Quotes related to 'The Game' album

About the album

[less guitar] Yeah, that was when we started trying to get outside what was normal for us. Plus we had a new engineer in Mack and a new environment in Munich. Everything was different. We turned our whole studio technique around in a sense, because Mack had come from a different background from us. We thought there was only one way of doing things, like doing a backing tracks: We would just do it until we got it right. If there were some bits where it speeded up or slowed down, then we would do it again until it was right. We had done some of our old backing tracks so many times, they were too stiff. Mack's first contribution was to say, "Well you don't have to do that. I can drop the whole thing in. If it breaks down after half a minute, then we can edit in and carry on if you just play along with the tempo". We laughed and said "Don't be sily. You can't do that". But in facts, you can. What you gain is the freshness, because often a lot of the backing tracks is first time though. It really helped a lot. There was less guitar on that album, but that's really not going to be the same forever; that was just an experiment.

Brian May; Guitar Player magazine, January, 1983

After Jazz we again felt like we had to get away to new territory, and so for the first time we went away on our own, to Munich, and by happy accident we met up with Mack. We asked the studio who they has and they said they had ‘Mack’. We didn’t really know who he was, except we knew he worked with ELO. He turned out to be a real find. He was someone who had been working with a lot of people we admired, like Zeppelin and Deep Purple. He’d done things with guitar-orientated groups. Everything we did on The Game was different from the way we’d done it before, it was a fusion of our methods and his methods. There was SOME conflict, I had a lot of disputes with him over how we should record guitars. I suppose by that time I wasn’t even thinking about it, I just wanted to record it the way I always recorded it. But Mack said ‘Look, try my way.’ Eventually we did compromise and got the best of both worlds.

Brian May; Guitar Greats, Radio One, 1983

[synths] I've been using them for a while now - it's my synth on the album - and I'm working on a solo album that incorporates them quite a lot.

Roger Taylor; Roger And Out, Sounds Magazine, 1980

I started working with Queen in 1979 as an engineer on The Game album. The project went very well, it was a huge international success and as I'd made a considerable contribution to how it went together the band agreed to give me a co-production credit. I've been co-producing with them since that time.

Reinhold Mack; International Musician & Recording World, February 1986

About 'Another One Bites The Dust'

John Deacon, being totally in his own world, came up with this thing, which was nothing like what we were doing. We were going for the big drum sound: you know, quite pompous in our usual way. And Deakey says, 'No, I want this to be totally different: it's going to be a very tight drum sound.' It was originally done to a drum loop - this was before the days of drum machines. Roger did a loop, kind of under protest, because he didn't like the sound of the drums recorded that way. And then Deakey put this groove down. Immediately Freddie became violently enthusiastic and said, 'This is big! This Is important! I'm going to spend a lot of time on this.'

Brian May; Brian’s Song, Guitar World magazine, January 1993

This song was written ‘cause I always wanted to do something in direction of black music, disco music I got it through, that this song came on the album, like it was. It's not a typical Queen song and I do not know if we ever will do something similar again. We had disagreements about this song. Our company wanted this song as a single because it was very successful at [so-called] black radio stations. Roger tried to avoid that, ‘cause he said it's too disco-like and that is not good for the reputation of Queen.

John Deacon; Music Express & Sounds, 1981

There is meant to be something in the words. Not so much in Another One Bites the Dust, but there's meaning in my other songs. I try to put in a thought or two, a story or a meaning. The thing is we all write individually, so it's mainly attributable to the personality of the character who has written the song. Certain songs don't have a lot in them. They're all different. I have a Music Man..., which I use on bass for certain numbers, like Another One Bites the Dust. You can get quite a tight bass end. I tend use Telecaster guitars. It's the most cleanly cut for the rhythm involved in the songs.

John Deacon; International Musician & Recording World, 21st of July 1982

Another One Bites the Dust was the biggest we've had, but it was so un-me, something I really wouldn't have thought about doing. It was a big hit, so it was great, thank you - I made money.

Roger Taylor; Detroit Free Press, 6th of August 1982

John's always been R & B orientated, our bass player, who wrote Another One Bites the Dust, which I never thought would be a hit, which turned out to be the biggest selling record of the year. And I think that was the song that catapulted us into taking that road. The guy that picked the song for the single was Michael Jackson. He came along to the Forum and after the show, he said because he liked the record and he liked a lot of our old songs as well. We didn't think it would ever be a hit! Eventually we did release it and obviously, you know, it was a hit.'

