‘A Winter’s Tale’: Freddie Mercury Lives On In Queen’s Christmas Solstice
Fully four years after Freddie Mercury’s death, Queen scored yet another new Top 10 UK hit with his composition ‘A Winter’s Tale.’
It was Freddie Mercury himself who sang that the show must go on. Sure enough, on December 23, 1995, fully four years after his death, Queen were scoring yet another new Top 10 hit in the UK with his composition “A Winter’s Tale.”
The track was lifted from the Made In Heaven album that had been released a few weeks earlier, and become an immediate No.1. “A Winter’s Tale” was written in Freddie’s final months, after the completion of the sessions for Innuendo, the final Queen studio album of his lifetime. The song was not to be confused with another of the same title which had reached No.2 in the UK charts for singer-actor David Essex back in 1982.
Gratifyingly for Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, the Queen single and album release left no doubt in their minds about the affection in which they, and Mercury, were held by the British public. It entered the chart at No.6, as Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” continued at No.1. That may have been the Queen song’s only week in the Top 10, but it gave Queen a running total of 23 singles top tenners, to which they’ve since added another two so far.
Looking across Lake Geneva
“Heaven” also became a modest hit in other European countries, reaching the Top 30 in Austria, Holland and Queen’s beloved Switzerland. They had recorded so often there, and it was where Freddie composed the song, looking out across Lake Geneva from his hospital bed.
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“Freddie wrote the song in Montreux, in a little house on the lake that we called The Duck House,” May told Mojo. “The extraordinary thing is he’s talking about life and its beauty at a time when he knows he hasn’t got very long to go, yet there’s no wallowing in emotion, it’s just absolutely purely observed.
“So that’s the way I wanted my solo to be. It was one of those things where I could hear it in my head, long before I actually got to play it. And when I recorded it, at my home studio, in my head I was there with Freddie in Montreux in those moments, even though this was happening long after he was gone.”
Buy or stream “A Winter’s Tale” on Made In Heaven.
December 26, 2016 at 4:24 pm
I started to collecting musical items with this album Made in Heaven when I was 10 years old child <3 Love for the 1st listening to. A winter´s tale is one of the most beautiful songs ever. Thank you very much for your website Udiscovermusic.com. Since I discovered your website I read it everyday. (y)
December 25, 2019 at 7:59 am
SO UNBELIEVABLE AND SO SAD, AT THE SAME TIME. I STILL HOLD FREDDIE DEAR TO MY HEART. AS FOR THE REST OF THE” ORIGINALS”- YOU ARE ALL SUPERB IN YOUR OWN WAY!. MAY THIS BE YEAR OF 2020, THAT BRINGS YOU ALL GOOD HEALTH AND MUCH HAPPINESS! jklO