Quotes related to 'Innuendo' album

About the album

As much as possible we've done it live in the studio, with three or four of us playing at one time. There's a fair bit of new technology. Sometimes we would start off by programming something and working around it, but in almost every case we replaced original material with real stuff as we went along. With the digital [recording] gear you can allow yourself to do that more freely, because if you make copies you don't lose quality. What I've always said about digital is that you can preserve the "liveness". In the old days you would say: "That's very nice as a demo, but now we'll do it properly". Now you can say: "That's great as a demo; we'll use this piece and incorporate it into the finished product". So you use tht first take of a vocal for instance, and it's there: sparkling and clear on the final mix.

Brian May; Vox magazine, 1991

I think it's the best one for quite a long time. There's nothing I'm embarrassed about. Often you put out an album and you think "...But I wish we'd done this". This one I feel quite happy about, and I can listen to it without any problems. I like it a lot. I think it's nicely complex and nicely heavy, and there's a lot of invention on there.

Brian May; Vox magazine, 1991

On David Richards: Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in him. He started off being the engineer, now we sort of use him as a sort of fifth member of the band. And we use him to bounce off...

Brian May; The Making of Innuendo, Rockline 04 Feb. 1991

On contributing of songs together: Well, we started that on the last album, 'The Miracle'. We found that it was just the best decision that we ever made. It removes all the ego things that get in the way of making decisions on merit, and people aren't worrying about, "hey this is my song, it's better than your song," and whatever the single is, it's contributed to everybody. Everybody contributes to each song. So, it's really worked out well for us.

Roger Taylor; The Making of Innuendo, Rockline 04 Feb. 1991

On Headlong US single release: It was kind of as a result of the feeling that was fed back by the record company here. They thought that "Headlong" would be the easiest to break into the A.O.R. situation here. The other track, "Innuendo," seemed to be a natural single for England, and in fact it went in at number one in England last week.

Brian May; The Making of Innuendo, Rockline 04 Feb. 1991

It took about a year. But what we'd do is we'd go into the studio, work for about three weeks and take two weeks off. The album was really a happy album to make, they're not all happy to make. It sort of wrote itself. We didn't have any problems with it at all, and I think it shows in the end result. The material has depth and maturity to it, and it just runs well, I think, and in some ways it does remind us of the 'A Night At The Opera' days.

Roger Taylor; The Making of Innuendo, Rockline 04 Feb. 1991

About 'All God's People'

I had less to do with that than I did with most at the stuff on the album. That was originally something Freddie was going to do on a solo album, and gradually we all played on it. I went in and played guitar and it seemed to work very well. John went in and played bass, Roger put the drums in, so it became a Queen track. I love it. Not many people have spoken to me about it, but I think it's great. It's got a lot of depth to it.

Brian May; The Life Of Brian, Guitar World magazine, August 1991

All God's People is my favourite track [on the album]. It's chilling.

Nuno Bettencourt; Guitar World, August 1991

[Joint songwriting credits] worked very well for the band, although you can pretty much work out who is responsible for what. There are things on Innuendo, for example, which are obviously me, but by talking about it you obviously destroy what we were trying to achieve… I was obviously involved heavily in Headlong, I Can't Live with You and Hitman, while All God's People came from Freddie at the same time as the Barcelona project. The Show Must Go On came from Roger and John playing the sequence and I started to put things down.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

Freddie and Mike Moran remained very close and Freddie thought Mike would bring out the best on the keyboards on All God's People. Freddie after all had only ever got to Grade Three or Four on the Royal Academy of Music's piano exams and Freddie only ever wanted the very best on this album. The four tracks [off Innuendo] whose words and music outline were Freddie's are obviously All God's People and Slightly Mad as well as Delilah, which, as all Freddie-lovers know was written about his favourite cat. And then, of course, there was Bijou, the fourth. One of the tracks that sticks in my brain is Going Slightly Mad when I distinctly remember Freddie coming home and having great difficulty with the lyrics. This again was one of those occasions where he came in and we were searching for about three hours for the elusive words. And with All God's People, he was having his last blast at gospel which he loved.

Peter Freestone; An Intimate Memoir, 1st of November 2001

The secret for making a keyboard sound like an orchestra is that you must play each and every part individually. In other words, if you get the orchestral unions right, if you double up the cellos with bassoons, etc., the end result will resemble what a typical orchestra would sound like. Even today with the great samples that exist, if you put a fist full of notes down, they sound like a keyboard player playing a fist full of stringy type sounds. If you play the sounds individually and then get add the spiky down-bows, you have an orchestra. Fred's level of ingenuity came once the process was nearly finished. He would listen to the passage and say, “something is missing.” He would then add a ninth or eleventh, or some other note that I would never have guessed to add, and then before you knew it, it was Queen.

Michael Moran; Technologies of Genre, 15th of January 2008

It was still a solo track at the time, but Freddie had asked Brian to play a solo on it. Brian did a good solo, but decided he could do better and played it again. Freddie said “No, I don't like it,” and so it went on, and I could see Brian getting more and more tense. After another solo, Freddie said “Oh, that's rubbish.” David Richards, Mike Moran and I were all looking at each other. At the time, it seemed horrific. After another solo, Freddie made some comment like “Oh, come on! You and that fireplace guitar… play it like you mean it!” So Brian let rip with this great solo, and, of course, Freddie had this big grin on his face. He knew what Brian could do, and he was just pushing him.

