THE DARK – from my ‘Track by Track’ words on the Back to the Light album I think there are more of these on my YouTube channel.
Brian May – on ‘The Dark’
TRANSCRIPT by Jen Tunney
‘The Dark’ is something that kind of evolved organically I suppose you could say. Yes it’s the traditional beginning to an album if all through Queen days we we always wanted to grab attention at the beginning of an album and it’s a number of things that came together to be honest. The big orchestral thing – I’ve used guitars as an orchestra and I also have an orchestra on there that was actually recorded at the time when we were doing “Flash Gordon”.
It was an idea I had in my head and it sort of symbolised to me the dark corners of the of the Universe in some way. I didn’t even have a title for it. It just was a thing in my head and I recorded it with all the hundreds of guitars with the orchestra and everything and it never got used on “Flash Gordon” because they said actually it’s too dark, you know. It’s, it was too serious and “Flash Gordon” really evolved as something pretty much ongue-in-cheek and very retro, which is all to its credit I think. You know that’s Mike Hodges’ vision for “Flash Gordon”, so there wasn’t the place where… so I kept it and when I was looking at “Back to the Light” I thought, well how do I symbolise the dark I have this piece, which was all about darkness in the beginning and the very beginning of it I’m reciting a nursery rhyme: “We will rock you, we will rock you. Little little baby gently sleep” – something that my Mum used to sing to me when I was a baby and I suddenly saw a connection between this and ‘We Will Rock You’, so one is ‘We Will Rock You. rocky rocky and one is ‘We will ,we will rock you’, – slightly different things.
I don’t know if there was any inspiration there or not. I have no idea. These things sit in your subconscious all your lives. There might have been some connection but I thought how nice to start off instead of with the big, anthemnic of ‘We Will Rock You’, start off with something very very small which is this tiny little nursery rhyme. Don’t know who wrote it. I don’t know if it’s traditional – what – but it’s also representative of my childhood and I think some of this album is looking retrospectively. It sounds like ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’, look right back through my life at the time trying to find out the reason for things. so it made a lot of sense to me to have this, these elements, all brought together in this track called ‘The Dark’. ’The Dark’ sets up the light and without the dark of course you don’t appreciate the light.
So that’s my opening gambit of the album. It’s ‘The Dark’. There’s one other little ingredient which is a child’s bell wheel, so if you rotate this little wheel it’s got lots of different coloured bells on it and just touch it with your finger and it makes this very, very soothing kind of nursery noise and I wanted that in there as well. I still have that in the studio. It’s nice to keep your sort of little treasures that bring back moments.
No ! You guys are making me look cool !!! Thanks pals !!! Paul Crook, Caleb Johnson and the Mightly Micelli.