Roger Taylor; K-LOS FM, 1984

I have to tell you, I do remember John singing the lines to Another One Bites the Dust to Freddie, so it's possible you know, but he's a bit shy about it, he doesn't like to sing in public.

Brian May; BBC World Service, 16th of November 1997

I actually helped John put Another One Bites the Dust together. But, no, that style of music wasn't my kind of thing. As I remember, it was Michael Jackson, in our dressing room, who first said we should release it as a single. I thought he was mad - turns out I was right - but I really couldn't see it as a single. But then the urban stations in the US picked it up, and so it had to be a single - and it sold about four million copies in America. How delightfully wrong can you be? But it wasn't where I was at, no.

Roger Taylor; Q, March 2005

Another One Bites the Dust, for instance, is built on a drum loop. There was the main riff and a bunch of backwards piano notes, cymbal crashes and claps, some guitar fragments. Stuff everybody has in their sample library these days. It would be comparatively easy to build this thing today, if you had the right muse in the first place. The idea was less is more, and it worked pretty well. The band would have never contemplated going about recording in this manner, ever.

Reinhold Mack; IZotope, 2007

It was Michael who heard our track Another One Bites the Dust when he came to see us on The Game tour ... and told us we were mad if we didn't release it as a single. Of course this was way before Michael's monster solo career began… but he was already in search of that fusion between Funk and Rock, Black and White, and the Thriller album was the consummation of that quest.

Brian May; Official Website, 26th of June 2009

Freddie appreciated the fact that he never had to wait to do something creative. He did not mind my placeholders, like the backward piano in Another One Bites the Dust, the guitar slide down in Princes of the Universe, the intro to One Vision or Fred Mandel's keyboard solo in I Want to Break Free years later.

Reinhold Mack; The Ultimate Illustrated History, 1st of October 2009

One of Deacy's masterpieces. Immortal. I think we slightly… it's fair to say we had no idea what on earth he was doing when he started this, which was the antithesis of the way we felt we should record it at the time normally. A fantastic bit of work from Freddie really. I mean, I remember Deacy having this idea, but Deacy doesn't sing of course, so he was trying to suggest to Freddie how it should be and Fred just went in there and hammered and hammered until his throat bled, making… you know, he really was inspired by it and took it to a new height, I think. And that fabulous rhythm guitar is Deacy. This is not me. You know, the dirty stuff is me, but the spine of the guitar, that rhythmic stuff, is actually very hard to play and in the Queen live shows, I've got to say that's probably the hardest thing I have to do. I guess that's part of the strength of the band, that we had so many different influences and this is a direction which Roger and I never would have gone unless we'd been kind of coerced and it just turned out to be brilliant.

Brian May; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

I remember laying down the backing track with him and he really wanted the drums as dry as they could possibly be, so I just stuffed it all with blankets and made it as dead as I possibly could and very low tuned. We never really liked that kind of thing. We weren't going to release this as a single and I think it was Michael Jackson who actually suggested that we release it as a single and I thought he was nuts.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

That's a drum loop. That was built out of boredom, from my side, because nobody would show up in the studio! I started this loop and, in order not to step on anybody's toes, I put in these ominous, backwards piano notes. It's just a different piece of tape turned over. Things you can do when you're playing by yourself in the control room. Deacy said, “I've got some notes for this.” Freddie said he had some lyrics; he didn't have them written down, but had them memorized. “It's called Another One Bites the Dust. The bits before and after? I didn't get to those.” He didn't have any! He had a phrase. The riff, which is really, to an extent, the Chic thing with a couple of alterations, was put down and it started taking shape. We did some drum rolls and little cymbal crashes. For instance, that percussion thing in the middle section is some weird mistake going down. That was the Infernal Machine that I had on loan from Publison - the French manufacturer. I tried to mute something; my finger hit the knob and it turned up and went through the Machine – it sounded good! Even the end has a mistake. John told me months and months later, “It's number one, but it's still not perfect.” I asked why, but he went, “I won't tell you.” Finally he said, “Well, at the very end there's a hi-hat going ‘chhh' that should have been muted.” But nobody has written in or complained.

