Interview with Brian May and Roger Taylor

Taken from Top Billing on SABC2 (South Africa) – 2 January 1998

Transcribed by Ilex

Roger Taylor: The last album “Made in Heaven” was quite, quite slow, quite down, quite a lot of ballads, lot of slow songs and we thought it would be nice, if we did release a compilation, releasing the hard rock songs of Queen.

Brian May: We thought it would be nice to give people what we never gave them, which is everything up. Like an album was normally very full of light and shade, all our albums were like that, you would find something very strong and then something very gentle on purpose you know so that the album was very listenable I suppose. But we thought it would be just great to have an album that you can just bung in your car or whatever and it rocks the whole way.

[Various clips of “I’m in Love With My Car” live]

RT: Queen were in essence a hard rock band.

[Clip of “Headlong”]

RT: This album represents a lot of the reasons why people liked us in the beginning.

BM: Yes there were ballads and yes there were anthems and everything but really it was a rock band.

[Clip of “We Will Rock You”]

BM: There were actually a lot of tracks available, I think probably twice as many tracks as we could get on the CD. So we were able to be very picky and I think when you can be choosy then you can make a good combination.

[Clip of “We Will Rock You”]

RT: Except the new song which Brian happened to write, and gave me a tape and said what do you think of this song… and I actually forgot to listen to it for a while.

BM: He put it away in a drawer somewhere you know, cause he was busy or whatever and it was months later when Roger phoned up suddenly, excited and said I just listened to the track and its amazing, and we have to do it as a Queen song.

RT: So we just got together and chemistry clicked back in and it was really good fun, I really enjoyed working with Brian and John again.

[Clip of “No-One But You”]

Narrator: Both Brian May and Roger Taylor have been sharpening their vocal skills for their own solo albums and they share the singing on this Freddie Mercury tribute video.

BM: We all knew that it shouldn’t be something fancy, you know the song is not a fancy song where you have this big set, you know you are all heroic, its not that kind of thing. Its very simple and very direct and human. So the only way to do it is to base it around just playing, you know its called a Performance Video and within you have to tell the story and create atmosphere.

[Clip of “No-One But You”]

BM: If we were making a Queen video Freddie would be at the piano, or a gig you know and, for instance, there would be cups and stuff on the piano and there would be cups and Freddie would take a sip of whatever. And if it were a gig there would be a glass of champagne here because at some point he would say “Cheers Darlings” or whatever you know.

[Clip of “Tie Your Mother Down”]

Narrator: Although Freddie has been dead for six years it still feels to the remaining member so the band that in some ways he is still with them and not just in his musical legacy.

RT: I think we all always feel that somehow he’s around. We lived with him for so many years we know how he would react to any given situation,so you imagine in your head he’d be saying, “Oh stop that… don’t be ridiculous.

BM: The last shot was of the champagne glass, just so we had it covered and I was very keen that we have it in case… because you never know how you cut… how you finally edit a video, sometimes you change your mind in the edit and we had a final shot all planned.

[Clip of the planned final shot of “No-One But You”]

BM: But then we thought well, you know, maybe this glass which has been there all along would be a nice way to end as well. And in the end there’s just one spot light on it and the Rudy goes cut and just before he goes cut, something happened! And I went, what was that? Did something happen? And everybody said, “No I don’t think anything happened.” Anyway we ran the thing back and you see this little, tiny moth come down and it sort of wheels around the glass and the off into space.

[Clip of the final shot of “No-One But You’]