“This beautiful place above the clouds is where I did the observing work for my PhD. And this is where I used to steal outside under the stars, with a small acoustic guitar, and strum away and sing, and, I guess, commune with the Cosmos!"
Brian May is to share a newly-created performance video for the title track of his 1998 solo album Another World – filmed recently in the Canary Island locations where he says he feels "closest to Heaven.” The video premieres on YouTube today, Friday April 29.The atmospheric song is a highlight of the album, which is out now in a deluxe, multi-format edition in May's Gold Series of reissues. The 2CD and box set formats feature the remastered original album and the Another Disc collection of remixes, rarities and live tracks.
Originally written by Brian for the film Sliding Doors, contractual issues prevented the song being used. “The story about what could have happened if one little thing had changed in history, that the relationship either happens or not, really touched my heart, and I found it easy to write this song because I was writing from my own feelings of my own relationships, my own feelings.
“So I wrote this song Another World, which is all about how things might be in a parallel universe. I was kind of heartbroken when it didn’t work out, but I thought, "OK, this is my song. This is at the heart of what I'm doing." And it became the pivot around which my album revolved.”
For the new video, Brian is seen in a number of locations that are as visually stunning to the viewer as they are emotionally stirring for the guitarist and songwriter. He says of the places that inspired the Another World album: “I've had a fantastic journey in the Canaries, in the IAC observatories of Tenerife, and La Palma, where the biggest telescope in the world sits, the GTC [Gran Telescopio Canarias], and also in the beautiful small island of El Hierro, where lives the tree that adorns the front cover of this album.”
The recent trip to film the video conjured up memories of a formative time in May's life, when his childhood passion for astronomy had led to his studies as a young man at the Observatorio El Teide in Izaña in Tenerife (“the birthplace of Spanish astronomy,” as he calls it). In 2007, he completed his PhD degree as a Doctor of Philosophy in Astrophysics, describing the work as “unfinished business” after pausing his original studies in 1971 to join Queen. ??Revisiting such an important landmark was highly poignant for Brian. He remembers of his first visit to Izaña: “I was a kid coming out here and I had no experience, no confidence. And I was up here on my own in a hut. None of these telescopes were here [and you went] for weeks on end without any phones. There were no mobile phones in those days and I couldn't afford to phone home, [so] my only contact with my folks at home was via air airmail letters, which I would have to drive down to Santa Cruz to send. So it’s been very emotional to revisit this place. It really IS Another World."
The Tenerife setting was particularly special as part of the backdrop for the album's new title track video. “This is where observational astronomy began for the whole world,” he says, “and 'Another World' has a lot of meanings for me. It's a love song, but it's also about the different worlds which we can inhabit.
“This whole journey back into re-releasing this album has been a big thing for me, and it’s made me understand my history and what is inside me a lot better. I also feel that my portrayal of emotional turmoil and the search for light on this record can be very relevant to a whole new generation. So I’m happy to present it now. “
Link to buy Another World: BrianMay.lnk.to/AnotherWorld
(Photo: Richard Gray (c) Duck Productions)