Today is the 27th anniversary of the legendary Freddie Mercury’s death. In his honor, here is a remarkable live recording of my favorite Queen song of all time (which was also our wedding song), Somebody to Love. Mercury wrote the song, along with a jaw-dropping number of other Queen hits, including Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and We Are the Champions.
I love lots of music and lots of musicians, but I have two favorite singers, Ella Fitzgerald and Freddie Mercury. I feel like if I could only hear one singer for the rest of my life, either one of those would get me through just fine.
“[Freddie Mercury is] the best virtuoso rock ‘n’ roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that’s an art. And he was brilliant at it.” Roger Daltrey (The Who)
Though it’s really hard to fathom, Freddie never received formal music training. He did take piano lessons, but though he wrote very incredibly complex melodies and harmonies, he claimed he could barely read music. A natural talent, he wrote most of his songs on the piano and sang entirely instinctively.
AIDS has extinguished way too many stars, and Freddie Mercury was among the best and brightest. Though I haven’t seen it yet, I love that the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody is bringing the brilliant music of Queen to a whole new generation of fans.
And just because I can’t resist an opportunity to hear it again, here is the version that played at our wedding.