Keep Yourself Alive (3:48)

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From Classic Queen and 65 other releases

“Keep Yourself Alive” is the first track on the English rock group Queen’s eponymous debut album - Queen, released in 1973 - and was written by guitarist Brian May. It was released as Queen’s first single along with another song from the album, “Son And Daughter”.

May had written the song when the band had already been formed several years prior, before John Deacon joined the original trio of Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and May.

According to an interview with May in a radio special about their 1977 album News Of The World, he had penned the lyrics thinking of them as ironic and tongue-in-cheek, but their sense was completely changed when Freddie Mercury sang them.

The newly-formed Queen quickly added “Keep Yourself Alive” to the live set. Mercury commented that the song “was a very good way of telling people what Queen was about in those days” (RAM, 21 May 1976, p 17). Indeed, the number included a drum solo by Roger Taylor and one line sung/spoken by him (“Do you think you’re better every day?”), followed by a response line sung/spoken by Brian May. (“No I think I’m two steps nearer to my grave”). Other recordings, and live performances, have May’s line performed by Mercury.

“Keep Yourself Alive” was part of the band’s live set until the early 1980s. On the 1980 and 1981 tours, the band would play an improvisational jam before the start of the song then after the drum solo


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