Princes of the Universe
|"Princes of the Universe"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album A Kind of Magic|
|B-side||A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling"
"Who Wants to Live Forever" (Japan)
"Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)" (Australia)
"Was It All Worth It" (2000 Dutch CD Single)
|Released||March 1986 (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand; Japan)|
|Format||Vinyl record (7")|
|Recorded||1985 – 1986|
|Producer||Queen and Mack|
|Queen singles chronology|
"Princes of the Universe" is a song written by Freddie Mercury and performed by Queen. The song was written for the soundtrack of the movie Highlander and released on the A Kind of Magic album in 1986.
"Princes of the Universe", written for Highlander, is the only song on the album for which Mercury receives sole credit. Later, it was also used as the theme song for Highlander: The Series. The song was never released as a single in the United Kingdom; and, while it never truly charted, it is considered a cult favourite because of its relation to the film. In the movie, the guitar solo in the beginning is cut out.
The lyrics are from the perspective of the immortals, about the state of being immortal, the superiority it gives them to normal humans, and the test that they all always have to face because of this. The lyrics can also be interpreted as regarding Queen themselves: "People talk about you, people say you've had your day / I'm a man that will go far, find the moon and reach for the stars." The song "Who Wants to Live Forever" is the foil of this song, and features in the film.
The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy and was shot on the Silvercup rooftop stage used for the film, featuring a sword fight between Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Freddie Mercury (Freddie wielding his trademark bottomless mic stand instead of a sword) intercut with scenes from the movie. During the video, guitarist Brian May appears without his Red Special, but instead with a white Washburn RR11V. The video was actually played quite a bit on music video stations (in the US) when this single came out, despite not charting. Up until its eventual release on Greatest Flix III (VHS, 1999) and Greatest Video Hits 2 (DVD, 2003), it was rarely seen by fans outside North America, elevating its possession to collector's item status.
- Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals, piano, synthesizer
- Brian May - electric guitar, backing vocals
- John Deacon - bass guitar
- Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals
In popular culture
The song is also featured in the closing credits of the 2011 New Zealand film "Love Birds," starring Rhys Darby. The cast of the movie is shown singing this song as the credits roll.
- A Kind of Magic review. The Times. 21 June 1986. Archived at queenarchives.com
- Freestone, Peter (2001) Freddie Mercury: an intimate memoir by the man who knew him best p.96.Omnibus Press, Retrieved January 22, 2011
- Bartkowiak, Mathew J. (2010) Sounds of the Future: Essays on Music in Science Fiction Film p.19. Retrieved January 22, 2011
- Who Wants To Live Forever UltimateQueen.co.uk