Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Queen Song Feature: No One But You

Today is the 19th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death from AIDS-related complications.

Though Freddie was sick for several years prior to his death and unable to tour, he continued to write and record music and the band released two studio albums prior to his death in 1991 (The Miracle and Innuendo). While Freddie's illness had progressed tremendously at the time when Innuendo was recorded, the album is considered by many fans to contain some of his strongest vocals in years.

In 1995, Roger, John, and Brian reentered the studio to record Made in Heaven. The songs on that album were taken from Freddie's studio recordings dating back to the early 1980s and from reworking songs that had appeared on Freddie's solo album, Mr. Bad Guy. This album is considered the fifteenth and final Queen studio album.

But the boys reunited one last time in 1997 before John Deacon retired once and for all. The compilation album Queen Rocks was slated for release and they decided to add one brand new song to the album. While the song does not feature Freddie Mercury at all, it is considered by many fans to be the last "Queen" song ever recorded as without Freddie and his influence, it would not have been written. It is the last Queen song on which John played bass.

No One But You (Only the Good Die Young) was written by Dr. May. It appeared on the 1997 compilation Queen Rocks and was released as a single in 1998 where it peaked at #13 on the U.K. charts.

Video courtesy of Stifler2005652007.

Dr. May and RT share lead vocals on this song, emphasizing the strength of each of their individual voices. Then they harmonize together during the chorus. The sound is rather reminiscent of the B-stage set list during the Queen + Paul Rodgers shows of 2005 and 2008.

The song itself was inspired by the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus, who build wings out of wax to escape from a castle in which they are imprisoned. Icarus becomes so excited once they are free that he flies too high into the sky causing the sun to melt his wax wings and him to fall to his death in the sea. Though certainly not a literal interpretation, the lyrics contain rather blatant references to this story.

No One But You is included in Queen's musical We Will Rock You and is sung by the character Meat, a role originated by Dr. May's current protege Kerry Ellis. Click here to hear her version of the song, which is absolutely lovely in its own way.

Next year (2011) marks not only the 20th anniversary of Freddie's death, but also the 40th anniversary of Queen forming. Fans are hoping for a year long celebration which Dr. May has already assured us will include new releases, computers (Rock Band: Queen?), and live work! Sounds great and I can't wait!

Happy Listening!

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