Reinhold Mack; Tape Op, January 2011

I had no idea that that would be a single and we were playing in The Forum, I think, in Los Angeles and Michael Jackson used to come and sit in the corner, and he said, “you guys, you gotta release this”. It was actually taken up by the black radio stations in New York and Detroit, I think, and they were playing the hell out of it, and the next thing I knew they put it out and I think it's the biggest ever record on Elektra / Asylum, sort of four million copies in America.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Radio, 17th of August 2011

I was perfectly happy with Another One Bites the Dust. I remember Roger didn't want to play drums that way. But Roger played the pattern John wanted him to and made the drums sound very rhythm'n'blues, or disco, if you like. He did a brilliant drum loop.

Brian May; Mojo, July 2019

I was never opposed to Another One Bites the Dust. I just didn't think it would be a hit.

Roger Taylor; Mojo, July 2019

About 'Coming Soon'

For Roger's Coming Soon track not all the original tracks used for the mix survived - somehow a final mix tape must have been lost. So the boys re-assembled what they could and then used different takes of, for instance, the vocal harmonies at the beginning. Roger gave this the OK when he popped in to hear it. I think the mixes for this, and also Rock It, are distinct improvements on the originals - they were done on loops as was Dragon Attack, so the chaps have now been able to give the kick drum a good ol' thumping low end. It's cool!

Brian May; Official Website, 15th of January 2003

Coming Soon is all about the rhythm and the hook line. It's all about big, fat, rhythmic sounds on that one, and it reflects where I'm able to channel that kind of approach into my writing.

Roger Taylor; Goldmine, 2015

About 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can't play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.

Freddie Mercury; The Man Who Would Be Queen, Melody Maker, May 2, 1981

I used on of Roger's really old, beat ip, natural wood Telecaster. I got bludgeoned into playing it. That was Mack's idea. I said "I don't want to play a Telecaster. It basically doesn't suit my style". But "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was such a period piece, it seemed to need that period sound. So I said, "Okay, Mack, if you want to set it up, I'll play it". He put it through a Mesa/Boggie, which is an amplifier I don't get on what at all; it just doesn't suite me. I tried it, and it sounded okay.

Brian May; Guitar Player magazine, January, 1983

The guys put down the backing track for that one when I was out doing something in Munich, where we were working; Freddie said he wrote the song in his bathtub at the Munich Hilton. I came back and thought, 'Oh my God, it's almost finished. Let me put some guitar on It before they stick It out.' Fred plays the rhythm acoustic guitar. All I really did was add a kind of ersatz rock and roll solo and some backing har- monies and it was done.

Brian May; Brian’s Song, Guitar World magazine, January 1993

This time, though, we just went to Munich as we like the city and put it together there, ending up with far too many songs. 'Crazy Little Thing' was the easiest and we had that out in a matter of hours and the rest ws just a case of go in the studio, get a bit drunk and bash it out.

Roger Taylor; Roger And Out, Sounds Magazine, 1980

It only took about twenty minutes to do the backtrack on Crazy Little Thing. It was the first thing we cut that summer at Musicland in Munich.

Roger Taylor; Billboard, 12th of July 1980

We've written a lot of weird songs in our time, let me tell you. I think, in my estimation, this is one of them.

Freddie Mercury; Madison Square Garden, 27th of September 1980

I wrote Crazy Little Thing on guitar and played rhythm on the record, and it works really well because Brian gets to play all those lead guitar fills as well as his usual solo. I'm somewhat limited by the number of chords I know. I'm really just learning, but I hope to play more guitar in the future.

Freddie Mercury; Circus, 30th of September 1980

This time we just went to Munich as we like the city and put it together there, ending up with far too many songs. Crazy Little Thing was the easiest and we had that out in a matter of hours and the rest was just a case of go in the studio, get a bit drunk and bash it out. We're not trying to solve the problems of the world and who isn't just entertainment? Who is writing anything more than that? I think it's very pretentious to say that there's great importance to it; that's what the press seem to spend all their time doing. This week's thing and you're nobody if you don't appreciate it.

Roger Taylor; Sounds, 1980

I can write songs to order, like a job. Some songs come faster that others: Bohemian Rhapsody I had to work at like crazy. I just wanted that kind of song. Crazy Little Thing Called Love took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can't play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.

