10 December 1976 – ‘Somebody To Love’ / ‘White Man’ in the released USA.

This soul searching piece was written by Freddie Mercury who had full rein with soulful, gospel flavoured multi-tracked chorale. Meanwhile, the lyrical content here was an open heart for Mercury as he grapples with personal salvation and spiritual redemption. This song has complex harmonies, rich guitar solos and through voice layering techniques, Queen was able to create the soulful sound of a 100 plus-voice choir from only three singers: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor. Very impressive!

Freddie’s voice wears different guises throughout the song and he manages to make the listener feel deeply connected to the protagonist in a song in their moment of despair. Not many people can evoke such emotion from a listener like Freddie, a true one of a kind talent.

“It was all about Aretha Franklin for Freddie. She was a huge influence.. Freddie wanted to be Aretha Franklin, you have to bear this in mind, and that explains everything. He loved Aretha. And, this was his Gospel epic. It kind of followed in the steps of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the sense that we were building up these multiple vocal parts, but this time we were being a Gospel choir, instead of being an English choir. So it was very much gospel construction and allowed Freddie to sing in the way which he loved.” – Brian May

“With my song, ‘Somebody To Love,’ I knew that I wanted a gospel choir feel to it, and I knew we had to do it all ourselves. That song contains something like a 160-piece choir effect. You can imagine how long it took to do – over and over and over again. We spent at least a week on that piece but it was well worth it. That track was me going a bit mad. I just wanted to write something in the Aretha Franklin type mode.”

“I love the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, above all other singers. She must have one of the best voices ever. She sings like a dream. I wish I could sing half as well as she does. It’s so natural. She puts her whole emotion into it. Each word she sings is full of meaning and expression. I could listen to it forever.”

Freddie Mercury

Peter Hince told Mojo in 2009, ‘Somebody To Love’ was, “always one of Queen’s best. The studio version was very polished, but on-stage there was so much more guts to it.”

This beautiful track is widely reputed to have been Freddie Mercury’s favorite song he ever wrote.

The B-Side is Brian May’s ‘White Man,’ a solid examination of how native American Indians were treated at the hands of European settlers, was an indication of the many facets the band felt capable of exploring.

The song is one of Queen’s heaviest works, thematically and musically.

“‘White Man’, the B-side of ‘Somebody To Love’, is Brian’s song. It’s a very bluesy track and it gave me the opportunity to do raucous vocals. I think it’ll be a great stage number.” – Freddie Mercury 1977