George Michael rehearses Somebody To Love in 1991
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Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the most famous and successful rock anthems of the last 50 years. The Queen hit was written by Freddie Mercury himself, but there was another he penned that he thought was better. In the latest episode of the official mini-documentary series Queen the Greatest, the late singer shared that he preferred Somebody To Love.
In the footage, Freddie Mercury says: “People will, obviously, no matter how hard you try, will think in terms of your past hits.
“I really thought… Ok, Bohemian Rhapsody is a big hit, but as far as my writing ability is concerned I think I can write better.
“And I just looked at it from that point of view. For my estimation, I think a song like Somebody To Love…from the writing aspect…[is] a better song.”
The Queen singer’s 1976 track was released as a single ahead of the band’s latest album at the time, A Day at the Races.
When it came to writing Somebody To Love, Freddie took a gospel approach as inspired by the early work of Aretha Franklin.
In the video, Freddie said: “And there’s me going on about Aretha Franklin, sort of made them go a bit mad…I just wanted to write something in that kind of thing.
“I was sort of incentivised by the gospel approach that she had on her albums, the earlier albums.”
While Brian May said: “Freddie wanted to be Aretha Franklin, you have to bear this in mind, and that explains everything. He loved Aretha. And, this was his gospel epic.”
Brian continued: “It kind of followed in the steps of Bohemian Rhapsody in the sense that we were building up these multiple vocal parts, but this time we were being a gospel choir, instead of being an English choir.
“Freddie came in very well prepared with a lot of vocal parts and we just worked our way through it. There was a very good feeling.
“I always remember thinking ‘Yeah, this is going to be something great.’”
Somebody To Love just missed out on the UK charts top spot, taking No 2 upon release.
Freddie Mercury: Rare audio, images from Queen’s first live TV concert [FREDDIE MERCURY]
Freddie Mercury and Queen on Bohemian Rhapsody’s ‘chemistry’ and more [BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY]
Freddie Mercury ‘had insane belief Queen would make it’ says Brian May [EXCLUSIVE]
However, Somebody To Love soon became a live concert favourite, as seen in the band’s powerhouse performance at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1982 that features in the video.
While a year before, the iconic Queen song was included in the band’s Greatest Hits album.
Then, in April 1992, a few months after their singer’s death, Queen performed the track at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
Brian, Roger Taylor and John Deacon were joined on stage by George Michael who sang Somebody To Love accompanied by the London Gospel Choir.
Somebody To Love was then included a year later in Queen, George Michael and Lisa Stansfield’s Five Live EP and saw the track finally hit No 1 in the UK charts.
Next week Queen The Greatest will cover the band’s free 1976 Hyde Park concert.
There will be 50 episodes in total, with each one being released weekly at midday on Fridays.
To watch the first eight episodes of Queen The Greatest, click here.
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