Guitarist Brian May has recently expressed his affection for the Queen album “Made in Heaven”, despite the absence of hit tracks like “Bohemian Rhapsody“, “Another One Bites the Dust”, or “Don’t Stop Me Now”.
The record, which was the fifteenth studio album from the iconic band, holds a unique distinction as it’s the only one released under the Queen name following the untimely death of charismatic lead singer, Freddie Mercury in 1991.
Interestingly, even though Mercury was no longer present, his voice features prominently on the album.
This revelation came to light when Brian May was responding to questions sent in by readers of The Guardian, a British newspaper.
One reader asked, “Do you agree that Sheer Heart Attack is Queen’s best album? If not, which one do you consider the best?” To which the guitarist replied that while the album marked a turning point for the band, he did not necessarily consider it the best.
Strikingly, Brian May admitted that his favorite Queen album was the last one they completed after Freddie’s departure.
“Made in Heaven”, he explained, carries a profound depth and emotional resonance, largely because it was created using Freddie’s voice even after he was no longer physically present.
This poignant work was understandably a difficult journey for the band, taking them a couple of years to reach a point where they could undertake it, owing to their grief.
However, the compelling, incomplete material from the album ultimately drove them to complete the project as a tribute to their late friend.
May’s fondness for “Made in Heaven” is also amplified by the sense of peace that he has finally been able to find through it, despite its initial creation being a labor of love punctuated by deep grief and loss.
The interview also touched upon bassist John Deacon’s decision to step away from the group, with May attributing Deacon’s withdrawal to his sensitivity to stress and the difficult time he had processing Mercury’s loss.
Deacon’s privacy is respected within the group, and although he doesn’t actively communicate with the band, he is very much part of major decision-making processes, solidifying his continued presence within the Queen family.
This in-depth discussion about Queen’s journey can be found in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which features a collaborative project between May and Eddie Van Halen known as the Star Fleet Project, as well as a closer look at the making of Queen’s debut album.