Made in Heaven: Remembering Freddie Mercury

Seth Chaffee

Thirty years ago, on November 24 of 1991, Freddie Mercury left us. As we appreciate the impact that he left, you can’t help but admire Freddie’s passion that he had for music, especially at the end of his life. His death was so unexpected, and although he was suffering from AIDS, no one would have thought of losing one of the most beloved and influential faces of music.

When we look back on Queen’s music through the years, people will easily look over their last album, Made in Heaven. This album doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, and I see it as some of their best work. The album really represents what Queen is all about as well as showing the many talents of Freddie Mercury. 

Freddie, at the time of 1991, knew that he didn’t have a lot of time left, but that didn’t stop him from doing what he loved most. He wanted to keep making as much music as he could because he always had his audience at heart and knew that sooner or later, he would lose this. This really tells you what kind of person he was. 

Halfway through the making of the album, Freddie passed, which left the band in a difficult position. They were able to create a few songs, which by themselves are pieces of pure magic and love. What really separates Made in Heaven from any other Queen album is that every song holds a story behind it, many of which carry a lot of emotion with them.

For instance, in the song Mother Love, Freddie was singing his heart out in this beautifully constructed ballad. However, when recording the song, Freddie would leave the studio to sleep and told guitarist, Brian May, that they would finish the song later. This was the last time the band ever saw Freddie. 

Due to the unfortunate circumstances, Brain May would finish singing the song with an obvious sound of sadness in his soft voice. Even A Winter’s Tale is such a great feel good song about Freddie appreciating all of the little things in life that he would soon be losing.

I love how even though Freddie passed during the making of the album, there was so much love put into it. I see it as utilizing all of the things that makes Queen such a great band. It carries an ongoing theme of life and death and the band uses their old rock sound, which in their later years became lost. 

The album shows how the band was truly a family. Since they couldn’t record any more songs with Freddie, the band would use Freddie’s songs from his solo album and simply use Freddie’s versatile voice, Brian’s rocking guitar, John’s smooth bass, and Roger’s powerful drums. They would even use songs that they recorded but never actually released for anyone to hear. 

The song, Let Me Live, is impressive. It recreates the classic Somebody to Love by making three singers sound like a whole choir and still being able to rock at the same time. 

When it comes down to it, there hasn’t been an album that has touched me like this, especially knowing its tragic story. However, it symbolizes a lover of life and a singer of songs and the legacy of a great band. Even at the end, Freddie could sing his heart out even when he was losing his voice. He was a performer who wouldn’t let anything get in the way of his music. Made in Heaven is the perfect conclusion to the band and will always carry the soul of one of the greatest singers, songwriters, and performers, to ever walk this Earth.