It's Late

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with It's Late (Ricky Nelson song).
"It's Late"
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
B-side Sheer Heart Attack (commercial single) / It's late (long version)/ (US promo single)
Released 25 April 1978 (Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Japan only)
Format 7"
Recorded 1977
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 6:22 (album version)
3:49 (promo single version)
Label EMI, Elektra
Writer(s) Brian May
Producer(s) Queen and Mike Stone
Queen singles chronology
"Spread Your Wings"
"It's Late"
"Bicycle Race" /
"Fat Bottomed Girls"

"It's Late" is a song written by Queen guitarist Brian May and performed by the band for their 1977 album News of the World. The song was May's idea of treating a song as a three-act theatrical play, and the verses are called "acts" in the lyrics sheet. It makes use of the tapping technique a few months before Eddie Van Halen's use of the tapping technique on the Van Halen album. May told Guitar Player Magazine[1] that his use of the tapping technique was inspired by an unnamed bar-band guitarist from Texas. Tapping had also been previously used by other players, notably Steve Hackett of Genesis. The song is notable for its length and heavy, wide vocal range (E3-E6), bluesy guitar riff, and using the previously mentioned technique.

The lyrics describe a love affair that is on the verge of ending.[2]

The song was released as a single in the US in 1978, albeit in heavily edited form, and peaked at #72 on the Billboard charts. The song was later included on the Queen Rocks compilation in 1997, and a new video was produced using footage of Las Vegas and prostitutes, intercut with live performances of the song.

The song appears in the 2006 documentary film Kurt Cobain: About a Son. The song also plays over the credits in the Jody Hill film Observe and Report.

On the live album Return of the Champions by Queen + Paul Rodgers a stripped back version of the song "Hammer to Fall" is played in a fashion that takes inspiration from "It's Late".

Queen comments on the record[edit]



  1. ^ Brian May Guitar Player Interview
  2. ^ Guarisco, D.A. "It's Late". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  3. ^ Queenpedia - It's Late

External links[edit]