Freddie Mercury; Melody Maker, 2nd of May 1981

All of us have played guitar on our record. It's one of those things that we have disagreements about. Brian is our guitarist, but we all happen to play. Sometimes songs are written on the guitar, like Freddie's Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Freddie wrote that on acoustic and it just had a natural feel with him playing guitar.

John Deacon; International Musician & Recording World, 21st of July 1982

These days, basically, I just write [songs] in my head. Otherwise basically piano. The guitar part is over; Crazy Little Thing was the last song that I ever wrote on a guitar. I'm sort of limited with the guitar chords. Sometimes that's a good thing, that's why I liked Crazy Little Thing, the same way, if I knew too many guitar chords then I'd sort of ruin them.

Freddie Mercury; Westwood One, 1984

I don't think I was even there! It always happens: if I go out for a couple of hours, they create something else. I came back and they'd already put down the backing track. Roger just had the live drums, Freddie had played acoustic guitar - cause that rhythm on there is Freddie, I don't think I played any of that. That was a good thing for Mack, who became our engineer for those couple of albums, and producer, well, co-producer, cause I guess we were always the producers, being big-headed as we are. I think Mack secretly had wanted to work with us for a long time, and he had all these things he wanted to try with us. And he was very good at getting drum sounds very quick, and the drum sound is very big in that particular… there was a drum which used to have mics inside and outside, so he would stick a few faders and the drums would sound crisp and big, without sounding washy, they just sounded great. So that was a bonus really. It was good, Mack, actually, I mean, he brought out some things, we were a bit set in our ways by that time, I think we thought there was one way of doing things. And Mack said - and he's a very dry German but he sounds English ‘cause he worked with Jeff Lynne for years, so he had a kind of Birmingham / German accent. Talking about the guitar, you know, I said, “Well, I can make my guitar sound like a Telecaster, like those old rock ‘n' roll records,” and he said “if you want it to sound like a Telecaster, play a Telecaster.” So he got me to do it, which is unusual. That was one of the few times I ever played something that wasn't my regular guitar, and it did work very well. I used Roger's Telecaster, one of his collection, he really collects extremely rare guitars, so I used one of those. And it just worked out, it sounded fine.

Brian May; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

We recorded that song, really, six months before the rest of the album, and I remember while we were actually in the studio in Munich in Germany doing the rest of that album, that song had already been released, and we were there and I remember somebody phoning up and said “hey, your record's number two in America,” and we all went out in celebration, and then the next week we got the phone call again: “hey, your record's number one in America,” and it seemed unreal because we were in the other side of the world, and we hadn't even finished the album which the single was from, we were still working on it, and we thought, “we're off to a good start here.” It is Freddie on acoustic, it took half an hour to record, it was like that, it had a great feel. I remember he came in the studio, he says, “my dear, I just wrote this in the bath,” and he did, he'd just been lying in the bath, and there it was, it was very simple, very easy, and it had a great fresh sound to it. And I think Brian did a really nice Telecaster solo on that, which fitted in great with that slight rockabilly kind of edge, you know. We wanted it like an almost a slightly early Elvis feel, you know, that was the idea, that's not easy to get, but the record did sound good, I think. I remember actually one of the things which made me very proud, was that John Lennon said in some article, he said something like, “I heard the Queen record and it made me wanna get back in the studio,” and I thought, “wow, fantastic,” to have actually had any little dent on somebody like Lennon is great.

Roger Taylor; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

When we recorded Crazy Little Thing Called Love, rockabilly was quite uncool at the time. But it caught on in a big way, and I think influenced a lot of other artists to try stuff in that area. Look at George Michael and Faith.

Brian May; Chicago Tribune, 22nd of June 1989

The first track we attempted was Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Freddie picked up an acoustic guitar and said, “quick, let's do this before Brian comes.” About six hours later the track was done. The guitar solo was an overdub later on. Brian still hates me for making him use a Telecaster for the part. It was released as a pre-album single and went to number one. That obviously helped a great deal to inspire confidence and the working relationship tremendously.

