Looking back at Freddie Mercury’s short solo career
Man On The Prowl
In the mid 80’s Freddie Mercury pursued his solo career while keeping Queen active at the same time. Due to the proximity to Queen’s sound of that era, a lot of his solo songs from that period are often mistaken as being by Queen. His first solo single was back in 1973 under the pseudonym Larry Lurex where he covered “I Can Hear Music” and “Goin’ Back”. In 1984 he releases “Love Kills” that he co-authors with famed composer Giorgio Moroder to be included on the soundtrack of a restored version of the 1927 cult movie “Metropolis”. The song, that relies heavily on a synthesizer base similar to what Queen were doing in “The Works” at the time, does overall well specially in Europe but fails to top the charts.In 1985 he has a string of hits with “I Was Born To Love You”, “Living On My Own” and “Made In Heaven” all his own compositions. That same year he releases his first solo album, “Mr. Bad Guy” where those songs are included, however the sales of the album didn’t reached the expected sales. Also included is “There Must Be More To Life Than This” written by Mercury to Queen’s “Hot Space” in 1982 but failed to appear on the album, in 1984 he recorded the song in a duet with Michael Jackson together with Jackson’s “State Of Shock” but the recording session end up not being satisfactory and the songs were only later released on special compilations, one of the reasons for that is the fact that Freddie felt uncomfortable in Michael Jackson’s studio when he brought a Llama inside. Later Jackson recorded “State Of Shock” with Mick Jagger. In 1987 Freddie releases one of his biggest solo hit singles, the cover of The Platters “The Great Pretender”, still during that year he releases the unique “Barcelona”, a duet with Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé, an anthem made for the 1992 Olympics that resulted in one of Rock’s most epic moments, the ultimate blending of Rock and Opera. Surprisingly the song was a success among Rock and Opera fans and it remains to this day one of Freddie’s most memorable songs. In 1988 together with Montserrat he releases an album using the same Opera and Rock formula also titled “Barcelona”, after that Freddie went back to dedicate himself exclusively to Queen.
Watch the Freddie Mercury 1985 video of “I Was Born To Love You”
Listen to a selection of Freddie Mercury solo songs compiled by Pop Expresso in Spotify
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