Innuendo (6:31)

Cover of Greatest Hits II

From Greatest Hits II and 35 other releases

“Innuendo” was pieced together “like a jigsaw puzzle.” The recurring theme (with the Boléro-esque beat) started off as a jam session between May, Deacon and Taylor. Mercury then added the melody and some of the lyrics, which were then completed by Taylor.

The middle section was primarily Mercury’s work, according to an interview with May in October 1994’s Guitar Magazine. It features a flamenco guitar solo, followed by a classically influenced bridge, and then the solo again but performed with electric guitars. This section is especially complex, featuring a pattern of three bars in 5/4 time (reasonably uncommon in popular music) followed by four bars in the more often used 3/4 time.

The “You can be anything you want to be” section features a very sophisticated orchestration, created by Mercury and producer David Richards using the popular Korg M1 keyboard/synth/workstation. Mercury had arranged and co-arranged orchestras in his solo career, and closed the previous Queen album with “Was It All Worth It”, which included a Gershwin-esque interlude also coming from an M1 synth. The bridge section in “Innuendo” is in 3/4, showing once again Mercury’s affection for trinary metres: “Bicycle Race” is another one with main sections in 4/4 and middle-eight in 3/4, and some of his best-known pieces (namely “We Are the Champions” and “Somebody to Love”) were in 6/8, as would be his last ever composition, “A Winter’s Tale”.

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  • SpikeTheLobster

    Sounds really awful when one of your earbuds doesn't work because you dropped it in your tea. :(

    47 minutes ago Reply
  • mot00rzysta

    the track of tracks

    26 Jun 8:25pm Reply
  • rOnieAirhead

    This one got to be the greatest song ever written.

    7 Jun 7:36pm Reply
  • violetttodd

    Сильный текст, сильная музыка, сильный вокал. Болезненная, негативная, но прекрасная песня. Шикарно.

    1 Jun 2:13pm Reply
  • underthethunder

    👌

    15 Apr 8:58am Reply
  • clarky212

    should be played at 3 o clock on BBC1 every Christmas day instead of the real Queen

    2 Mar 11:10am Reply
  • samiskywalker

    Even better than Bohemian Rhapsody. [2]

    25 Jan 3:09am Reply
  • halo_dm2

    Even better than Bohemian Rhapsody.

    12 Dec 2014 Reply
  • FjordSweetFjord

    in my top 5 favorite Queen songs, unbelievable!!

    24 Oct 2014 Reply
  • dennis1808

    The "You can be anything you want to be" reminds me of Tim Burton movies, I have no clue why

    24 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Zeekstey

    Too much reverb.

    8 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Ninetales-

    Magnificent // the part after the flamenco is absolutely otherworldly, goooooosebumps

    8 Aug 2014 Reply
  • vonNachtmahr

    Has to be? It is one of the best Queen songs. :-)

    27 Jul 2014 Reply
  • christopoll

    Has to be one of the best Queen songs

    24 Jul 2014 Reply
  • YoQueSe666

    As the Brits’ longest single, “Innuendo” incorporated hard rock with pop rock and Queen’s trademark touch of opera to become a UK chart-topper. Starting with an epic military-sounding drumbeat, it marches along to Brian May’s electric and classic guitars but is given a decidedly Spanish flair thanks to Yes guitarist Steve Howe’s flamenco solo. Its introspective lyrics are especially poignant considering Freddie Mercury had AIDS at the time. -- watchmojo

    19 Jul 2014 Reply
  • shep_shepherd

    A magnum opus if there ever was one :)

    26 Jun 2014 Reply
  • SPRmassiveZETA

    dat riff iz perfect

    25 Jun 2014 Reply
  • rOnieAirhead

    epic masterpiece indeed.

    18 May 2014 Reply
  • mot00rzysta

    'till the end of time

    7 May 2014 Reply
  • tygergurl72

    epic masterpiece [43]

    10 Apr 2014 Reply
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