“There was huge songwriting competition in Queen, no doubt about it. It was a major factor in pushing us onwards. We were very conscious that we had to reach inside ourselves to keep up. Occasionally Freddie would write fast, but a lot of the time he’d go home and scheme and scheme, and come back with stuff written all over a pad of his dad’s notepaper. He’d spend time developing ideas. But there are exceptions, where he’d get the song in one bite. And often they’re the ones that connect.

Freddie mainly used the piano for songwriting, but there were times when he’d get inspiration when he wasn’t around his instrument. It could be any experience; a skate on the pond. One of the last songs he wrote, ‘A Winter’s Tale’, was written purely sat looking out on the mountains from the other side of Lake Geneva. He could obviously hear it all in his head, although he didn’t have any musical instruments with him. I remember him coming into the studio and saying: “I’ve got this idea … just give me a few minutes.” Then he brought it to life. That’s a beautiful track, actually.

Another favourite is ‘The Miracle’, which has an incredible lightness to it. I’d say my favourite Freddie song to play is ‘We Are The Champions’ – still. And I don’t know how many times I’ve played it, but it always pulls something out of you. It’s one of those songs where even if the winds are blowing in the wrong direction it still sounds good”

Brian May, interview March 2011
Classic Rock Magazine
By Royal Appointment

Picture Roger and Freddie while recording ‘One Vision’ September 1985, Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany

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