QUEEN released their fifteenth and final studio album Made in Heaven on November 20, 1995 through Parlophone and Hollywood Records. Until the release of Queen Forever in 2014, this was the last album containing original material featuring the band’s original line-up.
After Freddie Mercury’s death, bass player John Deacon, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May worked on the vocals and piano parts Freddie had recorded before his death, adding fresh instrumentation to the recording. Prior to his death several pieces had been recorded at Mountain Studios, Allerton Hill, Cosford Mill and Metropolis Studios.
Recording stages, both before and after Mercury’s death, were completed at the band’s studio in Montreux, Switzerland. The album debuted at No. 1 in the UK where it went 4x platinum. The album became a worldwide success, especially in Europe, selling over 7 million copies there, and over 10 million copies worldwide.
Made in Heaven spawned singles: Heaven for Everyone (October 23, 1995), A Winter’s Tale (December 18, 1995), I Was Born To Love You (February 28, 1996, only in Japan), Too Much Love Will Kill You (26 February 1996), Let Me Live (June 17, 1996) and You Don’t Fool Me (November 18, 1996).
The song “I Was Born to Love You” originally came from Freddie Mercury’s solo album Mr. Bad Guy, as a late addition (when told by the record company that the album needed “a single”). May, Taylor and Deacon added their instrumentation, turning the song into a bit of fast rock, notably featuring May’s hard rock guitar. The song became popular in Japan during 2004 when it was used for the theme song of the TV drama “Pride”.
The song “Too Much Love Will Kill You” was composed by May, Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lambers sometime between the A Kind of Magic and Miracle sessions. They wrote it in the US and Mercury sang it. However, due to some problems with the company dealing with the rights to Musker and the Lambers they were unable to release the song on The Miracle.
At the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert May played the song on piano and sang it publicly for the first time, and later released it as part of his solo album Back to the Light. The Queen version is a new arrangement. The guitar solo used is different from May’s album, but May played a solo variation of Made in Heaven during a gig in early 1992. The song was awarded Best Song Musically and Lyrically at the 1997 Novello Awards.
This song was also performed by Queen and Luciano Pavarotti in 2003, with Pavarotti singing the last part of the lyrics in Italian.
Made in Heaven received generally positive reviews from music critics. Critics praised the maturity and quality of Queen’s music after Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991.
Track List: (1). It’s a Beautiful Day, (2) Made in Heavenm (3). Let Me Live, (4). Mother Love, (5). My Life Has Been Saved, (6). I Was Born to Love You, (7). Heaven for Everyone, (8). Too Much Love Will Kill You, (9). You Don’t Fool Me, (10). A Winter’s Tale, (11). It’s a Beautiful Day (Reprise), (12). Yeah, (13). (Untitled Hidden Track)
Personnel:• Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, programming on “Mother Love”, • Brian May – guitars, keyboards on “Mother Love”, “I Was Born to Love You” and “A Winter’s Tale”, piano on “Too Much Love Will Kill You”, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Let Me Live” and the last verse of “Mother Love”, • Roger Taylor – drums, percussion, keyboards on “Heaven for Everyone” and “You Don’t Fool Me”, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Let Me Live”, • John Deacon – bass guitar, guitar on “My Life Has Been Saved”, keyboards on “It’s a Beautiful Day”, “My Life Has Been Saved” and “It’s a Beautiful Day (Reprise)”
Additional personnel: • Rebecca Leigh-White, Gary Martin, Catherine Porter, Miriam Stockley – backing vocals on “Let Me Live”, • David Richards – keyboards on “My Live Has Been Saved” and “Too Much Love Will Kill You”. [sources/photo special]