Happy Pride month! As the LGBTQ+ community celebrates the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, a previously unheard and unreleased track from an out and proud musical legend has just dropped as a single.
In 1985, Freddie Mercury recorded “Time,” a song for a science-fiction rock musical of the same name, at London’s Abbey Road studios with legendary musician and producer Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five. The late Queen frontman and Dave were putting the track down on tape, when Freddie decided to record a version that was stripped down, using only piano and his vocals. It was saved to tape as “Time Waits for No One,” and is finally being released for the world to hear. You can listen to it over on YouTube.
“When we first recorded it, I went to Abbey Road and we ran through with just Freddie and piano,” Dave told BBC Radio 2. “Then we got down to recording the track and we [added] 48 tracks of voices, which had never been done in Abbey Road before, then the whole backlog. It was fabulous – but I still felt there was something about the original rehearsal.”
Dave told BBC Radio 2 he spent a decade looking for the demo, and when he finally found it, he separated Freddie’s vocals from the track and re-recorded the piano using original pianist Mike Moran.
“It gave me the same goosebumps as when I first heard it,” Dave said.
In comparison to his work with Queen, “Time” is a less well-known part of Freddie’s career. The musical featured Cliff Richard playing a rock star advocating for Earth, which was on trial for its many crimes before a space court.
Freddie’s career and life have seen a resurgence of interest in the last few years, partly thanks to the Hollywood blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody, which was released last year. The movie, which stars Rami Malek as Freddie, took home four Oscars this year, including Best Actor, and made more than US$903 million worldwide.