Released 3 November 2003, and achieved at least 3 times Platinum status.
Length 81 minutes (disc 1) and 144 minutes (disc 2).
1. A Kind Of Magic
2. I Want It All
3. Radio Ga Ga
4. I Want To Break Free
6. Under Pressure
8. Who Wants To Live Forever
9. The Miracle
10. It's A Hard Life
11. The Invisible Man
12. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
13. Friends Will Be Friends
14. Body Language
15. Hammer To Fall
16. Princes Of The Universe
17. One Vision
18. Hidden video : Who Wants To Live Forever (Highlander video; accessible as title 6)
1. Back Chat
2. Calling All Girls
3. Staying Power (live version)
4. One Vision (extended version)
5. Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, 1984
6. Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, 1986
7. In The Studio - The Making Of 'One Vision'
8. The Works Interviews
9. A Kind Of Magic Interviews
10. The Miracle Interviews
11. The Making Of The Miracle Videos
12. The Making Of The Miracle Album Cover
13. A Musical Prostitute (Freddie interview)
14. Hidden video: Who Wants To Live Forever (Ian & Belinda version; accessible as title 13)
Produced by Simon Lupton and Rhys Thomas
Executive Producers Brian May and Roger Taylor
Videos remastered by David Mallet
Surround sound mixes produced by Justin Shirley-Smith, engineered by Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson
Disc 2 'The Making Of One Vision' and 'The Making Of The Miracle Videos' directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher
The DVD comes in a standard plastic case with the head design from 'The Miracle'. In the UK only, for the first three months of release, it was available in an outer card slipcase, with the 'I Want To Break Free' group photo.
Whilst this is essentially a DVD reissue of 'Greatest Flix II', it loses the four tracks from 'Innuendo', but adds a number of bonus videos and additional material. Both discs also feature a single hidden track which is not mentioned anywhere on the menus or packaging. All videos feature an introductory screen, which shows the single sleeve against a black background. Both discs feature an edit of 'God Save The Queen' as the menu loads, whilst the menus themselves use 'magic noises' from 'A Kind Of Magic'.
All of the videos on the first DVD are available in stereo, surround sound, or with audio commentary by Brian and Roger. The menus feature animations based on 'The Miracle' heads, and allows you to play all titles, jump to a specific song, or change the audio setup or subtitles. The song selection is arranged over two screens, which play 'magic noises' from 'A Kind Of Magic', with short excerpts and sound effects from each song over the top.
The videos for 'Friends Will Be Friends' and 'A Kind Of Magic' are slightly different to the originally released videos (only at the end), whilst 'Las Palabras De Amor' is the full length version (previously only available as an edited version). Title 6 on disc one is a hidden video of 'Who Wants To Live Forever', which features clips from Highlander.
The second DVD adds some missing tracks, interviews and other features. The content is divided into four sub-menus, one for each represented album:
(the menu has the karaoke version of 'Under Pressure')
1. Back Chat (4 minutes)
2. Calling All Girls (4 minutes)
3. Staying Power (live) (recorded at the Milton Keynes Bowl on 5 June 1982. This was later released on 'Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl' but with slightly different footage)
(the menu has the karaoke version of 'I Want To Break Free')
1. Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, 1984 (17 minutes)
features a short interview with Brian and Roger, then Queen mime 'Radio Ga Ga', 'Tear It Up', 'It's A Hard Life' and 'I Want To Break Free' (17 minutes)
2. The Works Interviews (12 minutes)
interviews with each band member, and excerpts of 'Hammer To Fall', 'Radio Ga Ga', 'I Want To Break Free' and 'It's A Hard Life' (12 minutes)
3. 'A Musical Prostitute' (16 minutes)
this is Freddie's most famous interview, uncut, interviewed by Rudi Dolezal at Musicland Studios in Munich, 1984
(the menu has the karaoke version of 'Friends Will Be Friends')
1. Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, 1986 (17 minutes)
Queen mime 'One Vision', 'A Kind Of Magic', 'Friends Will Be Friends' and 'Hammer To Fall', and it also includes a live Singalong
2. A Kind Of Magic Interviews (12 minutes)
interviews with Freddie, Brian, Roger and John, featuring excerpts of 'A Kind Of Magic', 'Princes Of The Universe', 'Who Wants To Live Forever', 'One Year Of Love' (featuring film clips) and 'Friends Will Be Friends'
3. In The Studio - The Making Of 'One Vision' (20 minutes)
features footage filmed over a 2 week period, whilst Queen were recording the track, and has excerpts using alternative drums, vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards, and includes a Piano Solo and the 'Just For Fun' version of 'One Vision'. Most of the footage was previously available, with interviews over the top, on the 'The Magic Years - Volume I' video.
