An Open Letter to Queen’s “Bring Back that Leroy Brown”

by Dylan Looney

First off, I know I promised a T-Pain interview this week, but it has been rescheduled for the day of the concert. Sorry for the inconvenience, but you can expect it April 3. Until then, I hope you enjoy this week’s installment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get something off my chest ….

Dear “Bring Back that Leroy Brown,”

I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. I know you’re a tribute to the then recently departed songwriter Jim Croce and that the sweet reward of “She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettos)” awaits on the other side, but I can’t bring myself to tolerate your presence on the otherwise phenomenal Sheer Heart Attack album.

What was Queen thinking when they decided to put you on the album? Did they think the world was just begging for a classic rock album to feature a ukulele-banjo? Look to your brethren, “Leroy Brown.” Just listen to how “Tenement Funster” transitions so seamlessly into “Flick of the Wrist,” which in turn falls into “Lilly of the Valley.” How about tracks like “Brighton Rock,” “Stone Cold Crazy” or “Now I’m Here”? Listen to the way Freddy Mercury’s melodies and vocals work so well even with Brian May’s most savage and distorted of guitar riffs.

See how all these songs are sublime and wonderful? Why would you think I’d want my listening enjoyment to be interrupted by your loud, jangly attack on my eardrums? Get it together, man. You sound more at home in the soundtrack to a Charlie Chaplin movie than this otherwise amazing album. Queen and Jim Croce deserve better.

Maybe if you turned down the tempo and May switched banjo/uke for an acoustic guitar, I would be more apt to give you a listen. Heck, simply being relocated to the very end of the album would make a world of difference. Until then, however, I will continue to skip ahead to “She Makes Me” and bow my head and hold a moment of silence for those who had this album on cassette.


Dylan Looney

You can listen to Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack here. Do you feel the same about “Bring Back that Leroy Brown” or am I just closed-minded? Are there any tracks that make you feel the same way? Feel free to comment your response as well as any requests for music you would like me to review. Like I said, I’ll be back on April 3 with the T-Pain interview!


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