It all started with Bowie’s Last Goodbye.
I didn’t know whether to continue with Zevon, Cash or Queen. I flipped a coin and Queen won.
Early 1991. “Innuendo” would be released and 9 months later Freddie Mercury would die. This was the final studio album to be released in Freddie Mercury’s lifetime and is the last album of entirely of new material. It contained the perfect last goodbye song (quite similar to Bowie).
This was the last song on the album…for a reason (I think). While getting ready to record the vocals (seriously listen to the vocals…amazing) Brian May thought Freddie couldn’t get it done. Freddie took a shot a vodka, said “I’ll fucking do it darling.” and he did it.
If you didn’t love Freddie prior to learning that just stated quote; you best be in awe of that man now (or we can’t be friends). Oh and thank you Vodka. Enjoy the last song on the album. The goodbye song but…(story continues after the video)
…but…Queen knew that Freddie had AIDs in ’87. Freddie made sure the band worked. He wanted to make music until he was no longer physically capable. Queen wasn’t touring due to Mercury’s health. They spent a lot of time in the studio.
Mercury insisted on the band giving him music and lyrics. He would continue to record vocals and piano for as long as his health permitted. I’m sure his time in the studio was a blessing.
I love this. As stated above Freddie wanted as much work/music/lyrics as physically possible then he made them promise that Queen would work on the unfinished songs after he died. Which lead to “Made In Heaven”. Mostly “new” songs with a few older (but never finished) tracks thrown in. What insight. What drive. What an artist.
This is the last video that Freddie ever filmed. Filmed in color but converted to black and white to cover up how ill Freddie was. Watch until the end. He says, “I Still Love You.” It’s his goodbye. He knows. Written by Taylor
I’ve always loved “Headlong”. It started as a May solo tune but after he heard Freddie sing it he decided (correctly) that it should be a Queen song.
All in all “Innuendo” was a brilliant way to say goodbye. Luckily (for music lovers), Freddie pushed the band to record so much more that we got one more album from Queen after his death. A Last Goodbye: “Made In Heaven”.
After Freddie Mercury’s death, bass player John Deacon, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May worked with Mercury’s vocals and piano parts. Those were recorded before his death. They added whatever instrumentation they thought fit the recordings. That would make Freddie proud.
On the documentary “Champions of the World”, May described these sessions with Mercury:
“By the time we were recording these other tracks after Innuendo, we had had the discussions and we knew that we were totally on borrowed time because Freddie had been told that he would not make it to that point. I think our plan was to go in there whenever Freddie felt well enough, just to make as much use of him as much as possible, we basically lived in the studio for a while and when he would call and say, ‘I can come in for a few hours’, our plan was to just make as much use of him as we could, you know he told us, ‘Get me to sing anything, write me anything and I will sing it and I will leave you as much as I possibly can.'”
This was the last song Freddie Mercury recorded (cool article worth the click)(and I need to take a road trip to Montreux, Switzerland to visit the Queen Recording Studio). May explained in the Days of our Lives documentary that “Freddie would say ‘give me words, I will sing’ so there I was writing on scraps of paper these lines of ‘Mother Love.’ I would give him a line, he would sing it, then sing it again, then sing it again – so we only had three takes of everything. After he’d finished the second verse, he said ‘Oh I don’t feel too well, I’m going to go home and we’ll finish it tomorrow’… and he never did. That was the last time I saw Freddie in the studio.” (that’s why The final verse was sung by Brian May)
NEXT? Cash or Zevon or…