14 February 1974, Queen’s ‘Doing All Right’ is released as the B-Side to ‘Liar’ in the USA 🇺🇸 This fantastic track is taken from Queen’s eponymous debut album When Queen started work on their debut album in the summer of 1972, the Brian May / Tim Staffell co-authored track from their band ‘Smile’ titled ‘Doin’ Alright’ was a well established live favourite. It’s notable as the band’s first song Freddie played live on the piano. It was deemed worthy enough to sit alongside newer compositions. The track is set over a delicate piano introduction, played by Brian, and a gorgeous vocal from Freddie (he styled his vocal to how Tim originally sang the song with Smile), ‘Doing All Right’ (as it was retitled) soon turns into a fully-fledged rocker, with Brian’s famous Red Special in great form, reverting to a lovely ballad for the conclusion.

The harmonies are just absolutely perfect, and the band performance is a major accomplishment considering their infancy. Tim Staffell commented on this song:”‘Doin’ Alright’ ended up on the first Queen album (as ‘Doing All Right’). It has never bowled me over as being a particularly brilliant song, but it has got me out of a hole or out of a bind more than once. I’ve just paid this quarter’s tax bill on the latest royalties.” Thanks to Roy Thomas Baker’s bombastic production, Queen’s version of the song is heavier than Smile’s. But its complex structure, harmonic arrangement and heavy-rock sensibility were obviously well in place on “Gettin’ Smile”.But perhaps the most striking aspect of the Smile recordings is the vocal similarity between Tim Staffell and his successor, Freddie Mercury. Freddie won hands down in the falsetto stakes. A version for the BBC was recorded on 5 February 1973 and released on ‘Queen At The Been’ in 1989, though the actual performance uses the album backing, track with a re-recorded vocal. This performance is unique in that Roger sings the last verse, providing a stark, harsher contrast to Freddie’s angelic tones.