Brian Harold May, CBE ARCS (born 19 July 1947) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and astrophysicist. He is the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.
May was a co-founder of Queen with lead singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor, having previously performed with Taylor in the band Smile, which he had joined while he was at university. Within five years of their formation in 1970 and the recruitment of bass player John Deacon completing the lineup, Queen had become one of the biggest rock bands in the world with the success of the album A Night at the Opera and its single “Bohemian Rhapsody”. From the mid-1970s until the early 1990s, Queen were an almost constant presence in the UK charts and played some of the biggest venues in the world, including giving an acclaimed performance at Live Aid in 1985. As a member of Queen, May became regarded as a virtuoso musician and he was identified with a distinctive sound created through his layered guitar work, often using a home-built electric guitar called the Red Special. May wrote numerous hits for Queen, including “We Will Rock You”, “I Want It All”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Flash”, “Hammer to Fall”, “Save Me”, “Who Wants to Live Forever” and “The Show Must Go On”.
Following the death of Mercury in 1991, aside from the 1992 tribute concert, the release of Made in Heaven (1995) and the 1997 tribute single to Mercury, “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)” (written by May), Queen were put on hiatus for several years but were eventually reconvened by May and Taylor for further performances featuring other vocalists. In 2005, a Planet Rock poll saw May voted the seventh-greatest guitarist of all time. He was ranked at No. 26 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. In 2012, he was ranked the second greatest guitarist in a Guitar World magazine readers poll. In 2001, May was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Queen and in 2018 the band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
|Do you think the music you personally listen to [as in your favourite artists over just generalised commercial listening] suit and reflect your true personality?|
I don’t listen to music very much these days, though Hubby has some interesting tracks he’s put together which I like. I like ballads, strings, good harmonies and anyone who can make a guitar ‘talk’ (Brian May, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Hank Marvin to name a few). I play stuff from the old musicals as I can express myself in those, so I guess that reflects my personality.Di
It was the above quote and especially the highlighted section that made me think “Let’s do that then!” So whilst the series is principally dedicated to Di in celebration of the marvelous guitarists that can indeed make their instruments tell a story all by themselves if any one else is a keen enthusiast for fancy strumming – let me know below and you’ll be listed in the introduction to the next episode and fans of this series of 15 too.
Here are in my opinion Brian May’s Top 7 Guitar Solos! What about you? Fan or not? Best solos in your eyes would be?
|Killer Queen – 1974|
|Bohemian Rhapsody – 1979|
|Millionaire Waltz – 1976|
|Stone Cold Crazy – 1974|
|Tie Your Mother Down – 1976|
|Brighton Rock – 1974|
|We Will Rock You – 1977|
So they are my personal Top 7 – what are yours?
So there we go folks – Brian May – The Guitar Talker 1# – Fan or Not?