The Millionaire Waltz

Album: A Day At The Races (1976)
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  • This song is about Scotsman John Reid, Queen's manager at the time. Openly homosexual, he also managed Elton John and had a long-term relationship with him. He was, according to Brian May, an "ebullient character" who helped manage the band through a tough time.

    Interestingly, according to a May interview with Rick Wakeman (of prog rockers Yes), the band were looking for a new album after splitting with their original management ("Death on Two Legs") in 1975, and had been in negotiations with Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant. His advice was to tour whilst he sorted out the band's dire financial situation, but in contrast John Reid's advice was to "go into the studio and make the best record you can make."

    In the end the band went with Reid as they feared Grant would be too busy prioritizing Zeppelin to focus on them. The decision paid off as the resulting album spawned the hit "Bohemian Rhapsody"!
  • Brian May in Q Magazine March 2008: "This was our greatest musical excess. It teems with baroque life and makes Bohemian Rhapsody look easy. Great piece of Freddie."
  • Freddie Mercury in an interview on Capital Radio: "Actually I'd like to say that Brian (May) did do a very good job on the actual guitars. He's really taken his guitar orchestration to its limits, I don't know how he's ever going to out do that one actually. And John (Deacon) played very good bass on that. I think it's good and we're patting ourselves on the back again. I really think it's worked out well especially from the orchestration point of view. Because he's really used his guitar in a different sort of way, I know he's done lots of orchestrations before."
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Comments: 2

  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrSeems to me, that Freddie really could not have done this song with anyone else but his bandmates !!!
  • Jfv from Philadelphia, PaDuring live performances of this song, the percussion "triangle" is a single stroke played by bassist, John Deacon. Deacon also plays some of his most prominent bass lines on this song. With the exception of songs like "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Dragon Attack", most of Deacon's bass lines were quite understated in the sense that in the production mix they tended to remain in the background. (4/16/08)
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