WCSX Classic Cuts
Queen: “Somebody to Love”
The Hook: Brian May feels it may have been too extreme, like “using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.”
Album: A Day at the Races
Writer: Freddie Mercury
Stats: Peaked at number-13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Background: The similarities between Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and their million seller from the previous year “Bohemian Rhapsody” have often been noted. Guitarist Brian May doesn’t disagree, but says its an accurate picture of what the band were thinking at the time.
Queen guitarist Brian May on whether “Somebody to Love” was an attempt to expand on what they’d already done with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” OC:…very extreme. :24
“I felt like we were doing kind of the same thing applied to a different task, but fundamentally the same thing. I like the song, but I thought maybe it was using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. That album, A Day at the Races, was kind of a reflection of A Night at the Opera. It was like the only time we ever did that. It was kind of like we hadn’t gotten it all out of our systems when it came time to make the second one, so we had to do more of it and take it to its living end. It’s very extreme.”
“They took it away from me, they made it their own. That was a universal and timeless and a beyond our expectations line. I mean, I selfishly said that line, ‘Like Frankie said, I did it my way.’ I’d just come back from making a movie and said, ‘This is me-me-me.’ Wow! Who knew? It gets out into the consciousness – it’s timeless, classic, it translates to any language, the language of the heart, which is music. And it all goes back to those underlying themes of having faith in faith and hope in hope.”