“Big, long and pretentious! It goes through a lot of changes."
Roger Taylor - 1991
"I think 'Innuendo' was one of those things which could either be big – or nothing. We had the same feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a risk, because a lot of people say, 'It's too long, it's too involved, and we don't want to play it on the radio.' I think that could be a problem in which case it will die. Or it could happen that people say, 'This is interesting and new and different,' and we'll take a chance."
Brian May - 1991
"[The song] started off as most things do, with us just messing around and finding a groove that sounded nice. All of us worked on the arrangement. Freddie started off the theme of the words as he was singing along, then Roger worked on the rest of them. I worked on some of the arrangement, particularly the middle bit, then there was an extra part that Freddie did for the middle as well. It basically came together like a jigsaw puzzle."
Brian May - 1991
"It's got the bolero-type rhythm, a very strange track. That's going to be the first single here. It's a bit of a risk, but it's different, and you either win it all or you lose it all. It had a nice sound and feel, and we stuck with that. The Spanish motif is suggested from the start: those little riffs at the beginning are sort of Bolero-esque. It seemed like the natural thing to explore those ideas on an acoustic guitar, and it just gradually evolved. Steve Howe helped out and did a fantastic job. We love all that stuff – it's like a little fantasy land adventure."
Brian May - August 1991, Guitar World
"[Steve] just happened to be around in Switzerland, when we were working and he just dropped in. We were working on this little Spanish guitar piece in the middle. He's very good at that sort of stuff, so instantly it seemed like a good idea to get him in to play all the stuff that I can't play."
Brian May - 1991, Guitar Magazine
"It was a group collaboration, but I wrote the lyrics. I think the lyrics were mine, and the rest of it was the band. It was a group effort."
Roger Taylor - 2002
"They played me 'Innuendo' and I go, 'Yeah, heavy metal flamenco!' And then Brian says, 'Look, I'd like you play on this,' and I said, 'You're joking, it sounds great, leave it like it is,' and he said, 'No no no, I want you to play on it, I want to you to play really fast, I want you to run around the guitar a lot.' So within a couple of hours I tested some of his Gibsons, Chet Atkins classical solid body guitars, and found one that I helped balance the strings because he wasn't sure how to balance the volume between the different strings which is the important thing to do on those guitars. So I got up and running, we did a few takes, we edited it a little bit, we fixed up a few things, then we went and had dinner. So we went back to the studio and they said we really really like this and I said, 'Fine, let's go with it.' So I left very happy. I'd worked with people who were diehard Queen people, and a funny thing happened a little while later, I was on a ferry going to Holland and on this ferry which takes a long time, five hours, were the Queen fan club, all going to Rotterdam to a Queen event, and a couple of them saw me and they came racing over and they said, 'You're Steve Howe! You're on "Innuendo"!' And they all came out of the room, sitting around talking and things... and my memories of Queen will always be emotional because they were a great band and it was just great, it really was a thrill to be part of that, and thanks for asking me."
David Richards - 2001
"'Innuendo' was an improvisation type song where they actually recorded it here in the big concert hall, it's just next door, and we set up like a live performance, and they just started playing, and sort of got into a nice rhythm and a groove, and some chords and then Freddie said, 'Oh, I like that,' and rushed downstairs into the concert hall and started singing along with it. Obviously then, once that initial idea was down on tape, then there was a lot of rearranging and putting extra things on, but the actual beginning of it was like a live thing. It just happened. It was wonderful. [Freddie] played a strong role in the writing of ['Innuendo']. Steve just happened to drop in one day to say hello to me. He had been recording at Mountain some ten years before with the group Yes. As soon as he popped his head round the door Freddie recognized him and said, 'Come on in and play some guitar!' He had no guitar with him so he used Brian's Dan Armstrong acoustic guitar with a direct output and tone control. Brian played the rhythm guitar and then echoed the solo afterwards on the Red Special."
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