Dear Friends is a simple piano ballad by Queen, first released as track B3 on Sheer Heart Attack on 1974-11-01. The song is only over a minute in length and uses a simple structure. The album version was recorded between July and September in 1974 at AIR, Rockfield, Trident, and Wessex Sound studios. Music and lyrics were composed by Brian May who also played piano and sung backup vocals, Freddie Mercury sang lead vocals, and Roger Taylor sung backup vocals. It was produced by Queen and Roy Thomas Baker.
The song was also included in the compilations Queen Forever and Queen 40, was used as a B-side for two albums with George Michael and Queen, and has been covered by several artists including Def Leppard, Valensia, Robby Valentine, and Jeff Scott Soto.
I first heard this song in the mid-1990s after buying Sheer Heart Attack. Listeners have described it as a song about death, but, to me, it sounds more like a song about a breakup. In spite of the song being so short and simple, I really like it because of its positive message. The opening verse is just Freddie's vocals with Brian's piano, but the second verse adds backing vocals by Freddie which add an uplifting element to the song.
So dear friends, your love is gone. Only tears to dwell upon. I dare not say as the wind must blow, So a love is lost, A love is won. Go to sleep and dream again. Soon your hopes will rise and then, From all this gloom life can start anew, And there'll be no crying soon.
- queensongs.info/song-analysis/songwriting-analyses/no-synth-era/sheer-heart-attack/dear-friends - Song analysis.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheer_Heart_Attack - Wikipedia page for Sheer Heart Attack.