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Living On My Own (1985) - Freddie Mercury - All about the song

All about the song "Living On My Own" by the unsurpassed Freddie Mercury...

The story of the song "Living On My Own" (plus updated video) ...

"Living On My Own" is the name of Freddie Mercury's cult composition, which became the pearl of his first solo album Mr. bad guy. It was first released as a single (along with the track "My Love Is Dangerous") in the mid-80s: in the UK, the song entered the top 50. It is noteworthy that the lyrics of the track were inspired by Greta Garbo, whose quotes appear prominently in the lyrics ... In 1993, a few years after Mercury died, the "No More Brothers" mix was released: the mix became the leader of several countries, including Great Britain and France... As for the music video for "Living On My Own", that's a separate topic for discussion! But first, let's talk about the song itself!

About the song...

Freddie Mercury. Photo: Ian Dixon
Freddie Mercury. Photo: Ian Dixon

"Living On My Own" perfectly complemented the first and, unfortunately, the last solo album of the legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury ... The disc includes 11 tracks in total, and "Living On My Own" became the ninth of them ... It is worth noting that Freddie worked on Mr . Bad Guy during the period when the group took the so-called "creative pause". It has been speculated among critics that Mercury drew inspiration from disco and dance music to record the album.

Unfortunately, "Living On My Own" was not a huge success: the song did not enter the world charts, reaching a modest mark in the UK (50th line ...) And only after the death of the author, in 1993, the track gained success. This happened thanks to the No More Brothers group, which released their mix on “Living On My Own”: the track quickly got to the first line in a number of countries of the world, which would undoubtedly please Freddie if he were alive ... As for the No More Brothers themselves, the Belgian dance the producers were praised for this hit! Especially for the fact that they kept the original sound of the track, giving it a dance character... Actually, let's talk about their version in more detail.

No More Brothers version

No More Brothers released their mix a few years after Freddie Mercury's death, in 1993. As a result, their version remained the leader of France for over 3 months! In fact, they made "Living On My Own" Mercury's first solo number one hit! In the UK, the track remained number one for only a few weeks, and it was never released in the United States...

Speaking about the critical reception, it is worth emphasizing that the mix was received very warmly not only by the public, but also by music critics ... So, for example, Music & Media wrote:

“…Belgian dance producers managed to turn Freddie Mercury's vocal track into a top 10 dance hit! This result is truly amazing…”

And it's true: the mix hit the Eurochart Hot 100! It has also gone gold and platinum in several countries around the world, including the Netherlands and Germany.

Forbidden music video...

Well, now, having discussed the track itself and the mix from No More Brothers, let's move on to the most interesting, namely, the banned music video! For starters, the video includes footage from Mercury's 39th birthday party at a nightclub in Munich! Directed by Hannes Rossacher and Rudy Dolezal. As for the mix, it was uploaded to YouTube in November 2012, and by September 2020 it has gained about 35 million views! But the real treat for fans is a brand new version of what is possibly Freddie's most unknown solo video! A 2019 4K video recreated from the original footage that includes the new "Living On My Own" audio mix... Isn't that wonderful?

Filmed at the legendary 39th birthday party in 1985 in Munich, where Freddie lived during the recording of his first solo album (a period depicted in the box office blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody). Among Freddie's 300 invited guests were Mary Austin, Boy George, Steve Strange, Jim Hutton, Brian May, former manager John Reed and then manager of Queen Jim Beach, as well as a colorful Munich hangout of artists, singers and crossdressers with famous paparazzi photographer Richard Young ...

living on my own (1985) - freddie mercury (Freddie Mercury) - track cover
living on my own (1985) - freddie mercury (Freddie Mercury) - track cover

The whole action was captured on camera, throughout the night, while 300 of Freddie's friends were walking in the infamous Mrs Henderson club in Munich ... The footage, filmed by Austrian director Rudy Dolezal, shocked Walter Yetnikov, head of Freddie's record company. Moreover, they shocked him so much that he immediately banned the showing of these vivid shots on television on the basis of their "alleged promiscuity." So, the video was immediately shelved, and the single stopped at number 50 on the chart. And who knows how long the tape would have “collected dust on the shelf” if not for the re-release of the single from No More Brothers! So, in 1993, the video finally saw the light of day! Well, the rest of the story is known to everyone: in 1994, Freddie posthumously received the Ivor Novello Award for the international hit of the year, and footage from the "forbidden" party has since become the source of Freddie's most popular and most viewed solo video ...

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury

Now in high definition and enhanced audio, we can once again join that amazing night within the walls of Mrs Henderson and experience Freddie's fun... Freddie would surely smile at the fact that his most legendary birthday can still make us smile all these years later...

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