 'Is This The World' are Freddie's, then the music must be Brian's or else it wouldn't be a May/Mercury song.

I think the 30 question thing can be something like a special day or something, in a similar way roger chatted today, only that brian seems to keep interest in those old days (note that his last answers have been about pre-jazz era)
13.Chaka 02 Nov 2003 03:51
re: My Baby Does Me bassline, John said Freddie came up with it but Freddie said John did...is there anywhere other than the Mike Read interview this is discussed?
14.Sebastian 02 Nov 2003 14:07
at the end of the "argument" it seems to me that John won. John said "you came up with the bassline", Fred said "no it was you", John said "no it was you" then Fred said "ok, anyway this song..."
15.Sebastian 02 Nov 2003 14:40
btw, about Is This The World, I got Fred's exact quote "I came up with the lyrical side and he came up with the chords..."
16.PD 15 Nov 2003 13:36
Currently I'm trancribing the basslines on the Opera album. Some thing I noticed: Love Of My Life seems to have additional bass here and there. Some notes in the side channels are an octave lower than in the center.
The Prophet's Song: the section with those "shifted accents" sounds less anomalous in the bassline. There is a little mistake by John I detected shortly after the interlude.
There is no double stop anywhere in the bassline in contrast with what I wrote in one of my posts. But there may be double stops in "...Car".
Seaside Rendezvous: the bassline occassionally uses non-shuffle beat.
Sweet Lady occassionally sound like as if it was played with plectrum.
39: the double bass uses probably standard bass tuning instead of a half step higher tuning as the acoustic guitars.
Best Friend: there are some additional bass fills (overdubs).

Don't Try Suicide: I guess that John plays the main riff with slap-bass-like thumb picking.

17.PD 06 Jan 2004 07:34

just a short note, I cannot confirm.

"Some claim that this first minute of Bohemian Rhapsody inspired the ending of the song "One Jump Ahead" from the animated film Disney's Aladdin. For instance, both are sung by a poor boy character, and both have the words "to me" sung on the same notes in roughly the same inflection over the same cadence."
18.Sebastian 05 Jul 2004 12:21
Just a comment, or more to the point a general wonderingment. How do you do to detect the tuning? If it`s standard or not?

Doin` All Right: I`ve been thinking a lot about it lately. I guess the structure must be Tim`s. The intro sounds Brian-esque (and so the verse too). Besides the lyrics (which can be any or both), I don`t know about that middle riff... no idea. We should ask them really
19.PD 23 Dec 2004 09:37
copyed and pasted from "queenzone":

Line-up: Freddie Mercury (vocals), Brian May (guitar), Roger Meddows Taylor (drums), Deacon John (bass).
Recorded June – Nov 1972. Released 13th July 1973. Produced by John Anthony, Roy Thomas Baker & Queen at Trident Studios, London, for Neptune Productions. Engineered by Roy Thomas Baker, Mike Stone, Ted Sharpe & Dave Hertschel. Night Comes Down recorded by Louie Austin.

Mad The Swine
US 1991 3:23 Remix Queen: US 1991 Hollywood HR-61064-2
Original Trident Studio Version Unreleased:
(Roger Taylor & Roy Thomas Baker argued about the strength of drums in the final mix, so eventually dropped. Originally featured between Great King Rat & My Fairy King. 1991 release NOT a remix but a remaster).

When "Mad The Swine" safety master was flown out to Dave Richards in 1991, the band knew that it could not be "remixed" but it could be "enhanced" - ie a cleaner reproduction which could be EQ'd - but not classically "remixed". So it is the "same" version.

To make maters worse, and to show that "Mad The Swine" did come from the safety master (and not from the actual master mixes) the version we know and love has actually been cut by about one or two seconds.

Right at the end of "Great King Rat", Roger ends on a final drum solo (Roll?). This solo fades out to a stop, and "My Fairy King" starts with a clean guitar intro. You can hear this still - whatever version of the disc you have. But "Mad The Swine" used to sit between both before it was removed from the final album. What should have happened is that Roger's final drum solo was ever so slightly longer and it segued into "Mad The Swine".

Obviously to start the 1991 version of "Mad The Swine" with the final (bar?) beat of a faded drumroll sounded "incorrect" - but there was no way that this final beat could be removed. (If they had the master mixes this would have been no problem - but because it was from a safety master - it could not be "un-mixed" or removed).

So to overcome this problem, they simply "cut-out", the final drumbeat and edited "Mad The Swine" to start a second or so later. You can still hear this today - if you know what you are listening for.

The track should begin "I've been here before". (notice the word "I've"). But because the "tail" of the final "Great King Rat" segue coincided with "I've" - "I've" was cut from the final edit - so the song now begins "Been here before". (I think "I've been..." is the actual official lyric).

"Great King Rat" posed no such problem, because the track was faded out a second or so earlier - the segue did not exist.

20.Sebastian 25 Dec 2004 06:31
Talking about Great King Rat, something I hadn`t noticed: before the solo there`s a descending part which is almost the same as the one in Stone Cold Crazy. I wonder which one came first
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