For My Sunday Song #226, we are going to discuss the opening track to ‘Sheer Heart Attack’, “Brighton Rock” by Queen. The song was not a single and being the first song on the album, I guess you couldn’t call it a deep cut as it isn’t very deep on the album. But there is something in this song that makes it so incredible and we will get to that piece in a minute.
The song was written by Brian May and the vocals were done by Freddie and Brian. Brian wrote the song during the Queen II sessions, but they didn’t feel like it fit that album so they worked it some more and it actually kicks off this album. The song is about 2 “Mod” kids in love, Jenny and Jimmy, who travel off to Brighton on Holiday. I don’t think the holiday goes great as Jenny is afraid she will get in trouble. There is more, but the story isn’t the best part of the song as it is really secondary. It isn’t even Freddie’s singing that is best part even though his vocals are always stellar.
What is incredible about this song is simply, Brian May. The guitar solo is probably one of the best he has ever done, hands down. It is the centerpiece of the song. There is an entire interlude in the song that is only Brian and that guitar. His use of delay for the harmony that sets the song apart. Brian was tinkering extensively with an Echoplex (a tape delay machine) to get the effects he wanted. The song contains one normal guitar sound and then one with the delayed effect and it must be heard to believe as I don’t know how to describe it in words. It is true audio experience.
Give the song a listen and let me know what you think of Brian’s solo. I am sure you are going to say it is awesome, but still let me know anyway. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful and Happy Sundays!
Happy little day, Jimmy went away
Met his little Jenny on a public holiday
A happy pair they made, so decorously laid
‘Neath the gay illuminations all along the promenade
“It’s so good to know there’s still a little magic in the air
I’ll weave my spell”
“Jenny will you stay – tarry with me pray
Nothing ‘ere need come between us tell me love, what
do you say”
“Oh no I must away to my Mum in disarray
If my mother should discover how I spent my holiday
It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air
I’ll say farewell”
O Rock of Ages, do not crumble, love is breathing still
O Lady Moon, shine down a little people magic if you will
Jenny pines away, writes a letter everyday
“We must ever be together, nothing can my love erase”
“Oh no I’m compromised, I must apologize
If my lady should discover how I spent my holidays…”
Written by Brian May