Flick Of The Wrist

Composer: Freddie Mercury
Meter: 4/4
Key: e-minor, a-minor/C-Major
Form:

         Intro I-II | Verse | Bridge | Chorus I-II |
                    | Verse | Bridge | Chorus I - Solo |
                    | Verse | Bridge'| Chorus II

This song is not a usual rock song.  Each verse, bridge and especially the chorus has different character. It has segued intro from "Tenement Funster and segued outro toward "Lilly Of The Valley". The songform shows three cycles with the "usual" (for Queen standard) changes and variants that are located at the second half of the cycles.
The from the previous track inherited key is e-minor/G-Major, and most of the song also seems to be in e-minor, while other sections dont have a strong tonal center.
A characteristic part of the arrangement is the lead guitar fills that sound like played backwards.

Intro
The opening subsection has a pseudo-classical piano work. It has three phrases where the second and third are transposed up (by fourth) variant of the first: A A4' A4'. The harmony is built upon a descending chromatic double-line cliche (see reversed in "... Leroy Brown") combined with 3+3+2 syncopated accents in m.1-2 of each phrase. The most interesting fragment is in m.4 with some scalar motions built in. Bass lead guitar and drums enter in the third phrase.

| G*   | *    | *    | G *7 |

/------------ 2x---------------\\
| C(9)* | *    | *    | C F/C C |

The second susbection with its static harmony is close variant of the cycle closing phrase of the choruses.

| Am   | Dm/A Am | Am   | Dm/A Am |
| iv   | iv/iviv | iv   |iv/iv iv |


Verse
The phrasing of the 8 measure verse is 4+4, AA' harmony wise, the second phrase is instrumental. The lead guitar here is not melodic enough to be threated as a proper guitar solo. The mode of the verse (especially the lead guitar work) sounds to be B phrygian. Retrospectively the whole section can be interpreted as being centered around the dominant chord of the soon to be established e-minor key. Mainly the same harmonic gambit was used in the intro of "The March Of The Black Queen". The absence of the tonic is very unusual for verses, more usual for the bridges.
We dont have chordal backing just single note figures roughly followed by the lead vocals sung in octaves. The functional harmony analysis is based on dyades outlined by the tune.

e:
| D#1 B1...  | E1 B1...  | D#1 B1...  | A1 B1...  |
|   "V"      | "i"       |   "V"      | "iv"      |

| D#1 B1...  | E1 B1...  | F#1 B1...  | A1 B1...  |
|   "V"      | "i"       |   "V"      | "iv"      |


Bridge
The 9 measure bridge has two phrases: 4+5 AA'. This is still square phrasing with expanded last chord and a crescendo of low toms and also a special percussive sound.

| Em   | D    | Em   | D    |
| i    | VII  | i    | VII  |

| Em   | D    | A5   | B5   | -    |
| i    | VII  | i    | VII  | -    |

There is one three part vocal harmony block in m4 that is rhythmically and lyrically altered in the last cycle.
The last bridge is altered more from m7. While the lead vocal repeats the first phrase this time without varying it, there is an ascending harmony very reminiscent of those polirhythmic vocal harmonies in "...Black Queen" (again).

m7
...| Em   | D*   | -    |
...| i    | VII  | -    |


Chorus
The chorus consists of two subsection the first if which is only two measures long. The second cycle omits the second, the third cycle the first subsection.
The first subsection consists of two one measure phrases. The related vocal phrases are centered before the downbeat of the harmonic phrases.

| Em   |
| i    |

| B    |
| V    |

The second subsection starts with a diatonic chain of fifths suggestion a modulation to C-major.  

m3
 | Am7  | D    | G(6>7)| C G/B|
e: iv   | VII  | III   | VI   |
    C:  | V/V  |  V    | I    |

But from m.6 the harmony is centered to Am7 chord.  That added seventh works against the chord being interpreted as the tonic.
The next two vocal phrases consist of a harmonized and a solo lead vocal subphrase respectively.

| Am7  | A*   |
| vi   | -    |

| Am7  | A*   |
| vi   | -    |

| Am7  | Am7 D5/A Am7 |
| vi   | vi   ii   vi |

The next phrase is built around a the antidirectional counterpoint between the chromatic ascending bass and descending top voice.

|  C     B    | A    B     | -       | top voice
|  G     G    | F#   G     | A       | inner voice
|  E     E    | D    E     | -       | inner voice
|  C     C#   | D    E     | -       | low voice and bass/guitar
|  C C#halfdim| D   Em     | Esus4   | chords
C  I          | V/V  iii   | -       |
e: VI         |VII   i     | -       |

The last harmonic phrase reprises the harmony closing of the intro. The vocal phrase end on the downbeat of the harmonic phrase. In the last cycle this vocal phrase closes the song segued to Lily Of The Valley starting in a-minor. Backwards played guitar is added that overlaps the transition to the verse.

| A5    | -     | -     | -     |

Solo
The solo has simple harmony and relatively non-melodic lead melody. The first four harmonic phrases are centered around G-chord.

m1
/----- 3x ------\\
| G5   |(G5) C  | G5   | -    |
| III  |     VI | III  | -    |

In the next three phrases the rhythm guitars are repeating an ascending e-minor blues scale with off-beat rhythms.

m9
/----- 3x ------\\
| E1*  | -      |
| 1st  | -      |

The next three phrases reprise the chromatic ascending motif of the end of the chorus, fully executed for only the third time with a half measure shortening. This is a tad more melodic part of the guitar solo closing with some crazy false bent notes in m21.

m15 
/------- 3x------\\
| C1 C#1 | D1    | Em    | (E1)  |
| 6th    | 7th   | i     |       |