In 1984, Queen ventured into the world of holiday songs with the standalone single "Thank God It's Christmas." But while Freddie Mercury was once of rock's most powerful singers, it was his ability to pull back for that song that guitarist Brian May recalls so vividly.

In telling the story of its creation, May told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, "Christmas songs are always recorded in the middle of July. You have to, to get them ready in time."

Then May spoke of the creation of the track, "This was Roger [Taylor]'s composition, mainly, except he didn't have a chorus," he said. "So I contributed the chorus and we worked on it together, to cut a long story short. And then, when it was almost finished, we presented it to Freddie, who loved it and did a beautiful vocal. I think it's just the most understated vocal, and I love it, you know."

Released in late-November 1984, "Thank God It's Christmas" only got as high as No. 21 in the U.K. But rather than suggest that its relatively low chart position could be due to it being released at the same time as Band-Aid's massively successful charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas," May offered a different explanation.

"The funny thing is, it doesn't get that much attention in Britain as a Christmas single, because it doesn't have a video," he continued. "Everything's about video these days and we never made a video for that song. It's all in your mind. But I'm very fond of it. I think it's a very different kind of Christmas song."

Be sure to listen to Ultimate Classic Rock Nights on more than 50 stations across the U.S. from 7PM until midnight, Monday through Friday. You can see the list of radio stations where it airs here.

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