16 March 1990, Queen are finalising the last few vocal lines, guitar solo and drums for the track ‘Don’t Try So Hard’. It will be the fifth song included on their fourteenth album ‘Innuendo.’A melancholy chaser to the joyful ‘I Can’t Live With You,’ ‘Don’t Try So Hard’ is a stunning, powerful ballad but unfortunately, a very underrated song. This track has great dynamics and emotions. Queen show that they can have silence as well as over the top power in one song, mixed together with complex musical structures. Freddie’s vocals are absolutely magnificent and he sings a large portion in falsetto.

There has been a raging debate for years as to the actual writer of the song: rumours circulated that John was the creator, while David Richards recently revealed that the song was the work of Brian and Freddie. Brian finally confirmed in an interview that ‘Don’t Try So Hard’ is Freddie’s work and a masterpiece!Nonetheless, Queen shares authorship as a whole since it was decided a couple of years earlier that the four musicians will share all credits, no matter who the creator was… this alleviated tensions during the writing and recording sessions. The song has lyrics full of stock adages about overcoming obstacles with courage and conviction, but they’re made more trenchant in context of Freddie’s condition when he recorded it.

He was determined to make as much music as he could before he passed on..Roger´s drumming is powerful, but economical. As there are lots of quiet gaps, Roger probably made a demo-guide-track to have an overview and the perfect timing. In the basic track, the ride cymbal plays the most important role. There isn´t a Hi-Hat used and only in the chorusses and in the bridge are snare, bass, toms and crash cymbal joining. The low toms also does some the impressive fills. Snare and toms are heavily reverbed. Overdubs: Many of the crash cymbal rolls in the fills and the quiet parts are overdubbed. There´s lots of panning in those rolls.In the solo, a shaker plays in the middle…

no synthsJohn most likely used his Fender Precision. The sound-setting is very warm with lots of sustain.Recorded via D.I. and with some EQ and compression.And the amazing guitar work… First, Brian recorded the clean-guitar. This track is mostly playing arpeggios and chords in the verses, solo etc…and the harmonics in the intro and outro. Then there´s the distorted rythm guitar, which is playing in the chorusses and the bridge. In the bridge there’s also a short choir-interlude: Two guitars are playing slightly left, two other guitars slightly right and then all four guitars together.The solo-guitar starts fading in from left to right and is then playing the solo (what else) in the middle. All guitars are played on the Red Special (what a sound!)With an understated instrumental performance, atmospheric use of keyboards, and otherworldly vocal performance by Freddie, ‘Don’t Try So Hard’ is a fantastic latter-day Queen song, truly one of the most outstanding non-single album tracks written since the late 70s, when the emphasis was on presenting an album as a cohesive piece rather than just a collection of songs! This is a great song to listen with your headphones 🎧 Source: ‘Queen – The Complete Works’ & ‘Queen Songs, Recording and Writing’👉👉https://youtu.be/E_cyFO26spEThe picture is from 1989 ‘Miracle’ sessions 💙