Published On: Sat, Nov 27th, 2021

Freddie Mercury ‘full of beans’ and ‘reaching new heights’ at Innuendo recordings – WATCH | Music | Entertainment

In 1987, Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV and so Queen decided to stop touring after the A King of Magic concerts. Nevertheless, the singer continued recording with Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Before his death on November 24, 1991, Queen released two more albums in his lifetime in 1989’s The Miracle and 1991’s Innuendo.

Now this week’s episode of Queen The Greatest, looks back at the Innuendo recording sessions inside Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland, which took place from March 1989 to November 1990.

Despite Freddie’s increasing frailty, Roger Taylor remembers it being “strangely, a very happy album to make. There’s some very good stuff on Innuendo, and it was quite live as well, and I think a bigger studio is good for us.”

Producer Dave Richards shared: “With Innuendo, somebody suggested that they should play live, and they thought that was a good idea.

“So we set them up in the Casino Hall (Montreux) and the studio itself was linked with 54 mic lines going down and we could record groups in there. They actually created a song live, by improvising until it became a song. And that’s how it started.”

READ MORE: Freddie Mercury’s final days by his ‘eternal love’ Mary

Brian May remembered: “There was a feeling of sort of re-exploring our youth almost buried in there somewhere. And it was fun.

“We were all working really flat out on everybody’s ideas and not being kind of possessive about things, so there’s quite a liberation there.”

And bassist John Deacon said at the time: “I think we’re all throwing in different ideas. There’s a lot more teamwork, but people still get very precious about the songs that they feel they started off with.”

Producer Richards also shared how tenacious Freddie was in his final months, giving his all on the vocals.

Richards said: “Freddie was singing down there live as well with them, and there was absolutely no impression from me that he could have been sick. He was full of beans and singing away.”

Brian remembered the Queen singer struggling with the high notes on the iconic The Show Must Go, which appropriately concluded the Innuendo album.

The guitarist shared: “I did a complete demo for The Show Must Go On, including that very high part, you know, ‘On with the show’. Freddie always used to say, ‘Oh Brian, you’re f***ing making me tear my throat to bits again’.

“So I remember apologising in as much as I said, ‘Look, I’ve done it in falsetto. I don’t know if it’s possible to do it full voice, you know, but obviously, that would be great.’”

At the time Brian said: “The new album is great. I think it’s the best one for quite a long time. Very often you put out an album you think, ‘but I wish we’d done this’. This one I feel quite happy about and I can listen to it without any problem. I like it a lot.

“Actually, we had some fantastic times, and I think we got over our stupid going out the whole time business, y’know?

“And we were a very close-knit group like a family, and we would work in the studio until, usually until Freddie got very tired.”

Next week’s episode of Queen The Greatest will look back at The Guitar Solo.

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