John Brough; Is This the Real Life, 2011

Fred and I went into the studio to work on whatever. We just started to write and we came up with an idea, which was a starting point for a year's work - the whole idea of this, by the way, was to do a solo album for Fred, which was, a non-Queen album. After The Great Pretender, those geniuses in the record company said, “Why don't you do an album of covers?” He said, “I've only got one cover in me, and that was it.” And so we started to write original material, and the first thing we started to write was a tune - then again, the title came from nowhere - called All God's People. I've no idea where that came from, but it was the first thing that we did as a solo thing together. It was hijacked for a Queen track eventually, for Innuendo. There's a story about this: there's a line in here in which Freddie sings “all prime ministers”. This means nothing, it's complete garbage, it means nothing except on the guide vocal, we needed something that rhythmically said [like the melody]. He said, “oh, I'll do a guide vocal.” He sang, “all prime ministers.” And there it still remains to this day. It means nothing, it has no contribution to the overall lyric but here we are.  So All God's People came and went and in the middle of this, I got a phone call - it was actually when we were doing The Great Pretender video, I think, I was fast asleep, about four o'clock in the morning, after we'd finished this - and the telephone rang, it's Fred, immensely excited, he said, “look, I've got fantastic news: I've heard from Montserrat Caballé, and she wants to, you know, come and do this thing now.” And I said, “OK, fine.”  So we went back in the studio the next day and started to work on a track, we had no idea what to do, and I said to Fred, “we need just a working title,” and he said, “let's call it Barcelona, because that's where we met.” I said, “it's not a bad idea, Barcelona, where you met, let's do something based on that.' I started to do that [bells intro] fairly operatic and triumphant. And the rest is history  because, after that, we never went back to the solo album, because the rest of the year was taken up with Barcelona and the rest of the Barcelona album. So there are bits and pieces of tracks that we started and never finished but maybe they'll see the light of day, one day.

Michael Moran; Memorial Talk in Montreux, 1st of September 2012

About 'Bijou'

I have a debt there, and you know to whom - Jeff Beck.

Brian May; The Life Of Brian, Guitar World magazine, August 1991

I'm pretty basic as far as technique is concerned. I don't use many gadgets, and I like the sound my guitar makes, anyway. But I'm very aware of a lot of new input into guitar playing - there are a lot of great people out there, like Steve Vai, Satriani, Edward Van Halen and Jeff Beck. Every time I listen to Jeff Beck my whole view of guitar changes radically. He's way, way out, doing things which you never expect. That's my kind of model in a way; I would like people to listen to what I do and say: “Ah, he took a chance there: this is something different.” I'd like people to think it's melodic and not just “wheely, wheely, wheely” for being flashy's sake.

Brian May; Album EPK, 2nd of February 1991

The title came from Freddie and it's a collaboration between Freddie and Brian. Freddie played the strings part and then Brian played the guitar. It was finished very quickly, in about an hour.

David Richards; Queen File, November 2001

Freddie really loved the Innuendo album. Listening to it, you hear some of the more flamboyant aspects coming back into the arrangements. Whereas The Miracle had been a bit straight and basic, Innuendo had all the flair and magic of Freddie's fingerprint. It was like he was putting his stamp on what would be his swansong because I obviously cannot count Made in Heaven as his, although I am sure he would be very happy with the results of John, Brian and Roger's very hard work. Each time, he brought a cassette of the day's work home, he was incredibly excited. Even if some of us might have been asleep, he would wake everyone up and make us listen. He was giving it his all. He didn't care that he would fall into bed totally exhausted. If we were still worried that all this hard work was shortening his life, he made it very clear that he didn't care. Once he had started working on this album, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, going to stop him from completing what I believe he considered some of his best work. He always considered his best work as that which he did with Queen. The four tracks whose words and music outline were Freddie's are obviously All God's People and Slightly Mad as well as Delilah. And then, of course, there was Bijou, the fourth. For those of you who remember BBC Radio's Round the Horne, the title perfectly describes Freddie's “little trifle” that he insisted on going on the album and which of course afforded such a wonderful showcase for Brian May. Who else but Freddie could come up with a title like Bijou?

Peter Freestone; An Intimate Memoir, 1st of November 2001

Written by Freddie and I together - it was really inspired (in us both!) by Jeff Beck .... I don't know if you realize already, but the song has an unusual format - we wanted to make it a song “inside out” (with its heart on its sleeve). The main parts of the song are played on guitar instead of being sung, and in the middle, where the guitar solo would normally be, appears the short vocal section. The vocal is a succinct and very precise little verse, a little gem, a “Bijou” - a jewel buried at the heart of the piece: hence the name of the song. Each bit of the melody was alive in our heads and “hummed” before it was played - Freddie coming up with the beginning line which started us off on the trail. Those days were very creative - good times.... Postscript - my Mum was given a budgie by a friend. She felt uncomfortable about birds being in cages (she was a real bird lover, and spent much time watching birds in the wild), but, finding herself charged with looking after the budgerigar, she gradually began to love it - it became a great companion for her after she lost my Dad. She called it “Bijou” and she would spend hours talking to it! It never responded very rewardingly vocally, but it didn't seem to matter - the bird seemed to understand her perfectly! It was her little Bijou. It was a sad day for her when the little thing came to the end of its life. She never got another.

Brian May; Official Website, 4th of February 2004

I also like Bijou off Innuendo. I worked very closely with Freddie on that. He had a lot to do with the guitar line and I had a lot to do with the vocal lines. It's sort of a song turned inside out. Usually the song has a solo in the middle but, in this case, it's an instrumental guitar song and the voice takes a solo in the middle.

Brian May; Guitar Player, January 2008

About 'Delilah'

Delilah is just Freddie. It reminds me of his solo album, Mr Bad Guy.

