New releases

Freddie Mercury in the Time video

Time and Time again: “lost” Freddie Mercury performance unearthed

In the wake of the success of last year’s Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, a new version of Mercury’s 1986 solo hit Time has been released, with the original’s multiple layers of vocals and instrumentation stripped back to reveal the full power of the Queen singer’s performance.

Written by Dave Clark for his stage musical Time, the original version was one of two songs Mercury recorded for the show’s accompanying album, and reached number 32 in the UK charts thirty-three years ago this month. Freddie’s other contribution to the album, In My Defence, wasn’t released as a single at the time but was remixed into a posthumous top ten hit in 1992.

Despite his contributions to the Time album, Mercury turned down the offer of a starring role in the show, apparently telling Clark: “For one thing, my darling, I don’t get up until 3pm, so I can’t do matinees. For another, when I do a show, I sing my butt off for three hours and then I drop dead. So it would be impossible to do eight shows a week.” With a cast including Cliff Richard and a projection of Sir Laurence Olivier, the show ran in London for two years.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Clark recalls how Mercury’s first take of the song “gave me goosebumps” and is keen to stress that the release of the track is not an attempt to cash in on the success of Bohemian Rhapsody. “I decided it would be wrong to bring it out before the film or during it,” he explains, “so I waited.”

Now retitled Time Waits For No One, the track has been remixed on previous occasions, including a Nile Rodgers mix on 1992’s The Freddie Mercury Album, but this is the first time Freddie’s demo version has been released. An accompanying video clip has also been prepared, using footage from the original 1986 promo and additional scenes which were not used at the time.

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