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“Headlong”

Posted by purplemary54 on July 8, 2013

Brian May had originally intended for “Headlong” to be on his solo album, Back to the Light.  But then he heard Freddie Mercury sing it, and he decided to make it a Queen song.  It was a Top Ten single from their final studio album, Innuendo, in 1991

No one had a bigger personality than Freddie Mercury.  No one could put on a performance the same way he did.  He was a showman of the finest form, literally and figuratively.  In previous generations, Mercury would’ve been a vaudeville star or a circus performer.  He loved the stage, and the stage loved him.  This video features Freddie camping it up like he usually did on stage, and the whole band laughing and performing together.  Queen was a smart band that seemed to get how to create not just music but the spectacle surrounding the music.  Queen was as much about an image as it was about music, and they always presented the image of a strong, cohesive unit.

What very few people outside the band knew at that time was that Freddie Mercury was very ill with AIDS at the time (it’s fairly obvious from the way his face looks that something is not right).  He kept his diagnosis quiet; although there were rumors swirling about the state of his health, he demurred in public.  For all his showmanship–or maybe because of it–Mercury was a very private person.  He didn’t hide his sexuality, but he didn’t flaunt it, either.  (It’s not fair to compare his performing style to anything in his personal life.  His campy, flashy stage persona was just that: a stage persona.)  I can understand wanting to keep his illness as secret as possible.  It must be so hard to be out there performing all the time for an audience; I’m sure he didn’t want to keep performing for the audience or the press when he felt his worst.  When he knew he was dying.

He confirmed his illness just two days before his death on November 24th, 1991.

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