Queen

Somebody to Love

Composed by Freddie Mercury

Song Review by

Knowing what is known about the tragic life of Queen's singer and leading light Freddie Mercury, "Somebody to Love" is a heartbreaking song, yet it stands among his finest moments as a vocalist and songwriter. Queen's "Somebody to Love" (along with "Tie Your Mother Down") emerged as the strongest from their album A Day at the Races; it charted Top 20 in 1976. Taking the orchestral/operatic formula that served the band so well on the smash "Bohemian Rhapsody," Mercury sat down at the piano to take on a soul-searching piece questioning God's role in a life without love, and thus turning a very personal statement into a universal. The rest of the band serves as a gospel chorus to Mercury's pleading testimony. Always a hallmark of the Queen formula, guitarist Brian May took a tear-stained solo to echo the singer's desperation. The band self-produced this session and they never sounded better. So why try to top a good thing? When the song was remixed by Randy Badazz in 1991 and included on the reissue of A Day at the Races (Hollywood), the only change seemed to be that there was a lot of echo added. George Michael brought Mercury's spirit to his own recording, capturing its soul in his note-for-note cover performed at the Mercury tribute concert in 1992 with the surviving members of Queen. It's preserved on the EP Five Live. As hard as it might seem to believe, it is also a recommended recording. And, hopefully, it goes without saying that this is an entirely different song than the one recorded by Jefferson Airplane in the '60s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Greatest Hits [1992] 1992 Hollywood 4:53
blue highlight denotes editor's pick