Friday, April 9, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: Keep Yourself Alive

This week's Queen Song of the Week is the very first song Queen ever released as a single: Keep Yourself Alive, written by Dr. May, appeared on the band's self-titled debut album. It was released as a single in 1973 but did not chart in either the U.K. or the U.S. It is the only Queen single that didn't chart in the U.K.
For a band's first single, this is pretty darn good! It's a very good reflection of who Queen was at the time and also who they would become. The song features a guitar solo by Dr. May, a lengthy drum solo by RT, harmonies, and Dr. May singing lead on one line (both he and RT would go on to sing lead vocals on entire Queen songs). For some reason I always think that this song, especially the guitar solo, has a bit of a country/bluegrass feeling to it which is lots of fun.

Despite this song failing to chart, it was a favorite for the band to play live. Often following this song the band would segue into a drum and timpani solo by RT and then a guitar solo by Dr. May. Keep Yourself Alive has also been included on most Queen compilation albums because it was the first single.

Happy Listening!


  1. Great 70s reminiscence: with an opening rhythm like "Under Pressure," the guitar and drum solos you mentioned in the middle and the "Bohemian Rhapsody-esque seque after the drum solo, it is easy to see their roots (except for the repeating chorus!)

  2. I'm glad you started commenting!

    For some reason in my mind I always confuse this song with Don't Stop Me Now. I'm not sure why but I equate the two in my head. I'm going to write about that one in a few weeks!