4. One Vision (extended version) (7 minutes)
despite what the sleeve notes say, this has been released before, on the 'Queen Rocks' video. The video was also later included on the 'A Kind Of Magic' 2011 iTunes LP.
(the menu has the karaoke version of 'The Miracle')
1. The Miracle Interviews (9 minutes)
interviews with Brian, Roger and John on the set of the 'Breakthru' video, featuring excerpts of 'I Want It All', 'The Invisible Man', 'Scandal' and 'The Miracle'. This was later included on 'The Miracle' 2011 iTunes LP, titled 'The Making Of The Miracle'
2. Making Of The Miracle Videos (15 minutes)
features backstage and promo video footage of 'I Want It All', 'Scandal', 'The Miracle', 'The Invisible Man' and 'Breakthru' (15 minutes)
3. The Making Of The Miracle Album Cover (5 minutes)
features interviews with designer Richard Grey and paintbox operator Richard Baker, about how the album cover was developed. It also features video excerpts of 'I Want It All', 'Breakthru' and 'The Invisible Man', with audio excerpts of 'One Vision' and 'A Kind Of Magic' (5 minutes). This was later included on 'The Miracle' 2011 iTunes LP.
'Back Chat' and 'Calling All Girls' are available in stereo, surround sound, or audio commentary, while all other content is available in stereo only. The four tracks used on the sub-menus were originally exclusive to the Japanese 'Greatest Karaoke Flix/Hits' CD, VHS and DVD.
The disc also features a hidden video of 'Who Wants To Live Forever', released in 1989 for the British Bone Marrow Donor Appeal, which features vocals by Ian Meeson and Belinda Gillett and music by Brian, Roger and John. It is not mentioned anywhere on the disc or packaging and is available as title 13.
The sleeve notes also mention a Freddie Mercury interview from 1982 and a David Bowie interview, but these are not present on either disc.
The first disc was later released as part of the 'Greatest Video Hits' release in the USA in 2012, alongside the first disc from 'Greatest Video Hits I'. Although it included the same 17 tracks, it will probably have included a new menu to match the other disc, and to remove any mention of 'Greatest Video Hits II'.
'The Works' Interviews This features various separate interviews recorded with all four members of the band in 1984. Length 11:48. [Clip of 'Hammer To Fall']
John: After the, well relatively, an unsuccessful 'Hot Space' album, there was a little bit of dis-satisfaction there, and we toured, and we didn't, nobody, we didn't have the, enjoy it so much, and we decided to take a long time off, you know, and it was quite a long time before we actually went into the studio, which gave us all a chance to get a break from each other and er, you know, for people to try other things as well, and um, it has resulted in you know, like Brian doing some solo work, Roger doing another album, Freddie starting an album, and er, in the end, I think it was, it was good for us as well, and now we're back together, I think we're more committed as a group
[Clip of 'Radio Ga Ga']
Freddie: Every album that, that's ever come out of Queen, we, we come up with a batch of songs, and we really pick the best, and if I have songs that I feel are better than somebody else's, if I have five songs that are better than one of Roger's songs, I'll say we won't have his one song, but I can remember that Roger actually wrote about three or four songs, and as far as I was concerned, some of them weren't, weren't good enough, and I just said go back and write some more, and things like that, so I mean, but, you know, then Roger will come up with something like 'Radio Ga Ga', and it's, it's perfect
Roger: My two year old son was listening to the radio and, thought it was all, he just said, oh 'radio ka ka', or something, and I had to agree, and er, and in fact, we never changed the lyric
[Clip of 'Radio Ga Ga']
Brian: Over the years, synthesisers changed, and we changed, that's all I can say, and in the beginning synthesisers were very um, mechanical, and you couldn't put no emotion in them, but having seen people like Stevie Wonder who can make the synthesisers talk and sound as you can with voice or guitar or something, then we became converted. We're not totally go over to synthesisers, but synthesisers are there for certain things, and it's fun to use those things too. And a lot of the, the, the new album, 'The Works', is a synthesis of, of the two kinds, and almost a battle between the two kinds, a battle between the machines and the humans
[Clip of 'Radio Ga Ga']
Roger: Of course, it used to be you just used to make the record, but now you've gotta make a mini-film as well, and often it's more expensive, sometimes you don't really, you know, it doesn't always, a record doesn't always suit the, the visual medium
Interviewer: Do you think it deprives the listener of some sense of imagination?
