The Queen Song That Brian May Disliked

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In 1978, the iconic British rock band Queen was riding high on success with their album, Jazz, following the massive hit, News of the World, which gave us timeless tracks like “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.”

As the talented foursome, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, gathered to curate songs for Jazz, they encountered some creative differences. A point of contention was May’s initial resistance to “Don’t Stop Me Now,” which would later become a standout hit for the band.

In a 2019 interview with Guitar Player, May shared his initial reservations about the song. “At first, I struggled with the song’s message, especially considering the looming AIDS crisis,” he mentioned. Although the full-blown AIDS epidemic was a few years away, the deadly disease had already started its silent spread.

May was uneasy about the lyrics which hinted at uninhibited fun (Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball / Don’t stop me now, If you wanna have a good time, just give me a call). Nevertheless, it was Mercury’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for the song that swayed May to give his nod for its inclusion on Jazz and its subsequent radio release.

“Despite my reservations, there’s no denying its allure,” May conceded. “Freddie had this extraordinary ability to infuse life and energy into his songs.”

Regrettably, the very issue that gave May pause regarding “Don’t Stop Me Now” would later have a profound impact on the band. In 1987, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS and he continued to make music until his untimely death in 1991 at the age of 45.

Over the years since Mercury’s departure, Queen has soldiered on, with Adam Lambert filling in the considerable shoes of lead vocalist. The band continues to perform their classics, including “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Reflecting on the song, May expresses a changed perspective: “Today, I embrace the song. Performing it live and seeing fans resonate with its energy is deeply gratifying. It’s a testament to their spirit and their unwavering desire to live life to the fullest.”

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