Mercury - He used to start from a germinal idea, then polished it, worked his a** out each night re-writing it until he got the whole song. That`s why the early material is so clever, because he worked and worked on it a lot. For some middle period material (early 80s) he started the ideas in his head and then went to a synth and added chords. For latter material (Innuendo, Hitman, Miracle, Was It All Worth It), it was more a group-thing, but he directing
May - He did it level by level, building the song if you know what I mean. I like the way he writes bass-lines, very melodic, like guitars but in low range (no wonder he`s a guitarist). Brian used/uses to lay down first the basic structure in piano, then worked on the rest of the arrangement (bass, harmonies...) and finally put the guitars. That way the guitar part was more fresh and spontaneous. In the case of later songs - I Want It All, Headlong - there wasn`t much group participation in the songwriting, it was all him
Deacon - There are two versions. Mack said John just stood quiet and didn`t comment anything about the songs he was writing, he just came up with them when they were already finished, all the arrangements and stuff. Probably that`s his early songwriting. Fred commented that both he and Roger let him participate from the early stage, suggesting changes, taking the song, changing the order etc. His only Queen credited track is My Life Has Been Saved, which he recorded a demo for with help from Dave Richards, with melody lines and then they showed it to Freddie, who loved it and sang on it. I don`t know if Fred played keyboards there. Finally, it was presented to the rest of band to be recorded.
Roger - Very intuitive, the opposite to Freddie. Most of time he wrote on guitar although a couple of songs are written in piano - e.g. Radio Ga Ga.
As for writing for the others there are several ways to do it:
- You write a score for each instrument
- You program the whole song in synths and then show it to the actual band to replace drum machines with real drums, synth-bass with real bass, etc
- You do all the voices in the demo and then put the other guys to replace or reinforce them.
- You show the bass-player or guitar-player how do you want their parts by playing them in the piano (in many Freddie`s songs all John does is doubling Mercury`s left hand parts)
- You sing the melodies of the guitar solo
- You play the drum pattern (even in a slow way) to show the drummer how do you want it, then he does it at the correct speed/strength
John hated Hot Space. Fred's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Wales is not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.