Brighton Rock (song)
|Song by Queen from the album Sheer Heart Attack|
|Released||8 November 1974|
|Recorded||July–September 1974 at AIR, Rockfield, Trident and Wessex Sound studios|
|Label||EMI (UK), Parlophone (Europe), Elektra (US)|
|Producer||Roy Thomas Baker
|Sheer Heart Attack track listing|
"Brighton Rock" is a song by British rock band Queen, written by lead guitarist Brian May. The song is the opening track on Sheer Heart Attack. The song features one of Queen's longest guitar solos which more than three minutes long. The solo has been performed live by May at most concerts since its release.
May wrote the song shortly before the completion of Queen II in 1973. Time restriction meant the song meant it did not appear on Queen II. Before the song being recorded in 1974, variations of the solo was part of "Son And Daughter".
There were many working titles for the song including; "Happy Little Day", "Blackpool Rock", "Bognor Ballad", "Southend Sea Scout", "Skiffle Rock and "Herne Bay".
The song, the first track on the album, tells the story of two young lovers named Jenny and Jimmy meeting in Brighton on a public holiday. Jenny cannot linger because she is afraid her mother will find out "how I spent my holiday", but afterwards "writes a letter every day"; Jimmy, eager on the day, is not so happy with her "nothing can my love erase": now he is the one afraid of discovery by "my lady".
The song is probably best known for its lengthy guitar solo interlude, which was rather similar to the solo of 1968 Smile song "Blag". This featured May's technique of using multiple echoes used to build up guitar harmony and contrapuntal melodic lines. The studio version only contains one "main" guitar and one "echoed" guitar for a short section, but live, he would usually split his guitar signal into "main" and two "echoed", with each going to a separate bank of amplifiers.
Variations of this solo often featured during live Queen concerts, either as part of a rendition of Brighton Rock, a medley of it with some other songs (as witnessed on the News of the World tour where it segued after Freddie Mercury's multiple echoed vocal solo at the end of "White Man" and May's solo would segue into "The Prophet's Song" or "Now I'm Here"), or on its own as a guitar solo.
In 1980 and 1981, the solo was included as a medley with "Keep Yourself Alive", before becoming a performance in its own right. During the recent tour of Queen + Paul Rodgers, a modified version, incorporating bits of "Chinese Torture" (from The Miracle) and the introduction from "Now I'm Here" was featured in the concerts. The Queen + Paul Rodgers version is featured on their live album Return of the Champions, simply titled "Guitar Solo".
- Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals
- Brian May - electric guitar, backing vocals
- Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals
- John Deacon - bass guitar