Back to the Light

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Back to the Light
Brian May Back to the LIght LP.jpg
Studio album by Brian May
Released 28 September 1992 (UK)
2 February 1993 (US)
Recorded 1988–1992
Genre Rock
Length 51:12
Producer Brian May, Justin Shirley-Smith
Brian May chronology
Star Fleet Project
Back to the Light
Live at the Brixton Academy
United States cover
Singles from Back to the Light
  1. "Driven by You"
    Released: 1992
  2. "Too Much Love Will Kill You"
    Released: 1992
  3. "Back to the Light"
    Released: 1992
  4. "Resurrection"
    Released: 1993
  5. "Last Horizon"
    Released: 1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[2]

Back to the Light is the first solo album by Queen guitarist Brian May and his second non-Queen album. It was recorded between 1988 and 1992 at the Allerton Hill Studios, mixed at the Metropolis Studios and then released on 28 September 1992 in the UK. The album was released in the United States and Canada on 2 February 1993 with a different cover.

The album contains the Top 10 singles "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "Driven by You".

Alternative versions[edit]

An alternative version of "Too Much Love Will Kill You" was also recorded by Queen and can be found on their Made in Heaven album (1995), with vocals by Freddie Mercury. Brian May also recorded an instrumental guitar version of the song.

An alternate "explicit" version of "Love Token" was recorded with lyrics which may have been deemed offensive by the record label. The lyric "shit for brains" was replaced by "meat for brains," while the lyrics "well, fuck you" were replaced by "that's a shame." The original "explicit" version was never officially released except on a free CD packaged with RCD Magazine, Vol. 4.

Three more versions of "Driven by You" are known. The first was made famous in a Ford advertisement, with slightly altered lyrics. Another one is a rare instrumental remix of the song, called "Driven by You Too." The last was a rock re-mix with a new drum track from Cozy Powell for the US release of Back to the Light, as a bonus track.

The track "Just One Life" was written as a tribute to the actor Philip Sayer, who died in 1989.

"Headlong" and "I Can't Live with You" were originally intended to be included on the album, but when Brian May heard Freddie Mercury singing the tracks, he instead allowed them to become Queen songs on the album Innuendo.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Brian May, except where noted

  1. "The Dark" – 2:20
  2. "Back to the Light" – 4:59
  3. "Love Token" – 5:55
  4. "Resurrection" (Brian May, Cozy Powell, Jamie Page) – 5:27
  5. "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (Brian May, Frank Musker, Elizabeth Lamers) – 4:28
  6. "Driven by You" – 4:11
  7. "Nothin' But Blue" (Brian May, Cozy Powell) – 3:31
  8. "I'm Scared" – 4:00
  9. "Last Horizon" – 4:10
  10. "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" – 3:51
  11. "Just One Life" – 3:38
  12. "Rollin' Over" (Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott) – 4:36
  13. "Driven by You" (rock re-mix on the US and Canadian versions only) – 4:11


  1. "Driven by You" / "Just One Life" (Guitar Version, Instrumental) (November 1991) – No. 6
  2. "Too Much Love Will Kill You" / "I'm Scared" (August 1992) – No. 5
  3. "Back to the Light" / "Nothin' But Blue" (November 1992) – No. 19
  4. "Resurrection" / "Love Token" / "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (Live) (June 1993) – No. 23
  5. "Last Horizon" / "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" (Live) (December 1993) – No. 51

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[3] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Miscellaneous credits[edit]

All music, words, vocals, backing vocals, guitars and keyboards and anything else around by Brian May, unless stated below.

  • Drums by Cozy Powell on "Back to the Light", "Love Token", "Resurrection", "Nothin' But Blue" and "I'm Scared"; and by Geoff Dugmore (formerly of The Europeans) on "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" and "Rollin' Over."
  • Bass by Gary Tibbs on "Back to the Light", "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head", "Just One Life" and "Rollin' Over"; by Neil Murray on "Love Token" and "I'm Scared"; and by John Deacon on "Nothin' But Blue."
  • Backing vocals by Suzie O'List and Gill O'Donovan on "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head"
  • Piano by Mike Moran on "Love Token" and Rollin' Over." He also played keyboards on "Last Horizon."
  • Extra keyboards by Don Airey on "Resurrection", "Nothin' But Blue."
  • "The Dark" includes material engineered by Alan Douglas at the Townhouse Studios, 1980.
  • The first ideas for the song "Back to the Light" were engineered by Brian Zellis and Pete Schwier in March 1988.

"Resurrection" is credited to Brian May for the words and to Brian May, Cozy Powell and Australian guitarist Jamie Page for the music. It also features material engineered by Sean Lynch and Leif Masses at Mono Valley Studio and Marcus Studios.

"Driven By You" was recorded and mixed with David Richards co-producing at Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland, 1991.

"Nothin' But Blue" includes material engineered by Sean Lynch and Leis Masses at Mono Valley Studios and Marcus Studios.

"I'm Scared" includes material engineered by Pete Schwier, assisted by Richard Edwards.

"Last Horizon" includes material recorded with David Richards at Sarm Studios.

"Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" includes material engineered by Pete Schwier, assisted by Richard Edwards at Sarm Studios, March 1988.

"Just One Life" includes material engineered by David Richards at Mountain Studios, Montreux.

"Rollin' Over" includes material engineered by Pete Schwier, assisted by Richard Edwards, March 1988 at the Townhouse.


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ "British album certifications – Back to the Light". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Back to the Light in the search field and then press Enter.