The song Seven Seas of Rhye through Queen has actually a fascinating story. Us were very first introduced to the track together a short, rudimentary critical version, tucked away at the end of the group’s debut album Queen (1973). Later on we obtained a completely realised, definitive version on Queen II (1974).

Even despite the finalised variation is over double the size of the original, it is still a fairly short song (being just 2:47 lengthy to the first version’s 1:15).

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The song had only been half-written at the time of recording for Queen’s first album – or to put it an ext accurately: at first it wasn’t thought of together anything an ext than an important musical sketch, perfect because that closing out their an initial album.

Freddie Mercury had actually a weak spot because that the piano theme, though, and kept tinkering with it, together he would keep doing for other pieces of music. The tune grew, started taking shape, got lyrics, and also when it was finished it had ended up a bit different and much an ext complete from what Mercury first envisioned.

Seven Seas the Rhye was mostly written by Freddie Mercury, through Brian may contributing the 2nd middle-eight special his trademark guitar orchestration. The tune is officially attributed to Mercury only.

Brian said: “The song was Freddie’s idea. He had this lovely small riff idea ~ above the piano. All the middle-eight is but stuff that i did, so we absolutely worked on that together. However when it concerned the album comes out, Freddie walk “I created that.” and we all went, “…okay!” that didn’t seem prefer that large a deal, but Freddie said, “I composed the words and it was my idea so the is my song.” The unwritten legislation was the the human being who carried the track in would gain the credit transaction for writing that song. And, the money for creating that song. Much much later on in Queen’s history we .”

The song attributes a distinctive arpeggiated piano introduction. ~ above the Queen II recording, the arpeggios are played through both the right and also left hands, one octave apart, conversely, on the Queen recording, and also most live performances, Mercury play the less complicated one-handed version of this arpeggios. This piano runs room sampled for the end of It’s a Beautiful day (reprise) top top the album Made in Heaven.

The method the song ends on the Queen II variation has always been a topic of conversation. The ends v a overcome fade, tools blending right into the tape singing “I do Like come Be next to the Seaside“, attach by a stylophone played by producer Roy cutting board Baker. This gives an interesting link to the next album, Sheer heart Attack (1975), whereby the opening track Brighton Rock summary mirrors the outro the the ahead album through the whistling throughout the first few seconds. The use of stylophone was also the sole exception to their “no synths” dominance until 1980 and the relax of the album The Game.

Mercury never spoke much about the text of the song. In a 1977 radio interview, that simply described them as a “figment of his imagination” there is no going into details. The observant fan will but note that the song, like numerous of the songs on the album (and ~ above the Queen and Sheer heart Attack albums) refers to a fantasy world named Rhye and also fantasy-themed events occurring there. One such instance can be uncovered in the tune Lily the the Valley from the Sheer love Attack album: “Messenger from seven Seas has flown, to tell the king the Rhye he’s shed his throne.”


This last version would become the band’s 3rd single, exit on 23 February 1974. That would likewise be the band’s very first hit as result of an unexpected opportunity.

The song was initially meant to be an album track on Queen II, as soon as a sudden chance presented itself. David Bowie had actually to publication an appearance on peak of the Pops. He was because of perform Rebel Rebel for the 21 February edition, and his late cancellation prompted frantic call calls indigenous the BBC come the labels. Who could possibly to fill in ~ above short an alert on the nation’s foremost music show?

EMI’s head that promotions Ronnie Fowler argued Queen. They were asked and also immediately accepted. Lock quickly determined that their revamped version of Seven Seas the Rhye was much more than an ideal for the occasion. As with they did in ~ Live aid some eleven year later, lock took good care of your opportunity and showed up prepared. The type of performance they ceded left music fans everywhere in awe because that a long time.

Annoyingly, the full-colour footage of this performance is lengthy deleted. YouTube does but contain part valiant pan reconstructions.

BBC Radio 1 duly playlisted the song. EMI took benefit of the unexpected possibility by rush-releasing a 7’’ vinyl single. It remained in the shops just two days after the TOTP performance. It entered the UK charts in ~ #45 in beforehand March, yet by mid-April it had reached #10. Queen had actually arrived!

Amazingly, the track that offered them their first hit was the one that began out as nothing more than one outro top top the debut album. Crucially, the success of this single was what finally encouraged Freddie Mercury to take up Queen together his full-time career.

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The song became a live favourite throughout Queen’s existence. It to be rested in between 1976-1984, sadly lacking an consist of on among the best live albums of all time (Queen Live Killers from 1979). That was yet duly featured on various other seminal live release Live Magic (1986) and also Live at Wembley ‘86 (1992).