Nuno Bettencourt; Guitar World, August 1991

I was pleased with the guitar on that. It's the first time. I finally succumbed and used [a Talkbox]. They wheeled it in and I said, “Well, I suppose there's no other way I can make ‘meow' noises.”

Brian May; Guitar World, August 1991

That was in Switzerland.

James Hutton; radio interview, November 1995

The four tracks [off Innuendo] whose words and music outline were Freddie's are obviously All God's People and Slightly Mad as well as Delilah, which, as all Freddie-lovers know was written about his favourite cat. On first listening, everybody was shocked because they couldn't understand writing a song about a girl who pees on his Chippendale suite. It is not until after this part of the song, that it is revealed that he is indeed writing about the cat. I think some people may have even been offended. But, did that worry Freddie? This time, we were amused. And then, of course, there was Bijou, the fourth.

Peter Freestone; An Intimate Memoir, 1st of November 2001

I hate Delilah. That's just not me.

Roger Taylor; Classic Rock, September 2013

About 'Don't Try So Hard'

At the moment we are all sitting in a studio in London analysing and discussing the last few vocal lines of a song called Don't Try So Hard. We are working on our latest album! David Richards is at the controls again, hoping to produce another Miracle. Now we are talking about six drum beats during the guitar solo. It sometimes takes us hours to sort out something that lasts for microseconds on an album. With a bit of luck and good fortune it may be released this year! Watch out for the wacky single!

John Deacon; letter to the Fan Club, 16th of March 1990

Best is not a word I use lightly, especially with regard to music. I have a few personal favourites, though. Of Freddie's songs: The Miracle, which has an amazing lightness, and Don't Try So Hard. Yes, we all contributed to the creation of these songs, but in both cases Freddie was the driving force - a vision reared up before us.

Brian May; Q, March 2005

About 'Headlong'

Innuendo was gradually evolved by the four of us, but not every track was done like that: for instance, on the track Headlong, I was in the studio for a couple of days to get some things out of my system. I thought that maybe I'd be left with a solo album, maybe with a Queen album, I just didn't know and I came up with Headlong and I Can't Live with You, and the rest of the guys liked them and were very enthusiastic. So we decided to go for them on the Queen album. They were more or less finished when the group worked on them. Usually at one point one of us says, “Right! I'm going to take this track and finish it and make a proper song.” In the case of Headlong, that was me; on Innuendo, Roger actually decided to organise the words. We had a smattering of words but somebody actually has to decide what the song is going to be about, and in this case it was Roger.

Brian May; Making Music, February 1991

There's a track on here - I won't tell you which one - which I dearly would have liked for my solo album, which I'm still working on. I thought, “I enjoy singing it, I enjoy playing it and it sounds good to me,” and then I played it to the group to see what they thought and they liked it. I decided if it gets the treatment that the group can give it, it's going to gain an extra dimension, and it would be stupid to keep it just for myself. We have each other's measures quite well, and we argue fiercely. But there's that point where you know you've said your bit, and then you should back down. I think we all know that, and it's what keeps the thing running.

Brian May; Vox, 1st of March 1991

Some evolved together. In the end, one of us took each song under our wing. Headlong came from me, at our studio in Montreux, a home recording studio for us that's very state-of-the-art, lovely for creating. The ideas came in a couple of days. At first I thought about it as a song for my solo album but, as always, the band is the best vehicle. As soon as I heard Freddie sing it, I said, “That's it!” Sometimes it's painful to give the baby away, but what you gain is much more. It became a Queen song.

Brian May; Rip, July 1991

[Joint songwriting credits] worked very well for the band, although you can pretty much work out who is responsible for what. There are things on Innuendo, for example, which are obviously me, but by talking about it you obviously destroy what we were trying to achieve… I was obviously involved heavily in Headlong, I Can't Live with You and Hitman, while All God's People came from Freddie at the same time as the Barcelona project. The Show Must Go On came from Roger and John playing the sequence and I started to put things down.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

About 'I Can't Live With You'

Innuendo was gradually evolved by the four of us, but not every track was done like that: for instance, on the track Headlong, I was in the studio for a couple of days to get some things out of my system. I thought that maybe I'd be left with a solo album, maybe with a Queen album, I just didn't know and I came up with Headlong and I Can't Live with You, and the rest of the guys liked them and were very enthusiastic. So we decided to go for them on the Queen album. They were more or less finished when the group worked on them. Usually at one point one of us says, “Right! I'm going to take this track and finish it and make a proper song.” In the case of Headlong, that was me; on Innuendo, Roger actually decided to organise the words. We had a smattering of words but somebody actually has to decide what the song is going to be about, and in this case it was Roger.

Brian May; Making Music, February 1991

I feel very good about what we're doing. I certainly don't feel that age stops you from doing anything. Music consists of two things: performance and material. I'm very passionately into the material. As time goes by I find I'm more concerned with the lyrics than ever. A lot of people say you can only create when you're in pain. But when I was really in pain, I couldn't create anything. I couldn't even get out of bed. When you're climbing out and beginning to get things in the right boxes again, that's when you can put it into music. There's quite a bit of that sort of thing on this album. There's some in I Can't Live With You; it's very personal, but I tried not to make it autobiographical because that narrows things too much. I tried to express it in a form that everyone can relate to. When you describe an experience in a song, it's nice because you can examine it, inject some humour and put it into perspective. Even though the humour is in there, I think people get the message. It helps both the writer and the listener. For some reason, that track was almost impossible to mix. It was one of those things where you put all the faders up and it sounds pretty good, and you think, “We'll work on this for a couple of hours.” Then it gets worse and worse and worse. We kept going back to the rough mix. It's got an atmosphere to it. I think it sounds so special because we kept a lot of the demo stuff on it. Usually it all gets replaced.

