Freddie Mercury fans rejoice! An incredibly powerful and previously unseen music video of the legendary Queen frontman has emerged; a raw, stripped back version of the song Time, renamed Time Waits For No One.
Originally recorded as part of a West End musical by Mercury’s good friend Dave Clark, this version, long buried in Clark’s archives, is edited down to feature only Freddy’s amazing voice accompanied by some light piano background. Clark remembers how he felt when he heard Mercury sing the song for the first time. “It gave me goosebumps,” he told Rolling Stone. “I thought, this is magic.”
The new version was released on YouTube last week, with the following description: “For the first time ever, after four decades buried deep in the vaults, a previously unreleased version of ‘Time’, recorded in 1986 by Freddie Mercury for the concept album of the hit musical of the same name, has finally emerged after two years of work by the globally successful musician, songwriter and producer Dave Clark, a long-time friend of Freddie’s, using the song’s full title, ‘Time Waits For No One’.”
“‘Time Waits For No One’ shows Freddie Mercury at his most compelling; a completely stripped-down performance, accompanied by just a piano, showcasing one of music’s most beloved and show-stopping voices.”
The mighty performance, hailed by many fans as among his very best, was recorded at Dominion Theatre in London.
Clark had convinced Mercury to perform without his Queen bandmates in order to capture the essence of the frontman’s legendary vocals. “I said, ‘If it doesn’t work, I’ll pay for the time and we’ll bring your boys in,’” Clark explained. “It really did work beautifully.”
“The nice thing about the film is it’s Freddie on his own without anybody else, and it shows the emotion of the song,” Clark said. “We all know he’s a great singer, but I don’t think he’s been seen on his own with just a piano like this. It makes you realize how good somebody is.”
With the recent success of the hit movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Clark is keen to assure people that he is not simply cashing in on the resurgence in popularity of Mercury. He says that he has waited until what he felt was the right time to release the video. “We’ve been trying to do this for a decade or so,” he said. “I was finished with the film in the last spring of last year, and I heard they just finished the movie.”
“The movie’s been off and on, no disrespect, for over a decade, and I decided it would be wrong to bring it out before the film or during it, so I waited.”
The ‘brand new’ footage has already gained over 5 million views on YouTube, with fans loving this rare opportunity to see a more intimate, one-on-one experience with Mercury. We are more used to seeing him rocking out entire stadiums with the backing of his legendary band!
Clark recalls Mercury asking him how he should go about performing the song, which explores the full range of his vocal talents. “I said, ‘As a cross between Edith Piaf, Jennifer Holliday and Shirley Bassey.’ He said, ‘Well, dear. I have all the dresses. I can do it perfectly.'”
As you can see for yourself, his tongue-in-cheek confidence was perfectly justified!