Friday, December 10, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: Somebody to Love

This is a very timely Queen song of the week as we make our way through the set list of Queen's 1982 concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl: after a year of waiting, I have finally gotten to sing the harmonies to this song on Rock Band 3!

And readers? It was everything that I dreamed it would be.

Three-part harmonies are indicated on the screen: the low part sung by Dr. May, the mid-range vocals that Freddie sang, and RT's high parts. Truly amazing.

Also amazing is this version of Somebody to Love, considered by many fans to be the best performance of the song, if not the best live performance by the band.

Somebody to Love was written by Freddie Mercury and appeared on the band's 1976 album A Day at the Races. The song was released as a single where it peaked at #2 and #13 on the U.K. and U.S. charts, respectively.

The song itself has a gospel-type feel to it, which is a style of which Freddie was very much a fan: specifically, he was focused on recreating a Aretha Franklin sound. To accomplish this, the harmonies and background vocals are very prominent and perhaps the most recognizable aspect of the song. True to form, the band recorded layer upon layer of harmonies to give the impression that a full gospel choir was in singing on the track, when, in fact, it was just our three boys!

This song is a fan favorite and a favorite by many who don't even consider themselves Queen fans and is still played frequently on the radio nearly 35 years after it was first released!

Happy Listening!


  1. This is probably my favorite Queen song---based on limited exposure admittedly---and I really enjoyed reading your analysis of it! This live version is fantastic.

  2. PS: Gawd, bonus points for the HIMYM reference I'm just noticing. True story: I named my wireless internet network "LAWYERED".

  3. I can't wait to sing the harmonies with you (I will have to find a way to practice)!

    Your column is also timely since we have just heard about Aretha Franklin's battle with pancreatic cancer- here's hoping she wins!

  4. Jewish Girl - I've always loved this song too, even before I became a "crazy" Queen fan! George Michael sang a really great version of it at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992 that you should check out. And I'm glad you enjoy my HIMYM references - love that show!

    Mom - I saw that story but didn't even make the connection until you said something. Here's hoping she makes a full recovery!