Ritchie Blackmore Says Freddie Mercury’s Voice was a Cross Between Ronnie James Dio & an Opera Singer – VIDEO – Queen – Brian May – Deep Purple – Rainbow
Queen, I first heard them doing, it was a song about a train. This is about 1974-75. I can’t remember the title, but I was very impressed with the guitar playing and, of course, the singing. I noticed that Freddie Mercury had a cross between Ronnie Dio’s voice and almost like an operatic voice. To me, he was a true star. He knew exactly how to milk an audience. What a musician.
Some of the stuff they put down, all those four-part harmonies, very, very clever stuff. Of course, there’s Brian (May), who’s probably one of the nicest guys in the business and a brilliant guitar player to boot. I worked with Brian on other stuff, and he’s such a nice man. He’s a bit too tall, but he can’t help that. Wonderful band. Excellent band.
I was very surprised they did so well in America. America, I’ve noticed, like the basic chord stuff. They like the blues stuff, the three-chord stuff, which would be like a Stevie Ray Vaughan. With Queen, you have probably twenty-five chords and a lot of changes. I’ve noticed the American market doesn’t usually go for that. I’m surprised they made it so bit over here. For me, that was nice to see.
From a 2020 Guitar World interview with Brian May:
Another great hero of mine. He’s crazy. I mean, yeah, it was extraordinary watching him. I think he’s one of the most dangerous guitar players ever. And I mean that is in the best possible way. Beautiful! He was there way ahead of any of us.”