Brian May: Astounding, brilliant guitarist and songwriter. Let’s appreciate.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Feat77, Nov 22, 2022.

  1. Feat77

    Feat77 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Brian is the man! What he does is on another level completely. It’s not at all surprising he was ranked top guitarist in guitar world this year. I’m glad people are finally starting to appreciate Brian as they always should have. What he did on Queen 1 and Queen 2 would have been enough to cement him as one of the greatest that ever lived.
  2. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    God broke the mold after making Brian May.
    Vinyl Socks and moops like this.
  3. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Carnival of Light enjoyer... IF I HAD ONE

    You got tired of people dunking on Brian in the Miracle box set thread too, huh? :p

    Brian is a great guitarist. More craftsman than improvisor, but a great tone that even other players who use a treble booster just can't match, much of it due to his legendary creation with his father, the mighty Red Special.

    As a solo or co-writer, well, just look at the resume:

    Keep Yourself Alive
    Doing All Right
    The Night Comes Down
    Son and Daughter
    Father to Son*
    White Queen (As It Began)*
    Some Day One Day*
    Brighton Rock
    Now I'm Here
    Dear Friends
    She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettoes)
    The Prophet's Song
    Good Company
    God Save the Queen [not a Brian composition, obviously, but nobody else in the rock world could have arranged it like this]
    Tie Your Mother Down
    Long Away
    White Man
    Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)
    We Will Rock You
    All Dead, All Dead
    Sleeping on the Sidewalk
    It's Late
    Fat Bottomed Girls
    Dead on Time
    Dreamer's Ball
    Leaving Home Ain't Easy
    Dragon Attack
    Sail Away Sweet Sister
    Save Me
    Flash's Theme [leaving out most of the rest of the Flash Gordon soundtrack as I don't think it exemplifies Brian's pop/rock song writing]
    The Hero
    Put Out the Fire
    Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love)
    Tear It Up
    Machines (or 'Back to Humans')
    Hammer to Fall
    Is This the World We Created...?
    I Go Crazy
    Thank God It's Christmas
    Who Wants to Live Forever
    Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)
    I Want It All
    Chinese Torture
    I Can't Live with You
    The Hitman
    The Show Must Go On
    Mother Love
    Too Much Love Will Kill You
    No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)
    Let Me in Your Heart Again

    *except for a Roger composition, the first half of the mighty Queen II is all Brian songs, and they're all fantastic.

    They're not all bangers (She Makes Me is camp fluff, Dancer is the lesser of Brian's Hot Space contributions, Chinese Torture is a harmonizer demo (though I love it so), and Bijou is more notable for the guitaring than the song proper), but there are rockers (Tie Your Mother Down), ballads (Who Wants To Live Forever), novelty tunes (All Dead, All Dead), and worldwide smash hits (We Will Rock You).

    Brian is a fine singer too; he does not have the rock'n'roll voice of his bandmates, but songs that have a quieter or more melancholic bent to them suit his voice perfectly.

    Never a one-trick pony, Brian is a great guitar orchestrator but his playing goes deeper than that, as a listen to something like It's Late makes clear. I was amused by a quote I heard on here that Brian is one of the foremost rock guitarists that seems to have little to no blues in his playing, and I have to say I agree, but that just means it's coming from a different angle, and that makes him special as a player.

    Also he played on the roof of Buckingham Palace, so there's that :D

    TDSOTM Forum Resident

    I love Brian May, but Keep Yourself Alive was his peak as a guitarist. His biggest weakness was that he basically allowed Mercury to take over the songwriting process.
  5. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Forum Resident

    When did that happen then?
  6. kanakaris

    kanakaris Forum Resident

    The Brighton Rock solo : epic.

  7. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Sordel, dunkoid, Miles1968 and 5 others like this.

    TDSOTM Forum Resident

    I guess starting with A Night with the Opera. From that point on I don't think there's anything in Queen's discography resembling Keep Yourself Alive or Brighton Rock.
    Boom Operator likes this.
  9. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Forum Resident

    What T F are you on about? I asked you when it was that Brian let Freddie take over the songwriting duties.
    Rufus rag likes this.
  10. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Brian May reached the peak with Sheer Heart Attack, after that… going down, incl. Song writing and guitar playing.
  11. Johnny the Fox

    Johnny the Fox hot to hustle

    Washington, DC
    Very versatile guitarist. He had to be in order to adapt to the styles of four very different songwriters.
    Vic_1957, BeatleJWOL and Man at C&A like this.
  12. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Shame the thread is already turning into a “let’s pile on Brian May” one. FWIW, I’d rate him as one of the greats.
  13. Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged Chinese Democracy

    My two favorite solos of Brian’s, if I had to choose, would be You Don’t Fool Me and Catcher In The Rye.
  14. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    That's Dr. May...
    Vic_1957, sonofjim, RAZORMADE and 4 others like this.
  15. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Forum Resident

    When and where was that released?
    Ludger and Ernold like this.
  16. Judge Judy

    Judge Judy Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I was seven or eight years old when News of the World came out and my older sister had a copy. I remember hearing the guitar solo in "We Will Rock You" and it being the first time I could remember that the guitar really jumped out at me and made me go, "Wow, what's that?" I saw Queen with Adam Lambert and when they played that, Brian May absolutely transported me back into my seven or eight year old body for a brief second.

    Otherwise, there's not much to say about him that hasn't already been said. He's an utterly unique guitar player, his touch and tone are amazing, and he never goes for obvious ideas. He's also written god knows how many of my favorite songs, not just by Queen but by anybody.
  17. CliffL

    CliffL Forum Resident

    Sacramento CA USA
    I bought the first two Queen albums in 1974 when I was a senior in high school, and took note of Brian's unique guitar style right away. One song that I really got into was "Ogre Battle" (also really love "My Fairy King" that shows Brian's lyrical and melodic side).

  18. GoodKitty

    GoodKitty Floyd


    I appreciate Dr. May !






    willy, Ludger, starduster and 5 others like this.
  19. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Forum Resident

    The Night Comes Down is one of my favourite Queen songs. Great guitar player and I love the work he did for the Flash Gordon OST.
  20. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Fun in Space
    Big Queen fan here, and Brian is one of my favorite Rock guitarists for sure! Great man with a unique guitar sound.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
  21. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Forum Resident

    GoodKitty likes this.
  22. 7solqs4iago

    7solqs4iago Forum Resident


    Ah, let the fans have a hagiography and festschrift for a thread... :D

    As a fan of the hits i did a quick review of the credits for the first 8 or so albums, i had no idea until now who wrote what, a few surprises...

    okay, i had always guessed Mr. Mercury correctly for a few of them...
    Jarleboy and BeatleJWOL like this.
  23. Eiricd

    Eiricd Forum Resident

    110% unique

    No one constructs a melodic solo like Brian May
    No one orchestrates the guitar like Brian May
    No one sounds like Brian May

    that's before looking at his writing credits.
    the man is a brilliant musician
    Ludger, Tingman, fredgsanford and 7 others like this.
  24. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Carnival of Light enjoyer... IF I HAD ONE

    Meanwhile, from his solo career:

    Brian May - Lost Horizon

    Absolutely transcendent.
  25. Jerquee

    Jerquee Take this, brother, may it serve you well.

    New York
    As a guitarist myself, I always remember something he once said in an interview about soloing. He said something to the effect of 'when soloing, you can't just let your fingers do the walking'. In other words, don't allow yourself to just wank along mindlessly.

    Obviously, he lives by that rule because his solos are always melodic and interesting.

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