Friday, October 22, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: Good Company

We made it, readers! This is the last song from Queen's 1975 release A Night at the Opera. Next week I'm going to have to think of another Queen or solo album or concert to feature. Any suggestions?

Before I jump into the song, I want to say a quick word about the suspension of DavidRFuller's Youtube account.

Some of you may recall me mentioning Mr. Fuller and his absolutely beautiful Queen video's before. He goes above and beyond posting the original music videos and compiles his own videos of photographs and video of the band over the past 40 years. This week, Mr. Fuller's account was suspended for copyright violation due to (fans suspect) the band's new contract with Universal, a particularily litigious company.

Personally, I think Universal (or whoever is behind the suspension) is missing the point of Mr. Fuller's videos. They didn't take anything away from Queen or their songs; rather his videos allowed fans and non-fans alike to appreciate Queen's songs in a way they never had before. It was Mr. Fuller's video for '39 (another song on A Night at the Opera) that encouraged me to begin listening to the Queen songs featuring Dr. May and RT on lead vocals.

The more optimistic fans hope that Mr. Fuller's videos set to rare and unreleased songs were the problem and that those songs are due to appear on expanded rereleases or boxed sets in the new year. Less optimistic fans have their doubts that will happen.

All I can hope is that Mr. Fuller figures out a way to repost his videos in a way that is satisfactory to Universal and/or Queen Productions Ltd. because they truly are wonderful to watch.

Alright onto the song: Good Company was written by Dr. May and is the tenth track on A Night at the Opera. This song is nearly 100% Dr. May with Freddie Mercury not appearing on the track at all and Deaky and RT appearing only to play bass and drums, respectively.
Video courtesy of spaccapassa.

The most surprising thing about this song is that Dr. May used a guitar to record the "horn" parts. He explained to On the Record in 1982: Yeah, that's four different kind of guitars. I was very keen in those days on recreating that sort of atmosphere. I mainly got the sound with small amplifiers. I used John Deacon's little amplifier and a volume pedal. For the trombone and trumpet sounds. I would record every note individually: Do it and then drop in. Incredibly painstaking! It took ages and ages. I listened to a lot of traditional jazz music when I was young, so I tried to get the phrasing as it would be if it were played by that instrument.

Dr. May also played a ukelele on the song and recorded all the lead and backing vocals. In the Making of A Night at the Opera, Dr. May discusses recording the track and demonstrates playing a small ukelele similar to the one his father first taught him to play as a child (click here to watch the bit).

Happy Listening!


  1. that was catchy! that stinks about the the youtube user! i hope they sort it out...

  2. As far as what to feature next, may I suggest tracks from the Milton Keynes concert; the DVD is called "Live at the Bowl" so the CD may be as well? (OMG just realized I dont' have it... BAD fan!). Even though it is from the Hot Space tour, it is actually one of my favorites; especially "Somebody to Love".