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‘Queen The Greatest Live’ – Episode 21: Adapting Songs

Queen Production Ltd.

Queen is back with episode 21 of their weekly YouTube series, Queen The Greatest Live, and this week they are delving into what it takes to adapt their studio creations for the stage, turning them into live classics. 


“I think there’s various processes. Sometimes you’re in the middle of writing a song in the studio and you think, ‘How would that be live?’ And it actually informs your recording process because you’ve fashioned it towards being a sort of live-feeling kind of track,” Brian May shares. “Other songs not.”

For example, May discusses the process of rearranging the difficult piano ballad “Love Of My Life” into an acoustic number for the stage, which has become a highlight of Queen’s live show. He also reveals how the classic “We Will Rock You” transformed when performed live.

May notes that while the song doesn’t have any drums on the album, live it has “become a drum extravaganza.”

“The stamping and clapping thing has evolved into a completely incomprehensible situation because some people will go ‘bump bump punch,’ some people go ‘boom, boom, punch,’” he says. “But it doesn’t matter, because the physicality is there and they sing it, and obviously it’s a staple — it’s always going to be with us, same with ‘Champions.’”

He adds, “So yeah, it’s moments of discovery. I love waking up in the middle of the night and thinking, ‘Oh, we can do this. We could do this.’ And you go in, ‘Can we try this?’ And then you go, ‘Actually, yeah, that could work, that can pretty much work.’”

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