Lead vocalist Freddie Mercury was a member of the legendary rock group Queen. Some of the band’s most well-known songs, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions,” and “Killer Queen,” were written by him. He was renowned for his boisterous theatrical presence, unusual voice, and flashy clothing. Farrokh Bulsara, who subsequently changed his name to Mercury, was born in Zanzibar and eventually emigrated to London, where he joined the budding rock music industry.
He was full of talent, and most people don’t know that Mercury was a very good guitarist. Most people only know his contribution to the song ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. In fact, he wrote the song in about five to ten minutes only. He made the guitar sound like Elvis Presley and its intro is identical to Presley’s ‘Burning Love’. About it he said,
“‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It’s a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn’t work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.”
But, it’s not the song we’re gonna talk about. The song is called ‘Ogre Battle‘ and its guitar riff was written by Mercury. The guitar riff of ‘Ogre Battle’ is not an easy one. It has complex sections it which are very challenging. But, oftentimes, Mercury rose up and went head to head with such challenges.
The song was a part of the ‘Queen II’ album and it is one of the heaviest guitar riffs. Alongside the drums, it is one of the best songs ever. Brian May has also talked about his contribution and shared how he felt when he saw Mercury’s guitar skills. It was an interview with Guitar World in 2019, and he said,
“He was very good on the guitar, very unorthodox — all downstrokes. He wrote the riff for ‘Ogre Battle.’ I used to play it with up- and downstrokes, but he was all downstrokes. Imagine how fast his right hand was moving! He had frenetic energy on the guitar, which came across very well in that song.”
The guitar work of Freddie Mercury was a crucial component of Queen’s sound. He was a great innovator in the field of guitar playing and contributed to the formation of the sound of rock music. He adapted his in-depth understanding of musical theory to his improvisational manner of performing. He was renowned for his versatility on the piano, bass, and drums, among other instruments. Guitarists and fans all over the world are continually inspired by his distinctive approach and talent.