The song never got played a billion times on the radio like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” is one of Freddie Mercury’s finest hours. The track closes Innuendo, which was the last studio album made while the legendary singer was still alive. Mercury passed away just a few months after it was released, so fans never got to see the classic lineup perform it live.
However, we did get an insight into what might have been when YouTuber VinzA mashed up the studio recording of “The Show Must Go On” with Hungarian Rhapsody, which was a concert shot on the band’s last tour with Mercury in July 1986. It really captures how amazing Queen were as performers and elevates the studio recording with their powerhouse live show.
The video was quite popular online, gaining 27.7 million views, and no doubt the incredible editing by VinzA contributed to its wide appeal. “The Show Must Go On” was written primarily by Queen guitarist Brian May, and the lyrics address Mercury’s battle with AIDS and his efforts to continue working with the band despite his deteriorating health.
May wasn’t sure if Mercury could sing the vocals when the band hit the studio, and told him he didn’t have to attempt it. May recalled that Mercury was unfazed and “downed a couple of vodkas, neat, then propped himself up on the desk and worked his way through singing all of that song. And it was amazing. I think he did three or four takes, and he absolutely smashed that vocal.” The Budapest show, from which the footage is taken, is also a great watch, as you can see from “Under Pressure” below.
“The Show Must Go On” is a real testament to how uniquely talented Mercury was as a vocalist. May said that he considered the frontman’s vocals on the song as one of his finest performances ever, saying, “It’s like he reached into a place that even he’d never got to before… And it was beautiful.”
Enjoy the captivating sounds of the iconic band, Queen. Immerse yourself in their unforgettable music and live performances on their YouTube Channel. Their lasting legacy continues to inspire and entertain music lovers around the globe.