Sir Brian May has confessed in a recent interview that Freddie Mercury Queen was never intended to function live because it would be difficult to make work on stage. This week’s edition of Queen The Greatest Live, the official YouTube documentary series, has fresh interviews with Sir Brian May and Roger Taylor. This time, the duo has looked into songs that have evolved from their studio foundations to become whole different animals live. “I think some songs, like Sheer Heart Attack, are written with the idea of how it might sound live,” the drummer explained. I always assumed it would go, that it would play, and that if we play that fast, it will go live.” Meanwhile, the guitarist stated that I Want It All was always intended to be a live tune, but there is one Freddie Mercury song in particular that Queen feared would never work on stage.
“I think there are various processes,” Sir Brian explained. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of writing a song in the studio, you wonder how it would sound live. And it actually informs your recording process because you’ve crafted it to be a sort of live feeling kind of piece, similar to I Want It All, which is supposed to be a live track. “Other songs are not.” Something along the lines of The Miracle. That was never intended to be a live song, and it never was. It was strictly a studio production, something that would be difficult to replicate on stage… That is not to imply it is impossible. I’m sure you could, but it wouldn’t be aimed at stage performances.” Nonetheless, Queen realized that some songs, such as Love Of My Life, may work live if approached differently.
“We had this piano song, which would have been very difficult to do live,” Sir Brian explained. It has all these lovely harmonies overdubs. How would you do it in real life? And I remember sitting with Freddie and saying, ‘Well, we could do it acoustic and you could just sing it’. “It happened very quickly.” I basically discovered methods to execute it that aren’t very similar to the album, but it compressed everything into something we could do very easily and ask the crowd to sing along with us – which they did.”