Somebody to Love

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 [1981] 1981 EMI Classics 4:57
No Image 1981
No Image 1989 Capitol
Greatest Hits [1992] 1992 Hollywood 4:53
No Image 1992 Hollywood 0:00
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 1995 Hollywood 4:57
De Pre Historie: De Jaren 70, Vol. 2 (1976) 1997
Various Artists
Eva 4:57
Fantastic 70's 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:56
The Crown Jewels 1998 Hollywood 4:57
Greatest Hits III 1999 Hollywood 5:07
Love, Vol. 4 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:56
Greatest Hits: I II & III: The Platinum Collection 2001 Hollywood 5:06
Gold 2003 EMI Music Distribution 4:53
Jewels 2004 Parlophone 4:55
Greatest Hits 2004 Island 4:56
Greatest Karaoke Hits 2004 EMI / Toshiba EMI
Greatest Hits/Greatest Karaoke Hits 2007 EMI Music Distribution
Die Ultimative Chartshow: Rock Classics 2008
Various Artists
Polystar 4:56
Seventies Power Ballads 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / Virgin 4:56
The Singles Collection [13 CD] 2008 Parlophone 4:58
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Absolute Greatest 2009 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 4:55
Queen 40: Limited Edition Collector's Box Set, Vol. 1 2011 Hollywood 4:58
Queen Forever 2014 Hollywood 4:53
Bohemian Rhapsody [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2018 Hollywood / Hollywood Records 4:55
Best of British [Universal]
Various Artists
EMI / Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 4:57
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 4:56