May’s reworking of the 1958 track is taken from the forthcoming deluxe reissue of his second solo album, 1998’s ‘Another World’, due to arrive on April 22.
“I’ve never done a Buddy Holly song,” the Queen guitarist said in a statement. Explaining how the song played in his development as a musician, he said: “That song more than probably any other, is the reason that I’m here doing this, playing guitar and being a rock star and being a very fortunate person.
“I heard Buddy Holly make that incredible sound on his guitar, that clang, singing that beautiful song, hearing those wonderful harmonies of the Crickets. And it completely motivated me.
“I just thought, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be able to make music that does that to people, makes them feel this kind of yearning, makes them feel this joy and passion.'”
May’s version of ‘Maybe Baby’ comes alongside an eye-catching video that features an array of colourful, fan-created images of the guitar hero from throughout his career. You can watch it below.
The reissue of ‘Another World’ is the second release in May’s Gold Series. It contains the remastered original album alongside ‘Another Disc’, which features a wealth of previously unreleased remixes, rarities, live tracks and cover versions.
In addition to ‘Maybe Baby,’ the ‘Another Disc’ bonus hears May rework two other classic tracks from his youth: The Shadows‘ 1961 instrumental ‘F.B.I.’ and Conway Twitty’s 1958 song ‘It’s Only Make Believe.’
According to May, he was offered the chance to star in the children’s TV show as the Godfather of Rock, but initially turned them down.
However, he changed his mind after reading the script. “It was very moving because it’s a great story, it’s such a lovely look into what happens to kids and how they lose their confidence and what can be done,” May told the PA news agency.