Revealed earlier this month, Queen + Adam Lambert are set to release their first-ever live album together, ‘Live Around the World,’ on October 2nd in CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray and Vinyl formats (pre-order).
For a taste of the upcoming effort, the band have released a live clip for “The Show Must Go On,” which was recorded at The O2 Arena in London, UK on July 4, 2018. Watch below.
Here’s the song’s history, from a press release:
As the twelfth and final track on Innuendo, Queen’s final album released during Freddie Mercury’s lifetime, “The Show Must Go On” was completed while Freddie was already in the final stages of his battle against the then incurable horror of AIDS.
Brian May (guitar, keyboards, vocals) said:
Even though we were all aware of Freddie’s impending tragedy, we had some inspired and joyful times in the studio, making the Innuendo album. We didn’t speak much about Freddie’s illness – he just wanted to get on with ‘business as usual’ as far as possible. But already there was only a day or two per week when Freddie was well enough to come in and work with us. We grabbed those precious moments and made the most of them. I’d been working on “The Show Must Go On” as an idea, but I was uncertain whether the title was too obvious. Freddie heard it and loved it and dismissed any thoughts that there was a problem with the chorus or the title. He wanted to work on it.
We didn’t discuss what the meaning of the song was, but it was of course evident in the background that it was an attempt to give a voice to the feelings that Freddie’s valiant fight against AIDS created in all of us, and even in Freddie. He was too low in energy to create it himself. But I had one unforgettable special afternoon working together with him on solidifying the lyrics of the first verse of this embryonic song about a clown whose make-up hid his pain, before he slid out to attend another treatment. That gave me enough lyrical material to later expand into the eventual two verses. I finished mapping out the song, sang the whole thing as a demo, including the added “Wings of Butterflies” section, which somehow appeared in my head very late one night, and I played it to him when he was next in the studio. The melody called for some very demanding top notes, and I’d only been able to ‘demo’ them in falsetto. I said to Freddie … ‘I don’t want you strain yourself – this stuff isn’t going to be easy in full voice, even for you!’ He said, ‘Don’t worry – I’ll f…ing nail it, Darling!’ He then downed a couple of his favourite shots of vodka, propped himself up against the mixing desk, and… delivered one of the most extraordinary performances of his life. In the final mix of TSMGO, when you get to “On with the Show” you are listening to a man who conquered everything to deliver his finest work.
Featured photo by Brojan Hohnjec