Brian May; The Life Of Brian, Guitar World, August 1991

[Joint songwriting credits] worked very well for the band, although you can pretty much work out who is responsible for what. There are things on Innuendo, for example, which are obviously me, but by talking about it you obviously destroy what we were trying to achieve… I was obviously involved heavily in Headlong, I Can't Live with You and Hitman, while All God's People came from Freddie at the same time as the Barcelona project. The Show Must Go On came from Roger and John playing the sequence and I started to put things down.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

I walked in and Freddie, Brian, and Roger Taylor were sitting there messing around writing stuff and they were friendly, “Come in, sit down, and listen to the album which we're just making.” So they started playing me all these tracks like I'm Going Slightly Mad and I Can't Live Without You which has been in my mind ever since, I still play it, it's such a powerful paradoxical description of life.

Stephen Howe; Official Website, 1997

We began using synthesisers and there were many excursions from us all into keyboard territory. My main contributions on principal parts were (in no particular order) in: Scandal, Was It All Worth It, Hang On In There, Too Much Love Will Kill You (which was done with Frank Musker up in his house in the Canyon in L.A. when we first sketched the song), No-one But You (again done on my own, originally for use on my solo album), One Vision (my first ramblings on a Kurzweil gave rise to the opening section), I Can't Live With You, The Show Must Go On (that sequence just got thrust into my head playing around with Roger - I will never know where it came from, but it completely took me over for a long time while the song was in development), and of course, Who Wants to Live Forever.

Brian May; Official Website, 23rd of April 2003

About 'I'm Going Slightly Mad'

[the solo section is like a conversation piece] That's the way I would think of it too - a conversation without end. It sort of disappears into something that doesn't make sense.

Brian May; The Life Of Brian, Guitar World magazine, August 1991

It's Noel Coward meets Led Zeppelin!

Roger Taylor; Album EPK, 2nd of February 1991

There's a piece of footage of the recording around which again is very much Freddie, but then that was very much a Freddie track and you tend to want to give the author his head. Even though we said that everything is by Queen, there was still somebody who was basically the original author and everyone else worked on it. It was a good idea as it produced a lot of input, but in the end it was Freddie's baby so it was natural that he would want to get certain things right.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

Freddie and I were very disappointed when I'm Going Slightly Mad wasn't a big hit - we really liked it!

Roger Taylor; Mojo, August 1999

One of the tracks that sticks in my brain is Going Slightly Mad when I distinctly remember Freddie coming home and having great difficulty with the lyrics. This again was one of those occasions where he came in and we were searching for about three hours for the elusive words.

Peter Freestone; An Intimate Memoir, 1st of November 2001

Everybody gets so mixed up with all the other sides: the flash, the sexual ambiguity, the showmanship, the voice. It doesn't frustrate me, because I'm just pleased he's remembered. But it's when you delve deeper that you really get his musicality. Actually, at the bottom of it all was just a genius songwriter. We're re-releasing all the Queen albums at the moment, so we're being forced to listen hard to the remastering. And it's just staggering. His words got better quickly. There were some very overt lyrics. Don't Stop Me Now is a good example. He was having a good time, and that was very much a cri de coeur. Some lyrics we wrote together like I'm Going Slightly Mad, which was funny. We had fun coming up with daft things, all those ridiculous phrases.

Roger Taylor; Classic Rock, March 2011

About 'Innuendo'

The Spanish motif is suggested from the start; those little rifts at the beginning are sort of Bolero-esque. It seemed like the natural thing to explore those ideas on an acoustic guitar, and it just gradually evolved. Steve Howe helped out and did a fantastic job. We love all that stuff - it's like a little fantasyland adventure.

Brian May; The Life Of Brian, Guitar World magazine, August 1991

Innuendo was an improvisation type song where they actually recorded it here in the big concert hall, it's just next door, and we set up like a live performance, and they just started playing basically, and sort of got into a nice rhythm and a groove, and some chords and then Freddie said, "Oh, I like that" and rushed downstairs into the concert hall and started singing along with it, and obviously then, once that initial idea was down on tape, then there was a lot of rearranging and putting extra things on, but the actual beginning of it was like a live thing. It just happened. It was wonderful.

Dave Richards; Queen - A Kind Of Magic, BBC Radio 1, December 1995

The lynchpin track is a sort of heavy-heavy Eastern flavoured boleroish epic with a bit of desert-type oasis thrown in the middle. Not surprisingly, it's called Innuendo!

Roger Taylor; letter to the Fan Club, 18th of September 1990

I just KNEW we could [score a No 1 hit] with this one!

Freddie Mercury; Fan Club Magazine, spring 1991

I think Innuendo is one of those things which either could go big or nothing. We had the same feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody, for one. It's a risk because a lot of people would say, “It's too long, it's too involved, we don't want to play it on the radio.” I think that could happen, in which case it will die a death. Or it could happen that people say, “This is interesting and new and different and we'll take a chance.”

Brian May; Album EPK, 2nd of February 1991

It's just unusual and we liked it, it happened to be the track that we named the album after. We're definitely not trying to follow-up Bohemian Rhapsody, because it's such a one-off, anyway, I think that would be impossible, but it's very us, those bitty, odd things, the different changes in mood and tempo and it's just a track I rather like - I rather like it sort of epic quality, quite amazing, and it has that sort of weight and heaviness.