Reinhold Mack; iZotope, 1st of January 2002

Quite a triumph for Mack as an engineer and producer. The boys had recorded most of this by the time I got to studio that day, because it was after a late night at the studio I seem to remember. And I remember thinking, oh I could've just spent another half an hour getting there, and I came in to hear this track they'd just put down, with Freddie playing acoustic.  It's worth mentioning Freddie's acoustic. Freddie was really a good acoustic player. He was very modest about it, but he could really play the acoustic guitar very well in an inimitable style, very frenetic kind of, style. I remember, he wrote Ogre Battle on the acoustic guitar. His fingers moved twice as fast as anyone else for the same speed of playing, yes I can still his kind of, horny fingers hitting the strings on this. Freddie doing his Elvis, very successfully.

Brian May; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

Written in ten minutes, in the bath, by Freddie in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel. The first thing we recorded in Munich, the first of many, and a great-sounding record, this, and as I remember, we were working hard on the album a couple of months later, to be told this had gone to Number One in America. It was quite weird, that was good news, we had a big celebration. [Freddie] did a very good Elvis, and a very good Cliff Richard.

Roger Taylor; Absolute Greatest, 11th of November 2009

Freddie played the guitar very well. Certainly in the early days he used the guitar as much as the piano to write songs… Later on, he wrote almost exclusively on the piano. But of course, in the live shows, he always played the guitar in Crazy Little Thing, just like on the record. That's not me playing acoustic rhythm guitar on the original track - that's Freddie. And he played it very well indeed. As on the piano, he had a unique and inimitable touch.

Brian May; Queen in 3D, 24th of August 2017

Freddie being the guy who did play it on the record - that's not me playing the rhythm on the record, that's Freddie, and he was a good guitarist.

Brian May; Queen in 3D launch at Disney Studios, 25th of August 2017

About 'Don't Try Suicide'

'Don't Try Suicide' says - just that - and I quite like that one, it's funny. You should never read the lyrics without listening to the album at the same time, you know. It isn't prose and they're not poems.

Roger Taylor; Roger And Out, Sounds Magazine, 1980

We approached [the album] from a different angle, with the idea of ruthlessly pruning it down to a coherent album rather than letting our flights of fancy lead us off into different ideas. The impetus came very largely from Freddie, who said that he thought we'd been diversifying so much that people didn't know what we were about anymore. So if there's a theme to the album, it's rhythm and sparseness: never two notes played if one would do. Which is a hard discipline for us, because we tend to be quite over the top in the way we work. So the whole thing had a very economical feel to it, particularly Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Dragon Attack, Suicide, a very sparse feel to all of them and, for us, a very modern-sounding album.

Brian May; On the Record, 1982

About 'Dragon Attack'

We approached [the album] from a different angle, with the idea of ruthlessly pruning it down to a coherent album rather than letting our flights of fancy lead us off into different ideas. The impetus came very largely from Freddie, who said that he thought we'd been diversifying so much that people didn't know what we were about anymore. So if there's a theme to the album, it's rhythm and sparseness: never two notes played if one would do. Which is a hard discipline for us, because we tend to be quite over the top in the way we work. So the whole thing had a very economical feel to it, particularly Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Dragon Attack, Suicide, a very sparse feel to all of them and, for us, a very modern-sounding album.

Brian May; BBC Radio One, January 1983

It was put together in an unusual way, in fact, I don't know if I can really claim to have written it, because in fact we just jammed for a little while, we were feeling good one night, and put down the basic riff, and I just sat in the studio and cut it up and made it into a song, and put the vocal on, obviously, we had to actually make it into a song that meant something. But all that guitar stuff was all done on the night and I just used the bits that I liked.

Brian May; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

We used to do a song called Dragon Attack that was very hard on the right wrist.

Roger Taylor; BBC World Service, 28th of November 1993

The drum solo in the middle, and the pounding Bonham-esque beat, gives this a dancey groove. As a band, Queen were always creating and going deeper.

Taylor Hawkins; Rhythm, September 2002

If I had to choose three favourite Queen tracks, I'd have: Dragon Attack, because it has such a great riff and that insane drum solo; Play the Game, which I remember from first hearing The Game album and which still sounds incredible; and, finally, Under Pressure.

Taylor Hawkins; Q, March 2005

About 'Human Body'

Roger Taylor was perhaps the most enthusiastic one when it came to looking for a new sound. I worked a lot with Roger, more than with the other band members, because Roger needed my help. Roger wasn't particularly satisfied with his previous songwriting. I think he finally found a new style different from his songs on previous albums, but he didn't know how to improve on it. I remember Roger wrote three great songs for The Game, all of which caused arguments within the band: there was a song called Coming Soon which Roger, at first, thought should be the B-Side, giving its place on the album to another of his tracks, A Human Body. But Brian and Freddie argued that if A Human Body was included, the record would turn out too melodic, as they'd already written three slow-paced songs for it. Finally, they convinced Roger, who felt particularly proud of A Human Body, and Coming Soon was used.

