It’s been over 30 years since Freddie Mercury lost his battle with AIDS and died at just 45-years-old. Following his death, Queen bandmates Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon set about putting together their final album together in what would be 1995’s Made In Heaven, featuring the singer’s posthumous vocals. At his album launch for the re-issue of 1998’s Another World, Brian shared his emotional struggles with getting that record made and how he and the band came to terms with the star’s untimely death.
Speaking at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich at the weekend, producer Simon Lupton asked Brian during a Q&A: “Just before you made this album you’d been involved in making Made In Heaven with the rest of Queen. Going through that cathartic process of doing that, did that help when you went into Another World or did it really not make much difference?”
The 74-year-old replied: “Yeah, it did help I think. It was something I had to go through. Me and Roger both, I think, completely overreacted to Freddie’s death, if it’s possible to say that. In other words, we went so far away along the path of trying to forget that we over-grieved and we sort of denied the existence of Queen for a while. I certainly know I did.”
Brian continued: “So to come back and finally face it and put that final Queen album together, Made In Heaven, was a wonderful and terrible thing to do. Wonderful, because you’re saving all these final scraps which we’d created together in those last moments when we were with Freddie. Terrible, because you’re listening to his voice the whole day, polishing it, doing little things to it to optimize it, but he’s not there. At the end of the day you can’t say, ‘Freddie, is that okay?’ That was hard, it was quite painful for a long time. It was a long labor of love; about a year and a half Roger and I were doing this.”
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Brian added: “So having gone through that, yes I was ready for anything and I thought, ‘I have to do something’. But then there was this thing of ‘Who am I?’”
Three years later, the guitarist released his second solo album in Another World back in 1998.
Another World, which is out now, has been remastered and includes new tracks on Another Disc.