Roger Taylor; Album EPK, 2nd of February 1991

Innuendo is the title track, and that was one of the first things that came - it's got this bolero type rhythm, a very strange track. That's going to be the first single [in Britain]. It's a bit of a risk, but it's different, and you either win it all or you lose it all. It has a nice sound and feel, and we stuck with that. Innuendo was gradually evolved by the four of us, but not every track was done like that. Usually at one point one of us says, “Right! I'm going to take this track and finish it and make a proper song.” In the case of Headlong, that was me; on Innuendo, Roger actually decided to organise the words. We had a smattering of words but somebody actually has to decide what the song is going to be about, and in this case it was Roger.

Brian May; Making Music, February 1991

The flamenco guitar segment in the middle of the song Innuendo is wild.

Nuno Bettencourt; Guitar World, August 1991

This was a genuinely cooperative effort. We made it a rule when we went into the studio to play together everyday. In Montreux we set the drums in the Casino concert hall - which is a big space - and played for a while just for the fun of it, making sure we kept the tape rolling. The main riff just came out - Roger played the beat and I played a riff, and it went from there. We did the keyboard part, then Freddie put down a guide vocal and it began to take shape. It was nice evolving that one because of the breaks we took from recording in Montreux. Every time we went back there we'd do a bit more on it. The Spanish feel to the track simply happened - no one really made a conscious decision about it. It's quite a good way of working - we do that a lot. When we had the backing track and the major part of it done we took away a rough rape of it at the end of the day to play in the car, just to live with the track a little. All that Spanish stuff is sort of implied in the beginning anyway because of the way the guitar chords move and in the bolero-type rhythm, so we were thinking Spanish from the start. It was sort of natural to do the acoustic Spanish guitar bit and see what happened. Freddie and I were sitting down throwing ideas around, and we'd already sketched out that Spanish/Flamenco bit in the middle. Steve Howe happened to be passing by because he was in a studio over there. Now, Steve is a much better acoustic guitarist than I am so I sat him down and said, “let's do something together - you can do the hard bits and I'll do the easy bits!” So, we did this little duet in the middle and it was great! We recorded the song in sections and arranged it together. We argue long and hard about whether something works or not, and usually whoever is the most passionate wins. Sometimes whoever is in the studio latest at night wins! We don't worry about how we're going to play something live when we're in the studio, but I think this would be really easy to perform anyway - I hope we end up doing it at some point.

Brian May; Guitar, December 1991

Innuendo started off as most things do, with us just messing around and finding a groove that sounded nice. All of us worked on the arrangement. Freddie started off the theme of the words as he was singing along, then Roger worked on the rest of them. I worked on some of the arrangement, particularly the middle bit, then there was an extra part that Freddie did for the middle as well. It basically came together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

I was in Geneva working with Paul Sutin and we had a day off or something, something else was happening. So I got in the car and drove to Montreux and I was just wandering around and thought I'd stop and have lunch. So I was in this restaurant that was a little bit below the pavement. I was sitting there and then this huge guy walked by called Martin who'd worked for Yes, Martin Groves, and he saw me there and I saw him and we kind of lept up and he says, “Well, look, the guys [Queen] are in the studio,” and he was only down the road, “Why don't you come in?” I was going to come by and see if anything was going on because Queen took over Mountain Studios which was originally a studio build built to record Montreux jazz, a terrific studio. So they invited me down. Well, I walked in and Freddie, Brian, and Roger Taylor were sitting there messing around writing stuff and they were friendly, “Come in, sit down, and listen to the album which we're just making.” So they started playing me all these tracks like I'm Going Slightly Mad and I Can't Live Without You which has been in my mind ever since, I still play it, it's such a powerful paradoxical description of life. And then they played me Innuendo and I go, “yeah, heavy metal flamingo!” And then Brian says, “Look, I'd like you play on this,” and I said, “you're joking, it sounds great, leave it like it is,” and he said, “No no no, I want you to play on it, I want to you to play really fast, I want you to run around the guitar a lot.” So within a couple of hours I tested some of his Gibsons, Chet Atkins classical solid body guitars, and found one that I helped balance the strings because he wasn't sure how to balance the volume between the different strings which is the important thing to do on those guitars. So I got up and running, we did a few takes, we edited it a little bit, we fixed up a few things, then we went and had dinner. So we went back to the studio and they said we really really like this and I said, “fine, let's go with it.” So I left very happy.  I'd worked with people who were diehard Queen people, and a funny thing happened a little while later, I was on a ferry going to Holland and on this ferry which takes a long time, five hours, were the Queen fan club, all going to Rotterdam to a Queen event, and a couple of them saw me and they came racing over and they said, “You're Steve Howe! You're on Innuendo!” And they all came out of the room, sitting around talking and things… and my memories of Queen will always be emotional because they were a great band and it was just great, it really was a thrill to be part of that. There was a certain studio in London called the Townhouse, it was actually a Virgin studio, and they were there a lot, we were there, and we'd meet them, and run into them, and Freddie liked my roadie a lot, and of course Freddie was a friend, so they were always in and out of the studio. Brian has always been most polite and a sort of dedicated guitarist so we've always had a great deal of respect for each other. So there's always just been some friendship between us, and it's important to me, it's quite important.

Stephen Howe; Official Website, 1997

We just played that in the studio. It evolved slowly. We were lucky with Freddie: some singers will wait until the very end to do the vocal, but usually Freddie was in there with us. I'm trying out a riff, which has come to my head; Roger is doing a pattern which is in his head, John is kind of looking at us and feeling out what's happening; Freddie is there, and he's playing keyboards, and he's sort of singing what comes into his head, what works with the riff as we keep going around it. And so we already have an idea where the song will go, ‘cause really, you could have the greatest riff in the world, and if you don't have a song, you don't have anything.

