You're My Best Friend (Queen)
"You're My Best Friend" is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by their bassist John Deacon. It was originally included on the A Night at the Opera album in 1975, and later released as a single. In the US, "You're My Best Friend" went to number sixteen. The song also appeared on theLive Killers (1979) live album and on the compilation album Greatest Hits (1981).
Deacon wrote the song for his wife, Veronica Tetzlaff. In this song, he plays a Wurlitzer electric piano in addition to his bass guitar work. The characteristic "bark" of the Wurlitzer's bass notes plays a prominent role in the song. During live performances, the band used a grand piano rather than an electric, and it would be played by Freddie Mercury, while Deacon played the bass guitar just like in the original recording and added background vocals.
The music video, directed by Bruce Gowers, shows the band in a huge ballroom surrounded by over one thousand candles, including a hugechandelier hung from the ceiling. The video was filmed in April 1976. Also, Deacon is seen playing a grand piano rather than the Wurlitzer he used on the recording.
The album A Night at the Opera features songs of numerous styles including this three-minute ballad pop song. Very unusually for the genre there is no section appearing more than twice. On the other hand, in terms of phrases and measures, we find numerous repetitions or variants. The form is cyclic and very similar to that of "Spread Your Wings" (1977). Another similarity between the two songs is the lack of (real) modulation. The arrangement features 3- and 4-part vocal and guitar harmonies (no rhythm guitar), bass (melodic approach), drums, and electric piano. This is Deacon's second recorded song and the first one released on single (some six months after the album-release). Mercury's lead vocal features lot of "special effects" (voice, rubato-ized rhythms, ornaments, slided notes). Mercury hits two sustained C5s in the lead vocal track.
The band answered Tom Browne on 24 December 1977 in a live BBC Radio One interview, regarding Deacon's control of the piano for the recording:
Well, Freddie didn't like the electric piano, so I took it home and I started to learn on the electric piano and basically that's the song that came out you know when I was learning to play piano. It was written on that instrument and it sounds best on that. You know, often on the instrument that you wrote the song on.—John Deacon
I refused to play the damn thing [the Wurlitzer]. It's tiny and horrible and I don't like them. Why play those things when you've got a lovely superb grand piano? No, I think, basically what he [John] is trying to say is it was the desired effect.