Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Love Kills" by Freddie Mercury

Song#:  2062
Date:  09/29/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  69
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Synthpop, Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Music producer Giorgio Moroder's 1984 restoration of the 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis was accompanied by a new soundtrack that was co-written mainly by Moroder and Pete Bellotte. It consisted of modern synthpop tunes sung by stars like Pat Benatar and Billy Squier. The LPs first single, "Here She Comes" by Bonnie Tyler," was a bit of a dud only getting to #76. Hoping to bring some life back to the soundtrack, this next single was released. Co-written and performed by Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury, the song only did slightly better than Tyler's single. It also got to #44 on the Dance chart. However, the tune was a hit in the UK where it got to #10 becoming Mercury's first Top 10 solo hit there.

ReduxReview:  Just like "Here She Comes," I don't know why this song was not a better hit. It's nearly a sister song to Queen's #16 hit "Radio Ga-Ga." One minus was that the video for the song was just scenes from Metropolis and did not include Mercury. However, it may not have mattered because Tyler shot a complete video for "Here She Comes" and it tanked. Perhaps there was just not a lot of promotion behind the songs. Or maybe because the film was a specialized project and not a box office draw the soundtrack just didn't get the attention it deserved. Whatever the case, the soundtrack was quite good and it included some gems like this one.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Although this was Mercury's first charting solo single, it wasn't his first solo recording - well, sort of. Back in 1972, Queen entered Trident studios to record their debut album. As that was going on, one of the studio's house engineers, Robin Geoffrey Cable, was working on an experiment. Cable was trying to replicate hit producer Phil Spector's famous "wall of sound" recording technique. Needing some help, Cable asked Mercury to supply some vocals for the project. Mercury decided to help out and then also brought along bandmates Roger Taylor and Brian May to do some work. They all recorded two songs, which were remakes. The first was "I Can Hear Music," a tune initially done by The Ronettes in 1966 (#100) and made more famous by The Beach Boys in 1969 (#24). The second was "Goin' Back," which was originally done by Dusty Springfield in 1966 (#10 UK). The final results were so good that it was decided a single should be released. Not wanting any confusion between the two songs and the upcoming Queen album, they created a pseudonym for Mercury. The single would be credited to Larry Lurex and released. It failed to catch on anywhere, but it did nearly chart in the US where it bubbled under the main chart at #115 for a few weeks.


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