Seven Seas of Rhye

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"Seven Seas of Rhye"
Song by Queen from the album Queen
Released 1973
Recorded 1971-1972
Label EMI
Writer Freddie Mercury
"Seven Seas of Rhye"
Cover art (Germany)
Single by Queen
from the album Queen and Queen II
B-side See What A Fool I've Been
Funny How Love Is (UK 3" CD Single)
The Loser in the End (Japan)
Released 23 February 1974
Format 7"
Recorded August 1973 at Trident Studios
Genre Hard rock,[1] glam rock, art rock
Label EMI (UK), Elektra (US)
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Roy Thomas Baker, Queen
Queen singles chronology
"Seven Seas of Rhye"
"Killer Queen" /
"Flick of the Wrist"

"Seven Seas of Rhye" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was primarily written by Freddie Mercury, with Brian May contributing the second middle-eight. The song is officially credited to Mercury only. A rudimentary instrumental version appears as the final track on the group's debut album Queen (1973), with the final version on the follow-up Queen II (1974).[2] The completed version served as the band's third single, the earliest-released song to appear on their Greatest Hits album, with the exception of some versions where their first single, "Keep Yourself Alive", is included.

Initially Seven Seas of Rhye was simply an "instrumental musical sketch closing their first album".[3] An expanded rendition, planned for inclusion on the album Queen II, was publicly premiered when Queen was offered a sudden chance to appear on Top of the Pops in February 1974, and was rushed to vinyl a mere 2 days later on 23 February.[3] It became their first chart entry after gaining airtime on BBC Radio 1,[3] peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart,[4] which in turn persuaded Freddie Mercury to take up Queen as his full-time career.[3]

The song was dropped from the live set in 1976 and wasn't played in concert again until the "Works" tour eight years later.

Style, construction and interpretation[edit]

The song features a distinctive arpeggiated piano introduction. These piano runs are sampled in "It's a Beautiful Day (reprise)", on the album Made In Heaven.[5]

The version on Queen II ends with a cross fade, instruments blending into the band singing "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside", accompanied by a stylophone, played by Roy Thomas Baker, which was a sole exception to their "no synths" statement.[6] Its inclusion here on the final track of Queen II is briefly mirrored via whistling during the first few seconds of "Brighton Rock", which opens their next album, Sheer Heart Attack.

In a 1977 radio interview, Freddie Mercury described the subject of the song as a "figment of his imagination". In the Queen musical We Will Rock You, the Seven Seas of Rhye is a place where the Bohemians are taken after they are brainstormed by Khashoggi.[7]




  1. ^ Fowles, Paul (2009). A Concise History of Rock Music. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. p. 244. ISBN 978-0786666430. the intricately-woven hard rock single Seven Seas of Rhye from the Queen II album 
  2. ^ Seven Seas of Rhye Allmusic. Retrieved 5 July 2011
  3. ^ a b c d Rivadavia, Ed. "Seven Seas of Rhye: Review". Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  5. ^ M. Felsani, M. Primi, M. Saita, Queen. Tutti i testi con traduzione a fronte edited 
  6. ^ Jackson, Laura (2011). Brian May: The definitive biography. Hachette UK. p. 30. ISBN 9781405513722. 
  7. ^ We Will Rock You - Plot & Photo Gallery Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 5 July 2011

External links[edit]