Freddie Mercury had mentally prepared the song, which took three weeks to record. He directed the band throughout the sessions, which produced 180 separate overdubs, as May, Mercury and Taylor each sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours per day.
But, the song almost didn’t get made: EMI, Queen’s record company, were reluctant to release it as a single, since it had no chorus, wandered from traditional songwriting guides, and was five seconds under the six-minute mark.
Either way, the track was a huge hit. The single sold millions of copies and stayed at the top of the U.K. singles chart for nine weeks.