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As soon as I heard the song “These Are the Days of Our Lives” I fell head over heels in love with the music of Queen. I had heard their songs on the radio but hadn’t taken the time to really listen to them until this particular song. Even now I enjoy watching videos of Queen through YouTube and watching Freddie Mercury’s dynamite performances always brings a tear to my eye. He was such a great talent and certainly much too young to be taken from this world but the music of Queen and the videos keep him alive and in our minds and in our hearts.
Remembering Freddie Mercury
I truly admire the creative talent of this terrific British musician, record producer, singer and songwriter who was best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the awesome rock band Queen. I watch the Queen documentaries and I get all choked up seeing this wonderful young man singing and performing and knowing that he contracted AIDS and died at the age of 46. A talent gone much too soon struck down by this awful disease.
Onstage with Queen he was a real showman and you could just see the talent shining through. Watching him perform is something amazing. Freddie Mercury is the one who composed a great many hits for Queen such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Crazy Thing Called Love,” and “We Are the Champions.” He also had a solo career. He received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music posthumously in 1992.
As a member of the band Queen he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and the band Queen got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. He never gave up on life, lived it to the fullest, and left behind a great legacy.
One of Freddie Mercury’s greatest performances was at the Live Aid concert in 1985 where an entire stadium of 72,000 people clapped, sang, and swayed in unison. Altogether he performed in around 700 concerts in countries all over the world with Queen.
He recorded two solo albums and several singles. The two albums were Mr. Bad Guy in 1985 and Barcelona in 1988. In 1993, he came out with a remix of “Living on My Own” which quickly rose to number one on the U.K. Charts. The title track from his second album “Barcelona” became the official anthem of the 1992 Summer Olympics which were held in Barcelona, Spain. Among this singles was The Platter’s song “The Great Pretender.” A compilation album was released in September 2006 on what would have been his 60th birthday. In 2000 his biography came out Freddie Mercury, the Untold Story.
In 1995, Queen came out with the album Made in Heaven which features Freddie Mercury’s unreleased final recording from 1991. On the cover is a picture of the statue of Mercury that overlooks Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. This was where he had written and recorded his last songs at Mountain Studios. On the sleeve of the album is written: “Dedicated to the immortal spirit of Freddie Mercury.”
Freddie Mercury will be remembered and missed whenever one of his songs is played or one of Queen’s songs. He is among the brightest stars in heaven and part of the biggest rock band in the sky.
First Came Smile
Before there was Queen, musicians Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, lead singer and bassist Tim Staffel were part of a rock group called Smile. Tim Staffel did not go on to be part of Queen but Roger Taylor did. Smile was a London-based blues band that only recorded six songs and disbanded in 1970. However, the one good thing that Staffel did before departing is that he introduced the rest of the band to Farookh Bulsara, who the world knows as Freddie Mercury. Along came John Deacon and the new band was complete and it was Mercury who insisted that the band’s name should be Queen.
The Intelligence of Queen
Practically every member of Queen has a post-graduate degree except for Freddie Mercury. Before joining the band, Roger Taylor was considering being a dentist, John Deacon is a trained electrical engineer, using his skills to create the iconic Deacy Amp, and Brian May is a PhD-level astrophysicist. When the music stopped playing, Brian May became the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008 to 2013. Everyone knows that Freddie Mercury had exceptional musical talent.
Inspired by the Stars
Queen has a coat of arms or crest which was designed by Freddie Mercury. Even though he wasn’t very much into astrology Mercury used the Western star signs of the band as inspiration for the crest. The crown with two lions on either side represent Roger Taylor and John Deacon, who are both Leos, the crab for Cancer, Brian May, and the two fairies as stand-ins for the sign Virgo, Freddie Mercury’s sign. The entire crest is overtaken by the Phoenix, the mythological bird symbolizing the never-ending cycle of life and death. This was later used as the symbol for the Mercury Phoenix Trust which is an AIDS charity that Queen created after Mercury passed on.
A Christmas Song
Like most bands, even Queen recorded a Christmas song. The song is titled “Thank God It’s Christmas” and was written by Brian May and Roger Taylor. It was released during the 1984 holiday season and stayed on the UK Singles Chart for a whole six weeks. However, this song has no video and has never been included on a Queen album. This Christmas song was finally included on the album Queen’s Greatest Hits III and on the re-mastered bonus EP that is part of the deluxe edition of The Works released in 2011. I have included the Christmas song here being part of the album The Works originally released in 1984.
Two of Queen’s music videos were filmed in Roger Taylor’s backyard – “We Will Rock You” and “Spread Your Wings.”
It was Roger Taylor’s idea to have the band dress up in drag and show them cleaning house in the video “I Want to Break Free.” The inspiration came from the characters shown on “Coronation Street.”
The animated music video of “These Are the Days of Our Lives” was drawn by animators who worked for The Walt Disney Company.
Following the Advice of Michael Jackson
Oueen had chosen not to release the song “Another One Bites the Dust” written by John Deacon. However, when Michael Jackson heard the song backstage at an L.A. concert, he advised the band to make this song the lead single for their album The Game in 1980. Most everyone knows how popular this song became.
During their time Queen also became record breakers. In the Guinness Book of World Records, Queen holds the title for the world’s longest running fan club for a rock group, “the U.K.’s favorite hit of all time” for “Bohemian Rhapsody” and for having their albums remain on the U.K. Album Charts longer than other bands, altogether a total of 1,322 weeks/26 years.