Did Freddie Mercury Give Brian May His Blessing To Continue Making Music?
After the unfortunate death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, his band Queen had a difficult time moving on with their lives and careers. Especially Brian May, who was one of his best friends, struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel but still pushed himself to release his 1992 solo album ‘Back to the Light’ a year after Freddie’s death.
May started working on the album in 1988 when he was going through a divorce. It was a way for him to go back to the light. The album included his singles’ Too Much Love Will Kill You’ and ‘Driven by You,’ which made it peak at No. 6 on the UK albums list. It launched May’s career as a solo artist and convinced him that he could continue solo.
These hit songs were initially written for Queen, but it was difficult for Brian to know whether or not Freddie would be with them for longer. The guitarist decided to make the singer listen to the track ‘Driven by You’ and asked him if he wanted to sing it for Queen.
Did Freddie Want To Be The One Singing ‘Driven by You?’
After Freddie listened to the track, Brian May received a thumbs up from the legendary singer. He thought the song was well done and praised May’s singing skills. The singer then stated that Brian should release the song as his solo work and prepare himself to let Freddie go. This emotional exchange became why Brian was able to release an album soon after Freddie’s death.
Here is how Brian recalled their conversation:
“I had a moment with Freddie because I was a little worried: Is it tasteful for me to offer this as a solo track not knowing how long Freddie would be with us? I just said, ‘Do you want to have a listen?’ and he said, ‘I love it, it’s great. Nice bit of work.’ And I said, ‘Do you want to sing it? Do you think it should be a Queen track?’ and he said, ‘You sing it beautifully, darling, and you should go for it.‘
We had this little conversation that I didn’t expect, and he said: ‘You should be doing this. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, and Brian, you should be getting yourself ready and embarking on what will be your solo career.’ Freddie is very generous and incredibly philosophical about looking at the end of his life. I never heard him complain.”
In the end, Freddie gave his best friend his blessing to continue making music and became the reason he launched a solo career. May reissued the album ‘Back to the Light’ in August 2021 as part of the Brian May Gold Series and included some other bonus tracks, which were titled ‘Out of the Light.’