Classic Rock News

Why Queen’s ‘Hammer to Fall’ Made Brian May Insecure

todayJuly 11, 2024 2

share close

Brian May discussed his challenge to overcome insecurity when writing a song, using Queen’s “Hammer to Fall” as an example.The track, which appears on The Works, was a Top 40 hit in the U.S. and a Top 20 hit in the U.K. when it was released in 1984. The band performed it during their iconic Live Aid set the following year.But in a recent interview with Guitar World, May explained how he’d struggled to believe in the idea enough to present it to his bandmates – and how their lukewarm reception added to his woes.READ MORE: Top 10 Brian May Queen Songs“With me, it always starts off with a burst of activity, belief and inspiration,” he said. “And thinking, ‘Ah, this is gonna change the world.’ And it’s usually followed by a period of complete insecurity, thinking, ‘Oh no, this is rubbish. This is never gonna work.… my band’s gonna hate it.’ And then working through it.”He continued: “I think that’s true of ‘Hammer to Fall’ because I came upon this riff; I thought, ‘This is great. I can do anything with this; this is just what I want to hear when I put my guitar on.’ And then I got into the studio and played it to the guys; and they went, ‘Yeah, okay.’ It wasn’t like, ‘We love it!’”Although he said the song had been quite easy for him to assemble, he had to put effort in to “build it up to the point where I could play it to them as an almost-finished song.” He went on: “And then they got it; they went, ‘Oh, yeah. Okay, we like this. This is going to be great.’”How Brian May Deals With Artistic SecurityMay reflected: “It takes a bit of belief, I think, to get from the first riff to the point where you’re happy with the result. I think it’s common to a lot of people – that moment when you spring it on your people around you, and you’re looking at their faces, and you feel very insecure in the moment.“When I sing a song to someone, it’s always nerve-racking for me, no matter who it is. If they’ve never heard it before, I get all kinds of insecure. You just have to get over that.”Watch Queen’s ‘Hammer to Fall’ Video29 of the Most Expensive Rock Memorabilia Ever SoldFor some, money is no object.Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

Rate it

Who we are

Rapid City, South Dakota’s only commercial free unedited internet classic rock radio station; playing a little newer rock and mainly older rock. A fully licensed stream.

This station is part of the Deep Dive Radio Network.


Our radio is always online!

Listen now completely free!

Give us your feedback!


If you like Badlands Classic Rock, please consider making a donation. Your donation goes towards keeping the station commercial free, and helps with operating costs.

More Ways To Listen