Queen Innuendo
Single by Queen from Innuendo
Released January 14 1991
Recorded Early 1989-mid 1990
Length 6:30
Genre Progressive Rock
Label Parlophone
Writer Queen, Freddie Mercury
Musicians Queen (All)
Producer(s) Queen and David Richards

Single Chronology
Last single The Miracle (1989)
This single Innuendo (1991)
Next single I'm Going Slightly Mad (1991)
Last track -
This track Innuendo
Next track I'm Going Slightly Mad
See also the album of the same name.

"Innuendo" is a song by English rock band Queen. It is the opening track on the album of the same name. Though credited to the whole band, the song was mainly written by Freddie Mercury. At six and a half minutes, it is one of Queen's longest songs. The song went to #1 in the UK. Featured is a flamenco guitar solo performed by Yes guitarist Steve Howe, an operatic interlude that harks back to the Queen of old and sections of heavy metal. It is often described as one of the band's darkest songs. Innuendo spent five weeks in the charts.

Songwriting Edit

"Innuendo" was pieced together "like a jigsaw puzzle." The recurring theme (with the Boléro-esque beat) started off as a jam session between May, Deacon and Taylor. Mercury then added the melody and some of the lyrics, which were then completed by Taylor.

The middle section was primarily Mercury's work, according to an interview with May in October 1994's Guitar Magazine. It features a flamenco guitar solo, followed by a classically influenced bridge, and then the solo again but performed with electric guitars. This section is especially complex, featuring a pattern of three bars in 5/4 time (reasonably uncommon in popular music) followed by four bars in the more often used 3/4 time.

The "You can be anything you want to be" section features a very sophisticated orchestration, created by Mercury and producer David Richards using the popular Korg M1 keyboard/synth/workstation. Mercury had arranged and co-arranged orchestras in his solo career, and closed the previous Queen album with "Was It All Worth It", which included a Gershwin-esque interlude also coming from an M1 synth. The bridge section in "Innuendo" is in 3/4, showing once again Mercury's affection for trinary metres: "Bicycle Race" is another one with main sections in 4/4 and middle-eight in 3/4, and some of his best-known pieces (namely "We Are the Champions" and "Somebody to Love") were in 6/8, as would be his last ever composition, "A Winter's Tale".

Charts Edit

Chart (1991) Peak position
Australia (ARIA) 28
Austria (Ö3 Top 40) 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50) 8
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 3
Germany (Official German Charts) 5
Ireland (IRMA) 4
Italy (Musica e dischi) 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 4
Netherlands (Single Top 40) 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 10
Portugal (AFP) 1
Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade) 3
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company) 1
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