Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"I Was Born to Love You" by Freddie Mercury

Song#:  2295
Date:  04/27/1985
Debut:  85
Peak:  76
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Mercury's first solo single under his name, "Love Kills," was recorded for the restored version of the film Metropolis and its associated soundtrack. It was issued as a single and reached #10 in the UK, but it was basically ignored in the US and peaked at a low #69. While Mercury was recording that tune, he was also working on his first solo album. The LP, title Mr. Bad Guy, would have less focus on the rock sound he developed with his band Queen and lean more towards synth and dance-pop. This first single got things started and once again it did well in the UK getting to #11. Also once again, the song just couldn't catch on in the US and it spent a short month on the Pop chart. It would end up being Mercury's last single to reach the US chart. Mercury would remain in Queen, but would still record solo material along the way until his death in 1991. Prior to his death, Mercury would score two more UK Top 10's including the operatic title track to his second solo disc Barcelona. That song was a duet with Spanish soprano Montserrat CaballĂ© and it would return to the UK Top 10 (peaking at #2) the year after Mercury's death when it was used during the Olympic Games held in Barcelona in 1992.

ReduxReview:  Mercury was never one to phone it in on vocals and he indeed sounds full of spirit here. The chorus has a nice sing-a-long feel and there are touches of Mercury's near-vaudevillian style of writing. However, the letdown here is the arrangement. I get that he wanted to continue his experiment with synthpop without the band, but I think what he did with this song made it sound a bit cheezy. When Queen reworked it later in '96 (see below), the results were much better. Either way, it's not a great single, but when done in a palatable way it's a nice track.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) A track from Mercury's Mr. Bad Guy album, "Living on My Own," would later become a posthumous #1 in the UK. Originally, the song was issued in 1985 as the album's third single, but it stalled at #50. In 1993, a remix of the song known as the "No More Brothers Remix" was issued as a single. The remix took off and ended up spending two weeks at #1 in the UK. The remix was not issued in territories like the US.  2) Following Mercury's death, the remaining members of Queen decided to make one last album that featured their late lead singer. The project, titled Made in Heaven, would feature the band re-recording songs and projects that Mercury had done during his career. The tracks would consist of Mercury's vocals with the band revising or adding their parts. This single would be one selected for a redo with the band turning it into a more Queen-like rock song. It was released as a single, but only in Japan. It peaked at a low #45 when initially issued there, but later in 2004 a reissue of the tune would make it to #1 in Japan.


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