One Vision

Composer: Queen
Single: 1985
Meter: 4/4
Key: D Major
Form:

       | Intro I-II-III(AAB)-IV(CCC)| Verse (CCC) | Chorus |
                                    | Verse'(CC)  | Chorus | Bridge (Intro III') |
                         | Solo (C) | Verse"(C'C')| Chorus-ext || Interlude |
                                                  | Chorus' / Outro |

"One vision" is a perfect hard driving opening track for both the album and the concerts of the Magic tour as well. While it is credited to the whole band, Brian May must have created the main instrumental hooks of the song.
The arrangement is simple on paper: bass, synth drums, synths, guitars, vocals. The rhythm guitar tracks are relatively fragmentary with lots of different tone settings. Many psychadelic tape-wizardy is applied on both vocals and guitar tracks. The drumtrack is simple, but the rhythm guitar track apply some clever rhythms. The bassline is also simple on the video Deacon plays his instrument with thumb.
The songform shows cyclic design with a bridge and a also bridge-like instrumental interlude.

Intro
The intro can be divided to four subsections. The first one is a vollage of psychadelic noises achied by tape trickery (slow down, reverse play, harmonizer) on voices. The slow down voice must be a Jimmy Hendrix influence.

Te second subsection consists of five phrases with pedal bass. The whole thing starts with a 1-b2-1-b7-1 ornament (see also in "...Forever"). Rhythm track enters in the second phrase. Third phrase adds synth and guitar glissandos.

/--------- 3x ----------\\
| D1  | -   | -   | -   |

In the fourth phrase the pedal bass is added a synth hook played (and most probably also composed) by Brian May. The pedal bass combined with parallel sixth motion is a trademark of his. since the beginning ("Doing All right").

D:
| F#  | G   | A     | G   E  | : inner line
| A   | B   | C     | B   -  | : inner line
| D   | -   | -     | -   -  | : bass
| D   | G/D | D5,7  | G/D *  | : chords
| I   | IV  | V     | IV     |

| D   | G/D | D5,7  | G/D  |
| I   | IV  | V     | IV   |

The last phrase of the synth hook subsection uses borrowed chords. The Bb/D chord is also a late period May trademark (see also in "Hang On In There"). Synth arpeggios are added. Its probably sequenced or speed-up recording. Its not arpeggiator as the arpeggio cycles are changing both shape-wise (AAAB'BBBBBB) and length-wise: 12/32 x3, 9/10 x1, 10/32 x 6 (last one cut off). Beside the Bb triads the "A" and "B" arpgeggios are enriched with 2th and M7th degrees respectively.

| D    | E    | F    | -    |
| Bb   | C    | D    | -    |
| F    | -    | Bb   | -    |
| D    | -    | -    | -    |
| Bb/D | *    | Bb/D | -    |
| bVI  |"bVII"| bVI  | -    |

The final chord sustained unresolved creating lots of tension for the start of the next subsection. This tension is stregthened by same so called "dead notes" or rakes.. The drumtrack also holds a pause here.

The last subsection of the intro exposes the four measure main guitar hook of the verses three times. The enter of the guitars is extremly impulsive due to some well placed rakes. The second phrase adds bass, drums and lead guitar.

Verse
The verses are built on the close rhythmic variant of the above exposed guitar hook. Later verses add more variants.
The first verse contain three the other verses two riff phrases. The lead vocal frequently uses bluesy flat thirds. The third melodic phrase end different than the first two (AAA') closing with three part harmonized title words.

| D  A/C# | D   G/B | C   G/B | C  A/C# D |
| I  V    | I   IV  |bVII IV  |bVII V   I |

The beat map for the rhythm guitar track:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1
*    * **    ****  **  **  * *  *

The second verse alters the lead melody but its rhythm remains the same for most of the time. The first riff ends with a different fill.
The first half of the third verse is completly changed melody-wise and also the rhythm guitar track closes with new figures. The second half is a melodic variant of the opening half-verse while the rhythm guitar track adds here another new riff using the 3+3+3+3+4 rhythmic grouping.

Solo
The solo is played over the main riff before the third Verse. May uses the tapping technique the first time on a record since "It's Late" (1977). The tapping part of the solo (m3-4) is triplet-driven with lost of chromatic steps.

Chorus
In terms of functional harmony this chorus seems rahter like a bridge. It is not sharply separated from the verse. The bassline in the first two phrases uses a motif reminiscent of one in "A Kind Of Magic". The phrasing is 2+2+4 (AAB).

/----- 2x ----\\
| A    | D/A  |
| V    | I    |

| C    | -    | -    |
| bVII | -    | -    |

| A1 A# B1 C1 C# ||(D)
| 5th chromatic  ||(1st)

More precisely transcribed the first A-nat note is still in the previous meausre. See the beat map with off beat rhythm:

4 1 2 3 4 1
 * * * * **

In the first cycle it is directly preceded by another off-beat downward scale featuring blue note (Eb>E)

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1...
      ** * * * *  *******...

The lead vocal of the first chorus is two part harmonized a third lower throughout.
The second chorus alters the B melodic phrase (it starts two steps higher).
The first phrase of the third chorus is not harmonized. The second phrase is shifted up, while its harmony part remains the original lead part. The third phrase is altered and extended. The oscillating "wo-wo-yeah" phrase is three part harmonized this time.

| A    | D/A  | A    | G    | D    | -(7) |
| V    | I    | V    | IV   | I    | -    | 

The first two phrases of the fourth Chorus are just like in the first chorus with guitar harmonies added in the background. The rest of the section is completly changed melody-wise altough the harmony remains a variant:

| C   | C4   | C   |
| bVII| -    | -   | 

The last phrase features an interesting echo antiphony, and close with the legendary "fried chicken" words.
The chromatic lick is executed twice expanding the figure from one to three measures. Its rhythm is more straithforward than it first sounds (since the bass steps are located on the pre-downbeat eigths):

4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
 **  **  **  **   * * * * *


Bridge
The Bridge is built around the intro (see also "Leaving Home Ain't Easy"). Only the third phrase is extended (this extension is also used in the live version intro). After two phrase pause the drum track enter for the third phrase. The "dark rain" phrase is also sung by Mercury.

| Bb/D | */D  | Bb/D | */D   | Bb/D  | -b5  |
| bVI  | bVII | bVI  | bVII  | bVI   | -    |

The Bb/D 5th > b5th lick also appeared in the live version of "Is This The World...". The 1-b2-1-b7-1 ornament is played on guitar this time. The lead melody is almost completly acyclic ecxept short fragments ("sweet illusion" vs "sweet union").
 

Interlude
After the bridge we have a long semi-instrumental interlude (shades of "Another One..."). The main ingredients are synth drums a hard to hear synth part centered to A-nat, and lead guitar fills. These lead guitar fills are done not in Brian"s usual melodic approach.

/---- 6x ---\\
| A1  | -   |

| A1  |Bb*  | -   |

In m14 the Bb chord sound like the familiar Bb/D chord as the lead guitar plays unisono bend combined with tremolo picking on the D note.

Outro
The outro is segued from the last chorus. Beside the tape-trickery with ots of borrowed fragments ofrom the intro we have two synth phrases. The first one is coupple of D-nat notes skowing down, the second one is fast arpeggio fragments around the Bb (bVI) chord.