Freddie Mercury: Sister recalls last two weeks of his life
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In 1987, a year after Queen’s Magic Tour concluded, Freddie Mercury found out he had been diagnosed with HIV. Although he would later tell his bandmates of his illness, the other three embarked on The Miracle recording sessions in early 1988 none the wiser. According to Brian May, part of the reason for this was the late singer’s incredible propensity towards a positive outlook on life.
Brian was asked in a new interview if his perspective had changed knowing that, as united as Queen were during those recordings, Freddie was battling an illness in secrecy.
The 75-year-old said: “In many ways, yes. Looking back on things, it is quite hard to fathom, really, because Freddie was an eternal optimist. And even with all that he was going through – which we knew nothing about at the time – he always came in with so much positivity. And as we were going back through these tracks and remembering the sessions, those were some of the things that really did strike me.”
The guitar legend then went on to reveal which track from the 1989 album is one of his favourite songs by his friend, who lost his battle with AIDS 31 years ago this week.
Brian told Guitar World: “Of course, one of my favourite Freddie tracks of all time is The Miracle. I love that song because, on that track, you hear nothing but joy, positivity, lightness, and humour.”
The album’s title song was mainly written by the singer and John Deacon. The Miracle would also receive an iconic music video, filmed at Elstree Studios in November 1989. The footage famously saw four young boys dressed as the Queen stars dancing alongside them in what would be one of Freddie’s last filmed performances.
The guitarist marvelled at how his late pal was able to give his all without them knowing what was really going on for a long time.
Brian added: “It’s gorgeous that Freddie was able to do that even though he was battling dark stuff underneath. You would never know. You could never hear it at that time. It’s just one of the many marvellous things about Freddie, his ability to radiate positivity and optimism no matter what he was going through internally.”
The Miracle album has been re-issued with six previously unheard Queen songs from the sessions.
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These tracks include Dog With A Bone, I Guess We’re Falling Out, You Know You Belong To Me and Face It Alone.
The songs are joined by a Queen treasure trove of original takes, demos and rough cuts, along with behind-the-scenes recordings of Freddie, Brian, Roger and John Deacon bantering, debating and joking around the studio.
Queen The Miracle Collector’s Edition is available as an 8-Disc Book Set: Vinyl LP/5CD/DVD/Blu-ray and is out now.
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