God Save The Queen Recorded at Trident Studios on 27th October 1974.
The Queen-version of the English national anthem is very famous, cause it was used close their concerts from the “Sheer Heart Attack UK- tour” in late 1974 up to the Magic Tour in 1986. This means that it is – besides A Night At The Opera – available on every live album and also on every live video by Queen.
It is really a very tasty version, a perfect choice to end up an album or a concert in great style. The title is very tongue in cheek, too.
This Queen-hymn features Brian’s incredibly skilled musical craftsmanship very well. It’s not just a guitar-version, but it’s cleverly arranged with some new parts (at the end) as well. This is the definition of guitar – orchestra!
The drums were not recorded in one go.
There are two snares, one left and one right. They’re doing the pressed rolls at the start and also somewhere in the middle. In the middle Roger uses a bass-drum and two cymbals that are hit at each other, like you can see it in marching bands and orchestras. Towards the end there’s another cymbals – this time hit with sticks – which does the rolls. At the end there are two timpani (stereo: one left, one right).
“That’s something that we’ve had in our stage act for a long while, y’know, and when we were recording A Night At The Opera, I felt it just lent itself. The whole thing is done by Brian. It’s all Brian’s guitar, every bit of it, with cymbals and things. I told you we have nobody else coming in. We don’t use synthesizers… Brian can get all those sounds with his guitar.”
Freddie Mercury – Interview with Record Mirror May 1976 credits eileen