Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic
Freddie Mercury was rock’s most dazzling showman, a legendary entertainer who in 1991, at the age of just forty-five, became the first major music star to die of AIDS. Mercury’s soaring four-octave voice was a defining element in Queen’s unique sound, crucial to the success of the band’s fifteen studio albums, from Queen (1973) to Made in Heaven (1995). He was also a supremely talented songwriter and musician who wrote many of the band’s greatest hits, including ‘Killer Queen’, ‘We Are the Champions’ and their biggest triumph, the epic anthem ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. As a solo artist he released two acclaimed albums: Mr. Bad Guy in 1985 and the operatic 'Barcelona' with Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé in 1988.
Mercury’s extraordinary charisma was perhaps best seen in his imperious live performances, in which he’d hold vast stadium crowds to rapturous attention. His outrageous theatrics, physicality and over-the-top costumes led one commentator to describe him as ‘a performer out to tease, shock, and ultimately charm his audience with various extravagant versions of himself’. He pushed the limits of camp in everything he did. His extreme behaviour, in a society in which being gay was only starting to be accepted, just added to Freddie Mercury’s allure.
With expert understanding, Mark Blake traces Mercury’s life from his childhood in Zanzibar and India to his untimely death, and charts his astonishing achievements including in Queen’s world-conquering performance at Live Aid in 1985.
In the year that marks what would have been his seventieth birthday, Freddie Mercury: A Life celebrates a remarkable life, lived to the fullest. Featuring revealing interviews with fellow musicians, producers and collaborators, and a detailed discography and timeline, this is a memorable tribute to a unique recording artist and an irreplaceable performer who rocked the world.
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audience backing vocals band mates band’s Barcelona bass guitar Bites the Dust Bohemian Rhapsody Brian and Roger Brian May interview Bulsara Cover art Design Crazy Little Thing David Wigg debut demo drums Ealing Fat Bottomed Girls FM in Killer FM interview Fred Freddie Mercury Freddie’s friends Garden Lodge Highest chart position Hot Space John Deacon Keep Yourself Alive keyboards Killer Queen Kind of Magic later Led Zeppelin Little Thing Called Live Aid London Love Kills Mary Austin Montreux Montserrat Caballé Moroder Mountain Studios Munich night November Opera Personnel Freddie Mercury Peter Freestone Peter Hince piano play position on release Produced by Queen Queen Tracks Radio Radio Ga Ga record Reinhold Mack Release date release UK remix Rock and Austin Roger Taylor Roger Taylor interview Roy Thomas Baker Seas of Rhye Sheer Heart Attack single solo song St Peter’s stage Thing Called Love told tour Trident Wembley Zanzibar