Brian May was the second guitarist along with Alex Lifeson that were my first discoveries.
And there is no one who sounds quite like Brian May. Is it the fact that his signature red special guitar was originally built from scratch by his Father, or the six pince he used as a pick, or the AC30 stack? Undeniably these all contributed to his sound, but I think it’s in his fingers more than anything else.
And besides the soaring quality of May’s soloing, it’s his ear for melody which really blows me away. His partnership with the one and only Freddie Mercury is definitive, and May’s guitar passages were a perfect answer to Mercury’s theatrical and anthemic writing and vocal performance.
There is an extraordinary amount of sophisticated and melodic writing in Queen’s music and you just don’t see that level of writing anymore, at least in the mainstream.
My top Brian May tracks
Now I’m here
Don’t stop me now
Hammer to Fall
A kind of Magic
I want it all
These are the days of our lives