Brian May; telephone interview, 1999

I've always loved Brian's individual style of guitar playing, and the production and recording style that Queen had was very British, and totally true to form. It was very honest, and when you had something, you really knew what you were listening to. What happened was, I was in Montreux. I'd been in Geneva working with my friend Paul, and I love Montreux. I had gone there for lunch, and the next thing I was recording a Queen record, so it was the most in-by-chance incident I can recall - marvelous, some of the by-chance things just like that. I was sitting in a restaurant and somebody saw me and said, “Hey, what are you doing here? I'd love to come down to the studio.” By the time I got there, it was all set up. They played me the whole album, and then they played me Innuendo and said, “We'd really like you to play on this.” I just kind of laughed, and said, “You are joking.” Brian's got some really great guitar stuff on there. “What do you want me to do?” And then they played the particular area, and they said, “We'd like some racing around the guitar a bit.” So, I mean, I think we threw it together very quickly, and maybe even they and I maybe would've liked to have revisited and done it sort of what we call properly. But we didn't apparently need to do that. We went and had dinner, came back and listened to it, and in that time I sensed this tremendous bond between Brian, Roger and Freddie. The bass player actually wasn't there at this time, but these three guys were so tight, they were so close they could say this is the epitome of a band. They could say, “No, I don't like that,” and nobody takes offense. They understood, better than Yes, sometimes, that there was a common goal and when the guitar sounds great, it makes the vocals sound great. When the bass sounds great, it makes the drums, it's all a collective thing. And Queen were really assured of that, and I think Innuendo is a very powerful record. I've got songs on there that bring me to tears. I think they would've done even if I hadn't been there and been around them just that little bit. So I really did a very small thing for them, and Brian did a lot more detailing with the Spanish guitar. But, you know, I'm happy to have added just something they wanted. They wanted a little bit more racy Spanish guitar, and Brian wasn't comfortable with doing that.

Stephen Howe; Goldmine, 16th of January 2010

Brian had his shot with it and had done what he'd wanted to do with it but thought that someone else could race about with it and add some excitement to those structures. They jokingly said I could do a bit of Paco De Lucía with it. I could see what they were after so I did some improvising and they loved it. I was so proud to be on that record.

Stephen Howe; Metal Express Radio, 15th of September 2013

I was in Montreux, and Queen were recording at Mountain Studios - the same studio where we made Going for the One. I go in, and they played me the whole album, but they saved Innuendo until last. I was incredibly blown away. They said, “We want you to play on that. Why don't you race around like Paco de Lucía?” Brian May had three Gibson Chet Atkins, which are Spanish guitars. I found one I liked, we started doing takes, we tried different approaches, and then we went to dinner. After dinner, we went back to the studio, listened through, and comped together what you hear today. It was just a lovely experience with a lovely bunch of guys.

Stephen Howe; Guitar Player, 25th of August 2015

I was moving around Switzerland at the time, doing some recording. I had some days off and I went to Montreux because of the memories of [the Yes album] Going for the One being made there. I was in a restaurant that was slightly below the ground. A guy walks by that goes, “Steve!” And I look up and it was a Queen crew member that used to be a Yes crew member. I think his name was Martin. He said, “Do the guys know you're here? Can you come down to say hello?” I finished my lunch and went down there and it was a setup job. I walked in and we chatted a bit and they said, “We want to play you the album.” I was like, “I've got loads of time. Play me the album.” They play the album, but they save “Innuendo” for last. When it finishes they go, “Do you think you could add some guitar to that?” I said, “I don't think you need any. There are some great parts there.” They said, “No, no, no. We want something more.” I said, “I'll give it a run.” They had a Gibson Chet Atkins guitar, which was a solid Spanish guitar. That is what Brian [May] had used on it. I used one of his and over a couple of hours in the late afternoon, we took a few takes, took a break, took another take. It really was just improvisation. That's what they wanted. They didn't want any structural type of functions that I could do. They were just like, “Play anything.” That has always been something I've been able to do. I don't know how or why, but thank God because it's something that I love to do. Very good things happen in that process before a producer can wear you out by saying, “Can you do another take?” “Well I've done 10! What do you want out of me? Blood?” The guys were really cool. They wrote me a letter to thank me for doing it and gave me a credit. That was it. It was a wonderful time to meet the guys, before we lost Freddie. I found that, particularly Roger, Brian and Freddie, they were really kind. That was really a band. They were so tight. They sat together; they agreed. They were so similar. It was a beautiful thing.

Stephen Howe; Rolling Stone, 20th of July 2020

About 'Ride The Wild Wind'

There's various other things like the track called Ride the Wild Wind. Roger mostly did that. He had all the ideas in his head, and it was done the way he wanted it.

Brian May; Making Music, February 1991

About 'The Hitman'

Innuendo was gradually evolved by the four of us, but not every track was done like that… Then there's a track like Hitman, which again was a very mixed approach.

Brian May; Making Music, February 1991

Hitman's finished version had very little to do with the original idea. Most of the riff came from Freddie. I wasn't even in the room when they wrote it. I changed the key and some of the notes to make it playable on the guitar. We finished the backing track, but it seemed to ramble. John sat down and decided to reconstruct the track. He changed the order. He changed everything. I went back and played on that. Then we filled in the gaps on the lyrics, did the harmonies and generally tidied up.

