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Why did Freddie Mercury mean so much, to so many people?

Updated on September 23, 2015
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Freddie Mercury - He made us laugh, he made us cry, he made us feel like we could fly

When I heard that Freddie Mercury had died, I cried Buckets. I was driving to work at the time and, when I turned on my radio, I heard a Queen number being played. Nothing unusual there, you might think, but, without a word of commentary, another Queen number was played. I guess I kind of knew what had happened. I had read the newspapers, heard the rumours, and I had seen the more recent photos of Freddie. I switched to another radio station, and there was another Queen tune. I kept flicking channels and, on every radio station that I could find, all I could hear was ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Seven seas of Rye’, or ‘We Will Rock You’.

That was the day that Freddie Mercury died, aged just 45, on the 24 November 1991. So, just why did Freddie Mercury mean so much to me and to millions of others too? You could argue that he brought his early demises on himself; you could say that he only had himself to blame. But, then you’d be missing the point completely. Freddie Mercury did what we all dream of doing; he lived life to the full. He grabbed life by the balls and said, don’t stop me know, cos I’m having a good time! And then, he paid the ultimate price for doing it.

So, how did a man that was so obviously gay, take on, and win over, the testosterone filled, macho, heterosexual world of heavy rock and yet still have massive appeal in the gay community? How did he gain the grudging approval of my mother, and yet still be outrageous enough to appeal to rebellious teenager like me? Come to that, why did a rebellious teenager like me, love the music of a band called Queen?

Perhaps it was because Freddie Mercury was such a contradiction. He was both, loveable and rebellious, all at the same time. Cute and cuddly, heavy and hard, and the only rock star of the time who could at one moment, with the aid of Brian Mays’ guitar, shake a building to its very foundations and the very next, melt the heart with the voice of an angel.

More than that though, Freddie Mercury, along with Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, had a song for every moment of your life. Freddie Mercury, you really did make us laugh, you made us cry and you made us feel like we could fly.

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Oh No! Not another Freddie Mercury Biography

Don’t panic! This is not, yet another, Freddie Mercury biography. There are more than enough of those in the world if you want to read one. Nor is this an ‘I knew the real Freddie’ expose, I never knew the man personally at all.

All I have done is to take just a few of the Queen Albums that they released through the years and pick one track off each that really meant something to me, both then and now. It’s just my own personal way of paying tribute to a great band and a great man. Oh, and by the way, I do know that Freddie didn’t write all these songs, but that’s not the point!

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Queen (1973)

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"Keep Yourself Alive"

I was told a million times
Of all the troubles in my way
How I had to keep on trying
Little better ev'ry day

Ok, I’ll admit it! I was only ten years old at the time that Queens’ first album was released and it only reached No.24 in the UK album charts.

None the less, the album contains some classic early Queen material, not least of which is the epic ‘Keep Yourself Alive’.

Whilst the track may not have resonated with me when I was ten years of age, it certainly did at a later age, when I suffered from severe depression.



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News of the World (1977)

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"Spread Your Wings"

Knew it was time
He'd made up his mind
To leave his dead life behind

‘News of the World’, was released during the time of the punk rock explosion and, being a punk rocker myself, I appreciated Queens attempts to make their music a little bit on the raw side with tracks like ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.

The softer side of Queen was still present in the beautiful, John Deacon penned, song ‘Spread Your Wings’.

It might not have been appreciated by my punk rock mates, but I loved the thought of spreading my wings and flying away.




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Jazz (1978)

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"Don't Stop Me Now"

I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite I'm out of control

One of Queens’s most popular songs, ‘Don’t Stop Me Know’ was written by Freddie Mercury at the height of his excessive lifestyle and his fellow band-mates were apparently not too comfortable with this celebration of his hedonistic lifestyle.

At the time, though, to an innocent teenager, this track just screamed out how cool it was to do whatever you want and have fun.

No one, including Freddie, was thinking about the price that might one day have to be paid.



