AIDS-related deaths remain haunting, in terms of what might have been. In terms of the finality of the particular times. Knowing that you are going to pass, for reasons not intended. Feel that way about the death of Peter Allen, in 1992, at the age of 48. Feel that way about the death of artist Keith Haring, in 1990, at the age of thirty-one (I originally thought forty-one, and then had to correct myself). Feel that way about the partners in Silverlake Life: The View From Here. Feel that way about the death of Freddie Mercury, in 1991, at the age of forty-five.
In 1995, four years after Freddie Mercury’s death, Queen released Made In Heaven. It is noted that the material was recorded between January and June of 1991. The previous album, Innuendo, was recorded between March of 1989 and November of 1990. It was released in February of 1991, at which time Freddie Mercury knew he was dying of AIDS. Actually, he knew during the recording of Innuendo, and disclosed this to his bandmates, but all admitted to lying publicly until the very end, when Freddie released his own statement, one day before dying. In the first half of 1991, he used what little time he had left, to record as much as he could. While some band members detect weaknesses in his voice, I find it to be amazingly, and admirably, strong, in the midst of his illness, where he didn’t know from one day to the next, how much strength he would have to sing. Some days, he would last no more than an hour. And some days, he recorded the vocals to songs that were harbingers of what was to be, barely months later:
The song that told the world that Freddie Mercury had little time left was “These Are The Days Of Our Lives”, where his physical decline was more than clear:
Here is the backstory to “Days Of Our Lives”, with the colour and the makeup:
What they all still had left…