Reinhold Mack; Musical Themes of Today, 2000

About 'Play The Game'

The thing is, it’s so easy for us to do, it’s something, which we slip into almost without thinking, on stage or on record. Once Freddie starts playing in E þ and A þ, which he very often does, it has that particular sound and of course it’s very difficult for a guitarist to play in Eþ and Aþ. They’re just the keys you don’t want to be playing in, naturally, so the fact that those songs are played in those keys brings something different out of me. There are certain kinds of shapes, which I can use, that don’t use any open strings and are sometimes a bit painful to get together. But as soon as that’s happening that sort of formula is there and we can do it all night and all day. It’s that sort of Queen ‘Sound’ yeah!

Brian May; Guitar Greats, Radio One, 1983

It’s very untypical playing for me and Mack actually persuaded me to use a Telecaster which I’d never done on record before AND a BOOGIE amplifier IF YOU PLEASE! Which I never would have considered using.

Brian May; Guitar Greats, Radio One, 1983

The current single is typical of our old style, but most of the album is different from the epic sound.

Roger Taylor; Billboard, 12th of July 1980

If I had to choose three favourite Queen tracks, I'd have: Dragon Attack, because it has such a great riff and that insane drum solo; Play the Game, which I remember from first hearing The Game album and which still sounds incredible; and, finally, Under Pressure.

Taylor Hawkins; Q, March 2005

About 'Rock It (prime Jive)'

'Rock It' is totally elemental. It's the most basic song ever that just says you can enjoy rock and roll. That's all.

Roger Taylor; Roger And Out, Sounds Magazine, 1980

Straight down to earth pure simple rock and roll; the kind of songs that Roger likes to write.

Freddie Mercury; Compton Terrace in Phoenix, 6th of July 1980

Roger Taylor was perhaps the most enthusiastic one when it came to looking for a new sound. I worked a lot with Roger, more than with the other band members, because Roger needed my help. Roger wasn't particularly satisfied with his previous songwriting work. I think he finally found a new style different from his songs on past albums, but he didn't know how to improve on it. I remember Roger wrote three great songs for The Game, all of which caused arguments within the group… Perhaps that's illustrated best with Roger's third song, Rock It. There were also some problems with it: Roger was clear that he wanted to sing it, but Brian and I suggested that maybe it would sound better with Freddie. Two demos were made, one with Roger and one with Freddie. John liked Roger's, Brian liked Freddie's, so a Judgement of Solomon took place: Roger's version was chosen, but the intro would be taken from Freddie's. The song was finally recorded, but there was a lot to work on for its production: Roger has a very particular voice, broken, which makes his phrasing briefer, as opposed to Freddie's, who was able to extend it. For Rock It's vocals not to be cut off, each time Roger finished a line I added some synthesiser effects so there was not so much empty space before the next line. That gave the song a very fresh and new sound with which we worked a lot on the next albums, and especially on Roger's songs.

Reinhold Mack; Musical Themes of Today, 2000

About 'Sail Away Sweet Sister'

A lot of people said it would've made a single at the time, but there wasn't really room. There always was this thing about me that I sort of felt that I'd missed out on life by being an only child. I thought that that explained some of my endless running around looking for the right woman to sort of share my problems or whatever, I guess it's got something to do with that.

Brian May; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

That's a pretty song, maybe [Brian] should've called it Ballad of an Only Child or something.

Roger Taylor; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

This one has always been a favourite of mine - I wished it could have been a single at the time, but really it would not have worked to put something out as a single on which Freddie was not the principal singer. Of course he DOES sing the middle eight - and beautifully too. The solo in Sail Away was always intended to be Killer Queen revisited in a different way (for reasons which are obvious to me, but do not need going into!). The solo starts the same way, on one guitar, and is then enjoined by two others which add in “Bell” type harmonies, a la Mantovani(which I think I talked about elsewhere). In other words the first guitar hangs on, and each guitar that joins in adds in a harmony. The three guitar melodies go on for just a few notes, and then there is an interplay of “Bells” going upwards in pitch (rather than downwards as in Killer Queen), and there are FIVE of them and they step in very quickly! Now four of them keep playing in harmony until the end when they all become bound into a tight set of ascending chords leading back into the final chorus.

