The 10 Craziest Guitar Work Ever Made By Brian May
via Queen Official/YouTube
His Finest Moments
Brian May rarely makes it to “Top Guitarists” list but every one who knows their classic rock understands that Queen’s axeslinger is no slouch when it comes to performances, riffs, and solos. Not only did he build his own guitar at 16 years old, he also once revealed that he would create the solos in his head before he played them. Now, isn’t that absolutely brilliant?
Queen is often regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time but the spotlight is almost always on Freddie Mercury. So in honor of this legend who’s behind some of the band’s most iconic riffs, here are 10 of his mind-blowing guitar works by Brian May.
10. Millionaire Waltz (1976)
One of Queen’s more underrated songs, May’s guitar tone is flawless and smooth like butter.
9. It’s A Hard Life (1984)
Brian May is often content blending in with the background and letting Freddie Mercury steal the spotlight. But it doesn’t mean his impressive guitar work is not on full display – take this song for example.
8. Killer Queen (1974)
The song that helped propelled them to international stardom, Brian May shined with his excellent and exquisite solos. He may have recorded it while he was sick but that solo remains iconic to this day.
7. We Will Rock You (1977)
This is proof that sometimes, simplicity is beauty. Simple and yet heady – May’s riffs are heavy and hard to ignore. When he comes in with that solo, it took everything to a whole new level. It wrapped up the entire song nicely.
6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (1980)
Hummable and catchy, May traded his Red Special for a Telecaster and yet again proves the man’s versatility. He can go from hard and heavy to sweet and fun.
5. Stone Cold Crazy (1974)
The thing about Queen is they never shied away from blurring the lines between genres. They never confined themselves to one thing alone. For “Stone Cold Crazy,” they went in hard and so did Brian May. Anyone who thinks his guitar work is less than stellar should listen to his insane solo here.
4. Brighton Rock (1974)
This may not be as popular as “Bohemian Rhapsody” but May shows off his magnificent chops and it’s certainly one of his finest musical moments as a guitarist. The shredding, the techniques he incorporated, and of course that magical solo, it’s breathtaking and absolutely stunning.
3. Keep Yourself Alive (1973)
The opening track of Queen’s debut album, it’s a promise of things to come and it gave us a glimpse of Brian May’s impeccable guitar work and basically what his home-built guitar can do.
2. Tie Your Mother Down (1976)
May’s straightforward, no-nonsense riffs and guitar playing are no joke. It’s like a punch to the gut – that sheer power is insane.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
One of the greatest solos in existence happened because May told Freddie Mercury they needed that for the transition to the operatic part. The solo is emotive, melodic and simply powerful.