About this playlist
With all these Queen reissues, I got to thinking about Brian May, who along with Billy Gibbons and Ted Nugent is on my personal short list of favorite guitar players. One of the most distinctive and, let's face it, badass players of the rock era, May's solos and lead punctuations combine crazy technical ability with a Jimmy Page-level obsession with tasty sonic touches: ten thousand pedals and just as many overdubs. There's a reason we've all heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You" thousands of times -- sure, Freddie Mercury's singing and showmanship is a major factor, but May's guitar consistently puts things over the top. From the buzzing low-end and high-flying upper register of the twin guitars in "Death on Two Legs" to the roar of "Father to Son" to the pre-Eddie Van Halen harmonizing of "We Will Rock You" to the absolutely astonishing orgy of rapidly picked, deeply distorted, air-guitaring axe mania that is "Brighton Rock," this playlist barely scratches the surface of May's genius. Enjoy, and please crank it.