|Released 18 May 1976|
"You're My Best Friend" is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by bass guitarist John Deacon. It was originally included on the album A Night at the Opera in 1975, and later released as a single. In the US, "You're My Best Friend" went to number sixteen. The song also appeared on the Live Killers (1979) live album and on the compilation albums Greatest Hits (1981), Absolute Greatest (2009) and Queen Forever (2014).
Deacon wrote the song for his wife, Veronica Tetzlaff. In this song, he plays a Wurlitzer electric piano in addition to his bass guitar work. The characteristic "bark" of the Wurlitzer's bass notes plays a prominent role in the song. During live performances, the band used a grand piano rather than an electric, and it would be played by Freddie Mercury, while Deacon played the bass guitar just like in the original recording.
The song was used in several TV shows and films such as Hot in Cleveland, Will & Grace, EastEnders, My Name is Earl, The King of Queens, The Simpsons, Shaun of the Dead and The Secret Life of Pets, in addition to the promo for the American television adaption of Wilfred. It appears in a 2016 TV commercial for PetSmart.
The music video, directed by Bruce Gowers, shows the band in a huge ballroom surrounded by over one thousand candles, including a huge chandelier hung from the ceiling. The video was filmed in April 1976 at Elstree Studios, London. Additionally, Deacon is seen playing a grand piano rather than the Wurlitzer he used on the recording.
The song was composed by John Deacon in the key of C major with a meter of 4/4, in swing feel.
The album A Night at the Opera features songs of numerous styles including this three-minute pop song. Very unusually for the genre there is no section appearing more than twice; this is characteristic of many Queen songs, as affirmed by Brian May. On the other hand, in terms of phrases and measures, there are numerous repetitions or variants. The form is cyclic and very similar to that of "Spread Your Wings" (1977). Another similarity between the two songs is the lack of (real) modulation. The arrangement features 3 and 4-part vocal and guitar harmonies, bass (melodic approach), drums, and electric piano. This is Deacon's second recorded song and the first one released on single, some six months after the album-release. Mercury's lead vocal features lot of "special effects" (voice, rubato-ized rhythms, ornaments, slides). Mercury hits two sustained C5s in the lead vocal track.
Queen comments on the record
The band answered Tom Browne on 24 December 1977 in a live BBC Radio One interview, regarding Deacon's control of the piano for the recording: