Queen guitarist and co-founder Brian May recently talked about the previously unreleased song “Face it Alone”, explaining the decision to bring it to light now after so many years.
Brian May talks about the song
Originally recorded during “The Miracle” sessions in 1988-1989 (which May recently described as the period during which Queen rediscovered their sense of unity after a period of “extreme estrangement“), “Face it Alone” never made it to the original album cut, and was only released this October in celebration of the album’s 33rd anniversary.
“The Miracle” sessions also came at a time when Freddie Mercury had been diagnosed as HIV positive. Recalling the period in a new interview with Total Guitar, Brian May said:
“We were dealing with Freddie’s deteriorating health, and pulling together to support him.”
Fans were delighted to hear another Freddie Mercury original over three decades after the beloved frontman’s untimely death, and the track felt like it captured every bit of the magic that made Queen so outstanding. May stated that it was Mercury who led the way on the song, making the song resonate with his passion and character:
“There was always one of us who was leading the party. He was coming up with the lyrics and leading us with this lovely stuff. And as we working on it, we were very enthused about it.”
Speaking of Freddie’s voice on the track, May said:
“It’s just magnificent. You hear that quality in his voice. You hear the passion in his voice. And he’s fearless. The way he bends some of those notes is so beautiful.”
Brian May’s solo is another of the song’s undeniable standout features and he also described the process behind the exquisite sound:
“You can hear that I’ve played this solo basically as a means of getting from verse one to verse two. It’s like: this is what I feel at the moment, and probably we’ll work on it later, and who knows what might happen? So the solo is very much in the moment. It’s me trying to be a voice next to Freddie’s and to extend the atmosphere and the message of the song. So it’s very real.”
Furthermore, he also outlined the reason for the band’s choice to release it now. May explained:
“One of the discussions we had, and one of the reasons we wanted to release it, is because it is all original. We did a bit of tidying up on it, and I think – well, I know – that if we’d worked on it more it would have changed. It might have become a six-minute epic. But I really like it the way it is. It’s very genuine. It speaks from the time.
“So we thought: yes, button it up, but don’t tart it up. Don’t embellish it. Just put it out as we hear it, but suitably cleaned up. So I didn’t go back in there and do new guitar or anything. It’s all exactly as it happened.”