24 October 2008
Queen on the Rise
My name is Freddie Mercury. I played with a band called Wreckage. Then one
day Brian May and Roger Taylor asked me to join their band Smile. So I agreed to it, but
I renamed the band Queen. I liked the idea of glamorous queens in royalty. John Deacon
auditioned in February 1971, for the guitar and got the job. There were now four official
band members. Roger Taylor plays the drums, Brian May plays the bass, and I do the
Our band rehearsed very hard. We played many small shows at the Imperial
College. We were eventually asked to test the new recording studio De Lane Lea. This
allowed us to use the new equipment, and we got to record free demo tapes. The
recording turned out exceptionally well. We signed a new contract with Trident in 1972.
Our single ‘Keep Yourself Alive,” failed and soon after that we issued a self-titled
album, which was a mix of 60’s heavy rock and 70’s glam rock. We toured for a while
and then recorded a second album. It fulfilled our very early promise of reaching the UK
Top 5. Recently after that “Seven Seas of Rhye” gave us our first hit single. It reached
UK number ten. At the same time Sheer Heart Attack reached number two in the UK
album charts (Classic Bands).
Our first head lining tour launched in 1975 and we headed off to the USA. A
couple of the shows on that tour were cancelled because I “developed a serious throat
problem” (Classic Bands). Although doctors told me not to, I toughed it out and made as
many shows as I could. In January 1975 we decided that Trident was no longer being
supportive, so we quit with that record company.
When we got back from touring the far east, we met with our producer, Roy
Thomas Baker, and we finished recording “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I accomplished
turning a seven-minute single into a mini-opera. That song killed the charts in the UK
and stayed number one for a surprising nine weeks! We made a video for the song that
was highly innovated at the time (Classic Bands).
Our album Night at the Opera was one of the most expensive albums ever
recorded at the time. But when released in November 1975, it was all worth it and led on
to become our first platinum album (Classic Bands). I had designed a band logo. It was
the cover for the album Queen and re-worked to be used for the album A Night at the
Opera. Our new logo was our bands four signs- “two fairies for Virgo, a crab for Cancer,
and two lions for the two Leos.”
While “A Day at the Races,” kept on a hit streak, “Somebody to Love” and “We
Are the Champions” were both successful enough to reach number two in the UK. We
were accused of being “over-produced glam rockers.” But it did not stop us from
producing hit after hit. All our songs were “destined to become anthems.” Our album
The Game gave us our first US number one album in July, 1980. By the end of 1981 we
put our first number one hit since “Bohemian Rhapsody” called “Under Pressure.”
(Collaboration with David Bowie) (Classic Bands)
The performance of “I Want to Break Free” at the Live Aid showed our group at
our very best. But our record sales seemed to drop in the late eighties. I guess we were
just too focused on other things in our life. But we made a strong come back on May 22,
1989, with our sixteenth album called The Miracle. It started as number one on the UK
album charts, and soon became a world-wide success. It reached number one in most
European countries (Classic Bands). In 1991 we put out our album Innuendo. That gave
us our third number one in the UK (Classic Bands). Although our releases were spaced
between when they were put out, it did not affect our bands popularity.
On November 23, 1991 I had a big announcement to make to the world, I had
AIDS. I did not tell many people this only the ones closest to me. I tried to keep it under
wraps for as long as possible, but I thought now would be a good time to tell because I
had had it for so long, and I could tell I didn’t have much longer to go. I guess I was
closer to the end then everyone thought! The very next day I died soundly in my sleep.
“The music world was in shock!” (Classic Bands) My fans from all over sent my family
and band mates flowers and gifts. Many people traveled to London to visit my house.
Three days after my death my family held a quiet cremation service.
Our biggest hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” was immediately released for the second
time to raise money for AIDS research projects and the song successfully climbed to the
top of the British charts. In March 1992 the hit reached number two in the US after
originally reaching number nine. The song was also featured on the movie Wayne’s
World. On May 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, they held a memorial concert
for me. It featured Liza Minnelli, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, George Michael, David
Bowie, and Annie Lennox (Classic Bands).
Even after I was gone, our band still never announced our official break-up. Our
very last original album called Made in Heaven was released 1995. I had recorded the
vocals for it in my home in Switzerland. The rest of the band just filled the instruments
in. Although I had been applauded for the way I carried myself and the way I handled
my sickness, I must applaud May, Taylor, and Deacon for performing wonders in making
an album from scratch. The album is dedicated to me as the “immortal spirit of Freddie
Mercury.” My request for that album was for the rest of it be finished and heard by the
world. “In November, 2006, The Official Charts Company released a list of the 100 best-
selling albums of all time in the UK Topping the list was the 1981 release, Queen’s
Greatest Hits” (Classic Bands).
Classic Bands. Biographies of Your Favorite Classic Rock Bands. 24 Sept. 2008