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A Kind of Magic (1986)

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“One Year of Love”

Just one year of love
Is better than a lifetime alone,
One sentimental moment in your arms
Is like a shooting star right through my heart,

“One Year of Love” was written by John deacon for the film “Highlander” and is one of the few Queen songs that Brian May doesn't appear on.

‘Quiet John’, was responsible for some of the bands most touching love songs and this was another good example.

“A Kind of Magic” was released at a time that I was involved in a rather torrid relationship with an older, married woman, so this one certainly brings back some memories for me!



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The Miracle (1989)

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“Was it all worth it?”

What is there left for me to do in this life.
Did I achieve what I had set in my sights.
Am I a happy man, or is this sinking sand,
Was it all worth it, was it all worth it.


By the time that Queen released “The Miracle”, Freddie, and the band, knew that he was HIV positive, but the public did not.

Like many of the songs of this time, it is easy to think that you can now read some deeper meaning it the lyrics than was perhaps was really there.

Is this track only about the bands early years together in the 1970’s? Or was Freddie reflecting on where his own life was now headed?

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Innuendo (1991)

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"These Are the Days of Our Lives"

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.

“Innuendo” was the last album that Queen released, while Freddie Mercury was still alive. Though now suffering from full blown aids, Freddie insisted on continuing working, despite his failing health. There’s not much one needs to say about this track, other than it is quite heart breaking to watch the video, even now.

Freddie Mercury did continue recording after this album was released, though the process was now painfully slow, due to Freddie’s condition, and it must have been distressing for the band to know that they were recording their last songs with their front man. These last songs were completed by the remaining members of the band, after Freddie’s death, and released in the album “Made in Heaven” in 1995.

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Freddie Mercury - 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991

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So, there you have it; my own personal and very sentimental tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury.

There are so many Queen tracks that I could have included here, but then this article would be one of several million words long.

Through the years, I have enjoyed many different types of music, but none have touched me in quite the way that Queen did. Their music spanned fifteen studio albums, three decades, and many different styles.

I just wanted to add a Queen hub to my collection and say, a rather belated:


“Thanks Freddie”


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Comments

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    • profile image

      Shankar 

      3 years ago

      Freddie Mercury was the greatest rock and roll singer. He was also a marvelous performer. My favorite album was News of the World which I played hundreds of times

    • Artois52 profile imageAUTHOR

      Artois52 

      3 years ago from England

      Thanks for your comment HSchneider. I was lucky enough to see Queen live on three separate occasions. No other band could beat them.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Wonderful Hub, Artois52. Freddie Mercury was the greatest rock and roll singer. He was also a marvelous performer. My favorite album was News of the World which I played hundreds of times. I saw them at Madison Square Garden during the tour for the Jazz album. Marvelous concert.

    • Artois52 profile imageAUTHOR

      Artois52 

      3 years ago from England

      Thanks Lawrence. Agreed, I doubt that any of the manufactured pop stars from talent shows will be still around in thirty years time from now!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      A trip down memory lane for me. I always loved the music. Probably my favorite song is Bohemian Rhapsidy followed by We are the Champions. Queen were a 'once in a decade ' band. You can create a singer with a talent show but once every ten years a true ROCKSTAR comes along. Queen tried it without Freddy UN the nineties but it wasn't the same. Awesome hub

    • Artois52 profile imageAUTHOR

      Artois52 

      3 years ago from England

      Many thanks Dressage Husband. Freddie Mercury was on of a kind.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      What a moving tribute to one of the great rock singers of all time. I saw them live at Wembley Stadium and there was definitely never a band quite like them. I am glad for the surviving members that they have found a new lead singer in Adam Lambert, it is fitting that he too is gay and flamboyant like Freddie.

      I think Freddie did not know if he was gay or hetero early in his career by Shear Heart Attack it was apparent he was truly gay. Voted up as I could not resist listening to all the tracks, which really showed the quality of my Asus with B&O sound system the stereo effects are amazing bravo!

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