Brian May; Official Website, 15th of January 2003

For the record, as far as I remember, I played piano on: Doin' All Right, Father to Son, Now I'm Here, Dear Friends, Teo Toriatte, All Dead All Dead. Notably NOT on Sail Away Sweet Sister - I got Freddie to learn it and play it with Roger and John for the backing track - I wanted his marvellous rhythm and percussive feel on piano - but yes on Save Me, Las Palabras de Amor, Flash and The Hero (plus organ on the Wedding). But from here on in we began using synthesisers and there were many excursions from us all into keyboard territory… The only pure piece of piano from this era from me is Forever - which was a doodle done live in the studio which I rescued for a bonus track later on.

Brian May; Official Website, 23rd of April 2003

I'm fond of Sail Away Sweet Sister.

Brian May; House of Guitars, 8th of January 2004

One more memory from the Mack days. We're mixing Sail Away Sweet Sister, and I had planned to have all the small fragments in the multitrack guitar solo pan across the stereo in a certain way, so it would be fun when you listened on headphones. Most recording engineers start a mix by establishing a sound balance for the backing track - drums, bass, rhythm guitar or piano - and then add in other instruments one by one so you can logically build up the mix. Mack had none of this going on. He worked the whole time listening to everything, and making adjustments with what seemed like random levels. Of course it all made perfect sense to him, but sitting beside him, you had no clue what he was working on at any one time. I asked him if we could hear all the bits of the solo separately and locate them in the stereo space. He looked at me strangely: “Probably not”, he said. I think he tried, reluctantly, to let me hear them separately but, bizarrely, it turned out that you could only hear them all with the whole mix up! So some of them must have got put on to tracks that were dedicated to other instruments…  We never did find all the pieces, and to this day it sounds odd to me, but … actually? It works. Mack's methods were strange but they worked for him. And they sure worked for us in this piece of our history, the glory days of the Munich era.

Brian May; Queen in 3D, 24th of August 2017

About 'Save Me'

I wrote it, but there is some bits of Freddie in here. It's unusual that we do cooperate on a song but this is probably the closest we've got in recent times.

Brian May; BBC Radio One, 10th of January 1980

We wrote very separately in those days, and we never really talked about what the songs meant, we were quite shy about we were trying to say individually in the songs, we tend to talk about things more now. To cut a long story short, I wrote it about a friend, someone who was going through a bad time, and I imagined myself in their shoes, kind of telling the story. That's what it is, somebody whose relationship has totally fucked up and how sad that person was.

Brian May; In the Studio with Redbeard, 19th of June 1989

It was very seldom that my songs became singles, so I was leaping on the chance. The song is really in essence written through the eyes of someone else, in the eyes of the girl, and the girl is really the centre of the story, and it's she who is saying “save me”. I do like it - it wasn't the biggest hit in the world, it was kind of a medium hit, that was not one of the huge blockbusters in our career. And the video does look OK, it's a nice quality.

Brian May; Greatest Video Hits, 2002

For the record, as far as I remember, I played piano on: Doin' All Right, Father to Son, Now I'm Here, Dear Friends, Teo Toriatte, All Dead All Dead. Notably NOT on Sail Away Sweet Sister - I got Freddie to learn it and play it with Roger and John for the backing track - I wanted his marvellous rhythm and percussive feel on piano - but yes on Save Me, Las Palabras de Amor, Flash and The Hero (plus organ on the Wedding). But from here on in we began using synthesisers and there were many excursions from us all into keyboard territory… The only pure piece of piano from this era from me is Forever - which was a doodle done live in the studio which I rescued for a bonus track later on.

Brian May; Official Website, 23rd of April 2003

Save Me is a one million per cent stand-out vocal from Freddie - the sound he makes is almost unbelievable - a most amazing instrument.

Brian May; Official Website, 1st of November 2004

On this track, Freddie's vocal is exquisite.

Brian May; Hard Rock Café London, 16th of October 2007

Freddie makes such a wonderful job on Save Me. I can't believe it. You should see this. It's a real… I was shocked myself.

Brian May; KCET, 8th of June 2008