These Are The Days Of Our Lives

Written by Queen (Roger)

Recording information by Philipp (PraxisNothaft@t-online.de)

Recorded 1989-1990 at Mountain and/or Metropolis Studios.
Released in  February 1991 on the album  Innuendo,as well as in December 1991 on the double A-sided single Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives.

General:
A wonderful, poignant ballad, which actually hit the no.1 spot twice. As a single together with Boh Rhap and a year later as a live-version on George Michael's Five Live EP. It probably wouldn't have been that successful without the Wayne's World-pushed Bohemian Rhapsody, but this doesn't say anything about its quality: it is a cleverly arranged song with haunting lyrics and brilliant music, which truly deserved its Ivor Novello Award.

First of all, many thanks to Matt for his valuable help!

Drums & Percussion:
They're all computer- and synth-generated, rather than actually played.
The basic drum pattern only uses snare, bass-drum and hi-hat. The hi-hat is panned left.
For the right channel there's a maraca-track, which is going along with the  hi-hat. The snare-drum has a small delay-effect at some points during the 2nd and 3rd chorus. Then there are several other overdubs:
A ride cymbal plays several fills and there are many crash cymbal -rolls and hits. In the solo, there's a bell-tree. There's far too much to go into detail.
Last but not least there are two congas and two bongos, which were programmed by David Richards on a Korg M1 keyboard. Each pair consists of a high and a low pitched item and is panned into a separate stereo-direction.

Bass:
It could be the Giffin bass, or a Fender Precision.
It was recorded via D.I. and there's a good use of EQ.
Listen to John's feeling and tasteful bass-playing !

Keyboards:
Most of them were programmed via MIDI by the five of them (band producer) in the studio, and then run through the Korg M1 synth.
From the first verse on,a keyboard with a string-sound and a plucked attack is playing chords (later the plucked sound is turned off and only the strings are left over). In the chorus a second keyboard plays some string-overdubs.
Another keyboard plays along with the melody with bell-like sounds (only chorus)
The sound-settings are quite tricky. There's reverb and a tiny bit of flanging on the strings-sounds and they have a slow attack. The bell-like tones have a little chorus-effect.

Guitars:
For me one of Brian's finest moments, as his lines are very different to his usual style (if this actually exists),  which makes it unpredictable. And his licks are just beautiful!
The solo-guitar was a first take, by the way.
The first guitar recorded is probably the distorted rhythm-guitar, which hasn't much to do except for the low power chords in the chorus.
Then there is a clean guitar which starts towards the end of the first verse and plays chords and arpeggios in the chorus, as well as some small fills (e.g. 3:48). The most prominent guitar, however, is the solo-guitar.
Besides the solo it plays many, extremely tasteful, little fills throughout the song and goes through several degrees of distortion (from almost clean to high gain). There is lots of panning.
SoundZ: All guitars are played with the Red Special and VoxAC30 amps.
Effects are by Zoom. The distortion for the solo-guitar has been controlled with a pedal. There's lots of reverb and some chorus on some places.
The solo-guitar has a small delay throughout the song. In the high gain solo, however,the delay gets much bigger with a delay-time of approximately 520 ms.

Vocals:
For most of the time there are only two vocal-tracks. Freddie's lead-vocals and a second one by him with harmonies. Towards the end,in the third chorus,however, a third Freddie-voice is joining to create three-part-harmonies.

By The Way:
These Are The Days Of Our Lives is known for being the last video to be filmed by the group as a four-piece with Freddie (this little GH III-booklet is great!). Brian's parts, however, were filmed separately, as he couldn't be there during filming (thanks to Matt for this information).