Queen's Brian May Shares Inspiration For 'We Will Rock You'

Bruce Henne | 05-28-2021

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(hennemusic) Queen guitarist Brian May is sharing the inspiration behind the band's 1977 classic, "We Will Rock You", in the latest episode of the group' weekly video feature, The Greatest.

May's idea to create the anthemic opening track on the band's sixth studio album, "News Of The World", came to him one night after Queen performed before what he considered an unusually enthusiastic crowd on their A Day At The Races Tour.

"Bingley Hall. This great hall in the Midlands," recalls May. "It was heaving. It's all sweaty and hot, the atmosphere is great. Everybody's jumping up and down, making a noise, and what they were doing was singing along. In those days, it was really new, I have to tell you. You just didn't go to concerts where people sang to rock bands. But on this particular occasion, they didn't stop.

"I think I'd gone to sleep thinking - 'what could an audience do, what could you ask them to do?' They're all crammed in there, they can't do much, but they can stamp their feet they can clap their hands, and they can sing."

May saw a bigger impression presented by that hot, sweaty night's events. "It just kind of came to me that we were all part of this scenario where we're all young, and full of enthusiasm, we think we can change the world, and we get out there...we will rock you!," he continues. "'We Will Rock You' means we will change the world, and we feel like we can do it when we're young. And then ...looking ahead to when you get old, what happens when you get old and all this stuff has kind of blown over, and you stand there and you think 'what happened, did I change the world? What happened, who am I, and what is the world to me now?

"I would like to leave the planet knowing that I just made a little bit of difference to the amount of decency that there is in the world. Not sure I can do that, but I'm still trying. So that, in a nutshell, is what We Will Rock You is about."

"We Will Rock You" served as the b-side to "We Are The Champions", the lead single from "News Of The World"; both songs went on to become inspirational anthems in their own right and have continued to maintain a presence at sporting events around the globe to this day. Watch the episode here.

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