Love of My Life (Queen song)

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"Love of My Life"
Song by Queen
from the album A Night at the Opera
Released21 November 1975
Recorded1975 at various studios
GenrePop
Length3:39
Label
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Producer(s)

"Love of My Life" is a song by the British rock band Queen from their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.[1] The ballad[2] was written by Freddie Mercury. After Queen performed the song in South America in 1981, the version from their live album Live Killers reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in Argentina for an entire year.[3]

Freddie Mercury wrote it on the piano and guitar first, and Brian May rearranged the song for acoustic 12-string guitar for live performances, also lowering the key by a minor third. May contributed occasional guitar phrases to the original recording and played the swooping harp glissandos by pasting together multiple takes of single chords. The song is an example of Mercury's familiarity with rubato phrasing, showcasing his classical piano influences, notably by Chopin and Beethoven.

With its similar lyrical theme, the Roger Taylor penned single "These Are the Days of Our Lives” would later hearken back to "Love of My Life", twice using the line "I still love you". At the end of "These Are the Days of Our Lives", Mercury simply speaks those words, as he would often do in live versions of "Love of My Life".[4]

During the voyage of the space shuttle Columbia (STS-107), Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, asked to play the song. The song was played in the shuttle and Ramon said: "A special good morning to my wife, Rona, the love of my life."[5] Ramon died in the Columbia disaster shortly thereafter, during its return to the atmosphere in 2003.

Live performances[edit]

Introduced during the News of the World Tour in 1977, "Love of My Life" was such a concert favourite that Mercury frequently stopped singing and allowed the audience to take over. It was especially well received during concerts in South America, and as a result, the band released the Live Killers version of the song as a single there.[1]

After Mercury's death, Brian May has frequently dedicated the song to him in his own live performances. A notable exception is the Sheffield show which yielded the Return of the Champions CD and DVD. At that show, May announced that Mercury's mother was at the show and he dedicated the song to her instead. In the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour, May would sing a few lines of the song, then let the audience take over for every verse, as Mercury did. When played at the Glasgow SECC in the 2008 Cosmos Rocks tour, May dedicated the song to his recently deceased mother.

During Rock in Rio 6 in 2015, Queen + Adam Lambert was one of the artists to celebrate the festival's 30th anniversary. "Love of My Life" had both May singing a few lines and archive footage of Mercury performing the song during the inaugural Wembley concert in 1986.[6]

1979 live single release[edit]

"Love of My Life (Live at Festhalle Frankfurt, 2 Feb '79)"
Love of my life single.jpg
Single by Queen
from the album Live Killers
B-side"Now I'm Here" (live at Palais des Sports Lyon, 17 Feb '79)
Released29 June 1979
Format7-inch single
Recorded1979
VenueFesthalle Frankfurt
Length3:43
LabelEMI
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Queen singles chronology
"Jealousy"
(1979)
"Love of My Life (Live at Festhalle Frankfurt, 2 Feb '79)"
(1979)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(1979)

The acoustic version of the song featured on the band's 1979 album Live Killers [1] was recorded at their concert at Festhalle Frankfurt on 2 February of that year. A shortened version was released as a single in the UK and other territories, which did not include the spoken intros and outros from the album. The liner notes for the DVD release "Greatest Video Hits 1" state that although the live audio is from Frankfurt, the accompanying music video that was edited to the track consisted of footage from a 1979 Tokyo concert. In fact, the footage was filmed before one of three Tokyo concerts the band played between 23–25 April. Some bits of footage from two concerts in Paris from earlier in the year are woven in. After performing the song in South America in 1981, it was this version that reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in Argentina for an entire year.

Queen quotes[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[10] 23

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[11] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Love of My Life Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2011
  2. ^ "Top 10 Freddie Mercury Queen Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock.
  3. ^ Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock p.164. Voyageur Press. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  4. ^ Queen's Greatest Videos. Episode 1/1. 1999. 50 minutes in. Channel 4. (Roger Taylor)
  5. ^ CNN.com – Transcripts. Edition.cnn.com (24 June 2003). Retrieved on 2015-10-21.
  6. ^ "Queen repete coro de 1985 em 'Love of My Life' e lembra Freddie Mercury". Correio Braziliense (in Portuguese).
  7. ^ Queen Archives – Freddie Mercury Interview, Melody Maker 05-02-1981. Queenarchives.com. Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
  8. ^ Queen Archives – Brian May Interview, On the Record 1982. Queenarchives.com. Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
  9. ^ Love Of My Life – Queenpedia.com – Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Discography, Bibliography, Charts. Queenpedia.com (2009-08-19). Retrieved on 2015-10-21.
  10. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Italian single certifications – Queen – Love of My Life" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 8 April 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Love of My Life" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – Love of My Life". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 July 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Love of My Life in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]