Brian May has re-released his seminal solo hit “Resurrection,” an epic testament to the combined power of determination and restorative, collaborative friendship.
“Resurrection,” is considered by many to be THE standout cut from May’s 1992 solo album, Back to the Light, which will be reiussed on August 6. Performed live by The Brian May Band, “Resurrection,” would often be featured as the centrepiece of May’s epic ‘Guitar Extravagance’ sequence, holding its own alongside Queen’s revered “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Issued as a single in 1993, “Resurrection” arrived in the UK Singles Chart accompanied by a video of notably – in May’s words – “biblical intensity.”
The lyrics reflect May’s battle to find a sense of purpose and selfhood again during a period of mammoth personal upheaval. In its development, a close friend and bandmate would prove crucial. The backing track for the song appears in a different form as an instrumental titled “Ride To Win” on the late, much-missed drummer Cozy Powell’s 1992 album, The Drums Are Back. As May explains it, “We traded contributions!”
“The impetus came from Cozy and it was a gift from Heaven. I’m looking for something which expresses my need to try and find new life, and suddenly Cozy comes in with the track he’s made down at Mono Studios, his favorite place to achieve his signature massive drum sound. He said, ‘What do you think of this, Brian, you want to play on this for me?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do whatever you want.’ And he said, ‘Well, do you want it for your solo album as well?’ I went, ‘Yeah, that would be great,’ so we shared everything. And immediately I was inspired to write ‘Resurrection’.”
As May says today of his fight to hit those difficult top D notes, “I can still hardly believe I got that far – I made myself bleed doing it.” May also found ways to stretch the reach of his playing. “I used that Joe Satriani guitar for some of it -the big, metallic Joe Satriani guitar. It’s got a real bite to it. There was no limit and I’m tapping away, which I normally didn’t do in Queen. Queen is very melodic and although I had that sort of tapping thing in my vocabulary, there’s not often a place to use it in Queen. I just went for it all, and it’s reaching for the sky in terms of pushing my guitar playing as well. The track also features a short but very intense Powell drum break – which – surprisingly – was recorded in my ‘French Room’ in my home studio. Cozy also pushed himself to the limit.” The marathon session resulted in one of Brian May’s most celebrated songs.