Too Much Love Will Kill You

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"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
Too much love will kill you brian may single cover.jpg
Single by Brian May
from the album Back to the Light
B-side"I'm Scared"
Released1992
FormatCD single, 7"
Recorded1988–1992
Length4:26
LabelParlophone (Europe)
Hollywood (North America)
Songwriter(s)Brian May
Frank Musker
Elizabeth Lamers
Producer(s)Brian May, Justin Shirley-Smith
Brian May singles chronology
"Driven by You"
(1992)
"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
(1992)
"Back to the Light"
(1992)

"Too Much Love Will Kill You" is a song written by British guitarist Brian May of Queen, Frank Musker, and Elizabeth Lamers.[1] The song reflected the breakdown of May's first marriage and attraction to his future wife, Anita Dobson.[2] It was first recorded by Queen around 1988 or before, and was intended to be on the band's The Miracle album in 1989, but did not make the cut due to legal disputes following the band's decision that all songs on the album would be written by the group as opposed to individuals.

After Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, May arranged a solo version, which he performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992,[3] and subsequently included on his solo album Back to the Light that same year. When released as a single, it reached number five on the UK Singles Chart, number two in Belgium, and topped the charts in the Netherlands. Because it was first played publicly at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, a common misconception is that it was written as a tribute to Freddie Mercury, although it had actually been written several years before he died.

A version of this song recorded in 1989, with Mercury on vocals, was included on the band’s 1995 album Made in Heaven. Released as a single in 1996, this version was less successful than May's original version in Europe, but it did allow the song to chart in North America for the first time.

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Queen version[edit]

"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
Tmlwkyuk.jpg
Single by Queen
from the album Made in Heaven
B-side
Released26 February 1996
FormatCD single, 7"
Recorded1988–1995
Length4:20
3:52 (promo edit)
LabelParlophone (Europe)
Hollywood (North America)
Songwriter(s)Brian May
Frank Musker
Elizabeth Lamers
Producer(s)Queen
Queen singles chronology
"I Was Born to Love You"
(1996)
"Too Much Love Will Kill You"
(1996)
"Let Me Live"
(1996)

In 1995, the remaining members of Queen elected to include the original recording of "Too Much Love Will Kill You", with Mercury on vocals, on the Made in Heaven album, released four years after Mercury's death.[19] Queen's version is a power ballad characteristic of the late 1980s time period in which it was recorded, with heavy use of keyboards and electric guitar. It reached number 15 on the UK Singles Chart and number 19 on Canada's RPM Top Singles chart in 1996. Although it failed to duplicate the chart success of May's solo version, Queen's version of the song has since come to be regarded as the definitive version, after being awarded "Best Song Musically and Lyrically" at the 1997 Novello Awards (May said later that if there was one song that he would have wanted to win an award for, it was this one[1]), and being included on Queen's Greatest Hits III.[20]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995–1996) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[21] 10
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[22] 19
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[23] 25
Ireland (IRMA)[24] 28
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[25] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 15
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[27] 18

Music videos[edit]

The video for the Brian May version of the song was directed by David Mallet and features May singing the song to the camera, and is intercut with footage from various home movies. The video for the Queen version of the song was directed by DoRo and is a montage-style video of clips mainly from live performances and promo videos, and uses the Promo Edit version of the song.

Other versions[edit]

In 2003, May and Luciano Pavarotti performed a rendition of "Too Much Love Will Kill You", at the tenor's benefit concert held in Modena, Italy.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Billboard 21 Jun 1997 Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2011
  2. ^ Purvis, Georg (2012-08-24). Queen: Complete Works. Titan Books. pp. 869–871. ISBN 9781781162873. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  3. ^ The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Too Much Love Will Kill You Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Too Much Love Will Kill You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 39, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". VG-lista. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  16. ^ "jaaroverzichten 1992" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  17. ^ "JAAROVERZICHTEN - Single 1992" (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Too Much Love Will Kill You". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Too Much Love Will Kill You in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ Made in Heaven (Track 8) Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 2 July 2011
  20. ^ Brian May interview. BBC Radio 2. Broadcast 12 September 2005.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Queen – Too Much Love Will Kill You" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2892." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2879." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Too Much Love Will Kill You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Queen Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  28. ^ Pavarotti and Friends 2003; Press and News Retrieved 21 January 2011

External links[edit]