1990. The marketing for The Miracle was just over, when Queen immediately came back at work for their fourteenth studio album, which will take most of that year: Innuendo. The album was released in UK and in many other countries on February 4th, 1991, about 10 months before Freddie dies of complications related to AIDS. The disease was discovered by doctors few years earlier, in 1987, but Freddie revealed it with the rest of the band only in 1989.
Considered one of the best albums in the history of rock music, Innuendo is certainly one of the most iconic records produced by Queen, especially for the underlying spirit and the context behind it. Because, despite everything, this album represents a testament for Queen and for Freddie Mercury: a frontman like no one else, with an extraordinary charisma, a special voice and unforgettable lyrics.
You can be anything you want to beQueen – Innuendo
Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
These are just a few verses from the title track Innuendo, a song that, like many other post-1986 compositions, was never performed live by the whole band. But it was performed live at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with Robert Plant, in a version that also included some quotes from Kashmir and Thank You – Led Zeppelin’s songs – and completely removed the acoustic guitar solo. Plant’s poor health was the reason for a performance that was not exactly perfect (he even asked to exclude the song from the video edition of the event).
The song that closes the album, The Show Must Go On, is considered Freddie Mercury’s epitaph, although the lyrics were entirely written by Brian May. The official video was a combination of old video snippets, concerts and other key moments of the band: Freddie Mercury’s health didn’t allow to shoot new scenes.
The singer had already made his last video on May 31st, 1991, These Are The Days of Our Lives, which represents his real farewell, forced by life and destiny. Roger Taylor wrote the lyrics thinking of his children, his memories, his life, but they got a completely different meaning at that time. Freddie, singing that song, was expressing his last goodbye to the whole world.
These are the days of our lives
they’ve flown in the swiftness of time
these days are all gone now but some things remain
When I look and I find, no change
Those were the days of our lives, yeahQueen – These Are The Days Of Our Lives
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing’s still true
When I look and I find, I still love you
I still love you
It’s impossible to not get emotional when listening to those verses. Think about how many emotions Freddie could have given us. With his lyrics and also with his life: a life which for sure was not perfect, often lived on the razor’s edge, but was lively, full and filled with social messages that today we don’t see anymore. As he also said:
“If I die tomorrow I will not regret. I really did everything I could.”
And we want to remember him in this way.