See What A Fool I've Been (4:31)

Cover of Opera Omnia (disc 1)

From Opera Omnia (disc 1) and 13 other releases

The “Seven Seas of Rhye” single featured “See What A Fool I’ve Been” as the first of several non-album B-sides released during Queen’s recording career. This song, written by guitarist Brian May, dated from the pre-Queen band Smile. May heard the song “That’s How I Feel” by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on a TV program, but at the time he never caught the name of the song or band. He remembered the riff and some lyrics and brought them to the band, then proceeded to write “See What A Fool I’ve Been” around it.

It wasn’t recorded until the Queen II sessions, though it was a live staple since Queen’s formation. The B-side version features a vocal delivery from Freddie Mercury that could be best described as burlesque in nature, rather than the more straightforward delivery of the live and BBC versions which are yet to be officially released. Also, there are lyric changes between the B-side, BBC and live versions (with references to a “train to Georgia” and a “Greyhound bus at dawn” not heard in B-side version, whereas the live versions have no “sailor boy” or “barking dog” lyrics). The reason for these differences has never been explained.

In 2004, May was contacted by a fan who had discovered which song “See What A Fool I’ve Been” had been based on, as it had long been a mystery. May officially confirmed “That’s How I Feel” as the inspiration after the fan sent him the recently released CD containing the song (along with a note explaining how it was tracked down by looking up song lyrics rather than listening to every recording by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee).

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  • johnhunt1973

    I like it a lot, but it's riff owes a lot to Led Zeppelin's 'Dazed and Confused.'

    29 Apr 10:07pm Reply
  • nerdork

    IDK, I love Freddie's vocals (especially in the campier version).

    17 Jul 2011 Reply
  • backtothelight

    As great as Freddie was.. this particular song would have been a lot better with Brian or Roger on lead. Blues isn't Freddie's style. That said, this is such a bluesy song, with some wicked guitar playing by its author!

    20 May 2010 Reply
  • themetalguru200

    One of my fav Queen songs.

    3 May 2010 Reply
  • PrettyStar

    так близко к Led Zeppelin как никогда

    4 Jan 2010 Reply
  • juanmarinfm

    que guitarras!!...geniales

    23 Jan 2009 Reply
  • Mercury-May

    Great song..

    29 Mar 2008 Reply
  • watram

    What a shame this song didn't make it to any album, it's great!

    22 Mar 2008 Reply

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