Brian May; Rip, July 1991

[Joint songwriting credits] worked very well for the band, although you can pretty much work out who is responsible for what. There are things on Innuendo, for example, which are obviously me, but by talking about it you obviously destroy what we were trying to achieve… I was obviously involved heavily in Headlong, I Can't Live with You and Hitman, while All God's People came from Freddie at the same time as the Barcelona project. The Show Must Go On came from Roger and John playing the sequence and I started to put things down.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

About 'The Show Must Go On'

"The Show Must Go On" is written as a collection, which is a Queen song because we decided to credit everything to Queen after all. But that's kind of, that, I regard that as my baby because most of that I wrote with Freddie sitting right here and it was a great experience because Freddie at that time wasn't really able to or willing to expose himself in terms of lyrics except at certain particular instances. And he knew about this idea. He knew that it related to the way we felt about him.

Brian May; CNN World Beat, 9th of Jan, 2000

When I sang the guide vocal for Freddie -- and most of it I had to sing falsetto because I couldn't sing that high -- and I was going to Freddie, is this OK? And he downs a vodka and goes into the studio and just nails it. And I think it's one of his finest performances ever, the original version of "The Show Must Go On."

Brian May; CNN World Beat, 9th of Jan, 2000

It has a little bit of retrospective stuff and it has a little bit of forward looking stuff. There was a point where I looked into it, and got a vision of it, and put down a few things, and felt it meant something special - so I'm pretty fond of that one. Sometimes these tracks have a life of their own, and no matter what you do they have a certain sound to them. 'The Show Must Go On' has a very broad and lush sound to it, which I like, whereas 'I Can't Live With You' turned out very, very close and harsh. And no matter what you do, you can't mix that out of it. It probably benefits the track, but they just have different atmospheres - you do them in different places and in diferent ways.

Brian May; Vox magazine, 1991

There's a piece of all of us in it. We made a decision to work on it corporately, and left our egos outside the room. We put drums on a loop, then I put chords to it. I said, “Freddie, listen to this.” The phrase “I can't go on” kept going around in my head. I sat with it and developed it, wrote lines and had a verse after a while. But it was a long way to the final version.

Brian May; Rip, July 1991

It's my favourite song on the album, now. It's got that kind of sadness, but it's hopeful.

Brian May; Guitar World, August 1991

Roger wrote most of These Are the Days of Our Lives. By that time, we were all fully aware of what was going on… things are always about more than one thing, but yeah, Roger was able to put some stuff in there and, similarly, I was able to put some feelings into The Show Must Go On in a similar way, and I think, sometimes, towards the end, Freddie had already kind of moved on. Freddie was writing stuff which you will hear, which is very peaceful and already removed, and I think it was left to us to write the things which we felt about him and we felt about the way he was feeling. I think it would've been too painful for Freddie to get into that, but he was happy to sing the way we felt. That's kind of complicated - we were very much directed towards him and he knew it, but he would sing it with our words.

Brian May; Press Conference in Budapest, 27th of June 1993

That track was strange. I did most of the lyrics for Freddie to sing, and you can imagine what that felt like. I did ask him at one point if he was okay about it and he said, “Yeah, totally okay about it. I will give it my all.” And he did. I think some of the best vocals of his life are on that track. He really was very weak by that time, but he could still summon up the strength to sing.

Brian May; Discoveries [Michigan], September 1993

The Show Must Go On came from Roger and John playing the sequence and I started to put things down. At the beginning it was just this chord sequence but I had this strange feeling that it could be somehow important and I got very impassioned and went and beavered away at it. I sat down with Freddie and we decided what the theme should be and wrote the first verse. It's a long story, that song, but I always felt it would be important because we were dealing with things that were hard to talk about at the time, but in the world of music you could do it.

Brian May; Guitarist, October 1994

For some reason, John and Freddie and Roger had been playing around with things in the studio and I heard one of the sequences they had come up with, and I could just hear the whole thing descending from the skies... almost in the form, sound-wise, that it ended up. It's something that came as a gift from heaven, I suppose. I did some demos, chopped things up, did some singing demos and some guitar and got it to a point where I could play it to the guys, and they all thought it was something worth pursuing.  Then Freddie and I sat down, and I got out my scribblings and said, “What do you think of all this?” It was a very strange and memorable moment really, because what I'd done was come up with something which I thought was the world viewed through his eyes. We didn't talk about it as such. We talked about in terms of the story… it was very poignant at the time, but strange, not precious in any sense. It was just a song and we just loved the idea of it. I was very pleased with the way it came out, especially the way Freddie pushed his voice to ridiculous heights. Some of that stuff I mapped out in falsetto for him, and I remember saying, “I really don't know if this is asking way too much…” and he went, “Oh darling, not a problem. I'll have a couple of vodkas then go ahead and do it.” And he did.

Brian May; Goldmine, 10th of August 2001

The whole world thought that Freddie was being prophetic in The Show Must Go On although he never wrote the lyrics for this song. The whole album is of course prophetic because Freddie knew it would be his last but it is not the final goodbye from Freddie which is how the world has come to see it. While he knew his music would always be played, he didn't see himself as the “great composer” and therefore the idea of consciously writing his own epitaph would never have occurred. Events force a meaning especially on lyrics and words where none was originally intended. For example, songs like The Show Must Go On, given different circumstances, is actually a very triumphant, “up” song.

Peter Freestone; An Intimate Memoir, 1st of November 2001

We began using synthesisers and there were many excursions from us all into keyboard territory. My main contributions on principal parts were (in no particular order) in: Scandal, Was It All Worth It, Hang On In There, Too Much Love Will Kill You (which was done with Frank Musker up in his house in the Canyon in L.A. when we first sketched the song), No-one But You (again done on my own, originally for use on my solo album), One Vision (my first ramblings on a Kurzweil gave rise to the opening section), I Can't Live With You, The Show Must Go On (that sequence just got thrust into my head playing around with Roger - I will never know where it came from, but it completely took me over for a long time while the song was in development), and of course, Who Wants to Live Forever.

