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Queen Keep Yourself Alive

This video is a play along with the classic track from the Queen self titled debut album from 1973
On screen guitar tab to help with learning the track.

The guitar solo is adapted for one guitar

“Keep Yourself Alive” is a song by British rock band Queen. Written by guitarist Brian May, it is the opening track on the band’s debut album Queen (1973). It was released as Queen’s first single along with “Son and Daughter” as the B-side. “Keep Yourself Alive” was largely ignored upon its release and failed to chart on either side of the Atlantic.

In 2008, Rolling Stone rated the song thirty-first on its list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”

According to Mark Hodkinson, author of Queen: The Early Years, “Keep Yourself Alive” was conceived on acoustic guitars during Queen’s practice sessions at Imperial College and the garden at Ferry Road in 1970. At the time Queen had not yet found a permanent bassist; the group consisted of guitarist Brian May, singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor. In a radio special about their 1977 album News of the World, May said he had penned the lyrics thinking of them as ironic and tongue-in-cheek, but their sense was completely changed when Freddie Mercury sang them.

The first version of “Keep Yourself Alive” was recorded in summer 1971 at De Lane Lea Studios. It was produced by Louie Austin and includes the intro played on Brian May’s Hairfred acoustic guitar. All of the song elements were already present, including call-and-response vocals by Freddie Mercury (verses) and during the break, where Roger Taylor sang a line and Mercury answered it. This demo version remains Brian May’s favourite take of the song.

Subsequently they did several attempts to “recapture the magic” when they went on to do the “real” version at Trident Studios. The one mixed by Mike Stone was the only one moderately accepted, and it’s the one released as single. It includes Freddie Mercury doing all of the harmony vocals in the chorus (multi-tracking himself) and Brian May singing the “two steps nearer to my grave” line instead of Mercury (who did it live and in earlier versions). This recording does not use acoustic guitar; the printed transcription on EMI Music Publishing’s Off the Record’ sheet music lists at least seven electric guitar parts, one of which uses a prominent phasing effect. It can also be noted that this recording includes the line “Come on and get it, get it, get it boy, keep yourself alive,” which was not in the original version.

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