Category: single

“Sorrow,” David Bowie’s cover of The McCoys 19…

“Sorrow,” David Bowie’s cover of The McCoys 1966 track, was the only UK single released from Pin Ups. The b-side, “Amsterdam” (Jacques Brel, 1964), was recorded in 1971 for Ziggy Stardust, but not released until this 1973 single.

The Rolling Stones, “She’s A Rainbow,” from Th…

The Rolling Stones, “She’s A Rainbow,” from Their Satanic Majesties Request

Queen, “You’re My Best Friend” BY JOHN DEACON….

Queen, “You’re My Best Friend” BY JOHN DEACON. 

(The picture sleeve released in Yugoslavia in case you were wondering.)

John Deacon. That fluffy fella third from the left, seen at Ridge Farm in 1975, where the band was working on A Night At The Opera

Here’s another of him, via discodeaky (whose outstounding blog, these days known as @doktordyper, you should definitely get to know if you don’t). 

Fluffy.

He didn’t just play bass, though. When he happened upon a Wurlitzer electric piano (the Wurlitzer EP-200, NOT a Fender Rhodes as if often misidentified; they actually sound nothing alike), he asked Fred about it, who scoffed. “I refuse to play the damn thing. It’s tinny and horrible and I don’t like them. Why play those things when you’ve got a lovely superb grand piano?”

John’s response? “I took it home and I started to learn on the electric piano and basically that’s the song that came out, you know, when I was learning to play piano.“

(Quotes via songfacts, Wurlitzer detail via queensongs.info.)

The song we’re talking about is “You’re My Best Friend.” The first song he wrote when he was teaching himself to play the electric piano. 

And since Freddie refused to play the Wurlitzer, JOHN played the piano on the record that we know and love. 

He also layed down a righteous bassline (not at the same time, mind you), and the fact is, as often as we talk about John writing this really terrific song (the second single from the album), I almost never hear anyone talking about how well he PLAYED on it, too.

Not bad for a first try!

So, from the 40th anniversary re-release of A Night At The Opera, here’s the backing track for “You’re My Best Friend”. It includes some lovely vocals and some of Brian May’s sweetest guitar work (5 layers of rhythm, plus the lead, running through the legendary Deacy Amp, designed and built by John in 1972 and finally released commercially in 2010 – you can buy it online, at deacyamp.com!), but this stripped down version allows you to really hear what John was doing on piano and bass. 

TURN IT UP.

Freddie conceded that John was able to get a distinctive sound out of the Wurlitzer, but he was still having none of it. Not only did he ONLY play it on a grand piano in concert, in the official video release, we do indeed see Deacy at the piano, but it’s a GRAND PIANO, and NOT a Wurlitzer!!! Seriously, Fred was having NONE of it.

Whatever, man. It’s a heckuva track. Maximum Deacy, and don’t you forget it.

And in fairness to Fred’s dislike for the Wurlitzer, he slays this song vocally. The 1975 black nail polish look is also killer. 

By the way, John played keyboards on other tracks (notably “Another One Bites The Dust”), as well as guitar now and again (especially on his own songs for Hot Space), and really, that’s his story in Queen. Doing what he has to, and doin’ just fine, thanks for asking.

And fluffy.

source

George Harrison: “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace …

George Harrison: “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth”

David Bowie, 1974 “Rebel Rebel” single backed …

David Bowie, 1974 “Rebel Rebel” single backed with 1971′s “Queen Bitch,” Netherlands sleeve photo by Mick Rock

Joan Baez, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Dow…

Joan Baez, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” 1971, her bestselling single (#3 US, #6 UK). Fantastic picture of her, too!

“Sorrow,” David Bowie’s cover of The McCoys 19…

“Sorrow,” David Bowie’s cover of The McCoys 1966 track, was the only UK single released from Pin Ups. The b-side, “Amsterdam” (Jacques Brel, 1964), was recorded in 1971 for Ziggy Stardust, but not released until this 1973 single.

George Harrison: “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace …

George Harrison: “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth”

Led Zeppelin “Over The Hills And Far Away”/”Da…

Led Zeppelin “Over The Hills And Far Away”/”Dancing Days” single, Japan, 1973.

David Bowie, “Sweet Thing” single, 1974

David Bowie, “Sweet Thing” single, 1974