Brian May looked back on his iconic solo in “We Will Rock You” as part of the latest installment of Queen’s year-long celebration in honor of their 50th anniversary as a band.
In the video below, May recalls, “In my memory, I think I only went in there once; I just did one take. I just went in there and wanted to be spontaneous. I didn’t want it to be planned.”
He added, “I got them to play the whole track [back], so I was playing along with the whole track in my head but not making any noise. So when it comes to my bit, I do the big c chord, which changes key, so [the song] changes key for the solo, and it’s never coming back. There’s an event at the end of the song, which is irreversible, if you like.”
May also reflected on how popular “We Will Rock You” has become saying, “I had no idea of how far it would go, no. There wasn’t that much confidence in the studio around me in the sense that not everyone was convinced that this was going to work, and they weren’t convinced that people were going to play it on the radio. Turned out that they did, which is nice.”
He added about the song’s impact, “But the thing I’m most proud of is that it became part of public life. So, when anyone goes [mimics the song’s ‘boom boom clap’ rhythm] in any form whatsoever, that’s what it is. The greatest compliment is when people think nobody wrote it; they just think it’s always been there archetypally. So, ‘We Will Rock You’ has become traditional, like it goes back to the stone age, and that makes me happy.”