Brian May; Official Website, 23rd of April 2003

My favourite song… well, off the top of my head, at this moment, I would say The Show Must Go On, ‘cause there was something strange. You never know where songs come from, most of these came in a sort of vision to me, and I worked with Freddie on some of the lyrics, but basically it's one of those things where you can hear what it's gonna be like when you start, and it's probably a couple of months later by the time that you actually hear it on the tape, but I could head how this was gonna be and some kind of muse sent it to me. I don't know what happened, but I feel very proud. The way Fred sings it is outrageous - he's struggling at this point physically, but he goes for it and he gets higher than ever and more magnificent than ever.

Brian May; radio interview, 12th of May 2003

I wasn't really here, there at the genesis of this and I remember it was like a dark horse that came up on the outside and suddenly it was, you know, definitely one of the highlights of the record. And it's a great epic, quality to the song I think and massively popular in France.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

A lot of people thought Freddie wrote The Show Must Go On, but mainly I wrote it. I did a complete demo for The Show Must Go On, including that very high part, “on with the show,” and I said to Freddie - ‘cause Freddie always used to say, “oh, Brian, you're fucking making me tear my throat to bits again” - so I remember apologising in advance. I said, “I've done this in falsetto, I don't know if it's possible to do it full voice, but obviously that would be great,” and he went, “oh, for God's sake, roll the tape.” A couple of vodkas and he went for that line, which is outstanding for him to reach those notes. He's reaching heights he's never done before, he's finding the energy from somewhere. And the voice on The Show Must Go On is incredible. He rose to every challenge.

Brian May; Days of Our Lives, 2011

About 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives'

Days of Our Lives is very dynamic. Some guitar fans would think it's meaningless because it doesn't kick in, but it sets a mood before it kicks in. It's great. You expect the predictable solo to kick in, and it doesn't - it just hangs out for a while and creates a mood. It definitely fits the song. It demonstrates, again, what guitar players in the eighties lack - an understanding and control of dynamics.

Nuno Bettencourt; Guitar World, August 1991

I was very pleased with [the guitar solo]. That's the first take I recorded, and Roger said, “Well…” And I said, “Just leave it there for a while and let it sit. See if it grows on you.” I had a feeling about it. We could've done a cut-and-dried solo which, on the face of it, would've been more dramatic, but that was where I wanted to go.

Brian May; Guitar World, August 1991

Roger wrote most of These Are the Days of Our Lives. By that time, we were all fully aware of what was going on… things are always about more than one thing, but yeah, Roger was able to put some stuff in there and, similarly, I was able to put some feelings into The Show Must Go On in a similar way, and I think, sometimes, towards the end, Freddie had already kind of moved on. Freddie was writing stuff which you will hear, which is very peaceful and already removed, and I think it was left to us to write the things which we felt about him and we felt about the way he was feeling. I think it would've been too painful for Freddie to get into that, but he was happy to sing the way we felt. That's kind of complicated - we were very much directed towards him and he knew it, but he would sing it with our words.

Brian May; Press Conference in Budapest, 27th of June 1993

We used to share the publishing credits, but that but that one was written by me.

Roger Taylor; Cosford Mill, 24th of September 1998

In many cases later on we would work together on the programming of a keyboard part (eg Days Pf[sic] Our Lives). This is a benefit of the new technology which allows us to keep the original feel of a demo keyboard part but update the actual notes as the song is developed – I've used it many times in my solo work – giving an impression that I can play better than I actually can!!! Luckily the guitar still has to be PLAYED LIVE – so my best job is safe for a while at least!!!

Brian May; Official Website, 23rd of April 2003

I know some people think Freddie was self-obsessed, because of things like We Are the Champions, but really, not so. He had a lot of modesty, and generosity too, in giving everyone their due. Of course, over the years I wrote (and Roger wrote) many song lyrics with the knowledge that they would come out of Freddie's mouth, and knowing that the meaning would be subtly changed because of this - even as far back as Keep Yourself Alive I remember taking this into consideration. And certainly there are interesting shades of meaning in songs like Fat Bottom [sic] Girls, if you really think about it ! Same goes for These Are the Days of Our Lives which again people tend to think Freddie wrote, because of the context. Not so; Roger wrote every word.

Brian May; Official Website, 5th of March 2006

One of Roger's great songs, you know, it's a Queen song because we'd made that decision, but this is what Roger brought in really - lovely, lyrical piece, and it's great, and a very kind of grown up recording, I think. You know, everything's very restrained in the way it's played. I think it's one of our nicer efforts really.

Brian May; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

It's a wistful song with an optimistic viewpoint looking back on... somebody looking back on their life and going with the flow.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

I think I was in a rather reflective mood and I didn't know that Freddie was ill. I think it sort of came out of that slightly melancholic mood one gets occasionally... it's fairly self-explanatory. Written from the point of view of an old man.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Radio, 17th of August 2011

These Are the Days of Our Lives was quite nice in a reminiscing, rather old-fashioned kind of way. It took on a resonance, yeah. I was sort of referencing us at the time I wrote it. We knew Freddie wasn't well.

Roger Taylor; Classic Rock, September 2013

It was just a mood, really. I was in a reflective mood, and it made me write in a reflective way. It's a song about reminiscing. It's a sort of sad song in one way but also it sort of says, “These are the days of our lives,” so live for the moment.

Roger Taylor; Goldmine, 2015