Roger: It can, it can do in a way. Um, that was something that 'Radio Ga Ga' was about, in a way, that you used to just put your, your mind, you used to make your own pictures in your mind when you listened to something, but now if there's the video, you immediately think of those visual ideas that have already been thought of by somebody else
John: It's a very important aspect of a group, really I mean their appearance as well as the music they play, um, and also I mean it just we've all changed our looks as well over the years, so er, I don't know, it's something I don't tend to get involved in as much as the rest of the others, because we all have our different areas of things we get involved in
Interviewer: But, do you still get along with the er, love that Freddie seems to have of drag queens and transvestite and all that, that gets free in the videos?
John: Oh yes, yeah, well I mean I forget, I mean that was, even on 'I Want To Break Free' which was my song, I mean I was very willing to go along, and I forget, I think Roger had the idea at first, and er, it worked very well, so it's, it's entertaining, I think it was very good, and we all had a lot of fun doing that one as well
[Clip of 'I Want To Break Free']
Freddie: I was dying to dress up in drag, doesn't everybody, but it was just one of those things, in fact it was, it wasn't my idea at all, I'm sure everybody thinks it's, it's my idea, being, being outrageous and all that
Interviewer: It was Roger's wasn't it?
Freddie: It was, I mean it came from Roger and I, I was um, and everybody thinks I bet that, in fact they asked me, how did you get the other three to get into it, in fact they ran into their frocks quicker than anything, and I said, now wait a minute, I was still wearing my high heels and um, it was just one of those things, um, it was their idea, basically, and I said yeah, let's have a go, and in fact sometimes, um, it's, it's something that would have been so obvious for me to do, but because it was their idea, it was, it sort of, it became, it came across that much better, if, I think if it was me that actually started it, it would have been very hard for them to accept the role and I don't think it would have come across
[Clip of 'I Want To Break Free']
Interviewer: Fred, it's true that the song 'I Want To Break Free' is in dedicated, ah, for the gay world
Freddie: No, not at all, not at all, that song um, to start off with that song was written by John Deacon, you know, and um, well he's a very happily married man, you know, with about four, four children, I, I don't think where you got that message from, it's got nothing to do with the gay people at all, it's, it's basically about everybody, it's just somebody who has a very um, tough life, and he just wants to break free from whatever problems he's got, it's got nothing to do with the gay thing. Besides, it's not my song anyway, John wrote it
(Interview asks the same question in Portuguese)
Freddie: I told you about that, see I'm helping you out. Next question
Interviewer: As being the leader of the band it's difficult
Freddie: I'm not the leader of the band by the way (Interviewer: no?) no, everybody calls me the leader of the band, I'm just the lead singer, and um, no, no, no, there's no such thing, I'm not the general or anything, we're all four equal people, four members and er, they seem to call me the leader of the band, but I'm just the lead vocalist
(Interview asks the same question in Portuguese)
Freddie: This time, yes, I am the leader of the group, yes, I best saw (unknown dialogue) questions up
[Clip of 'It's A Hard Life']
Freddie: Basically, I mean, in terms of video now, I like to have fun in them, because I think if you do that, it comes across, and then, you know, people can relate to that and um basically it's just me having fun and so um, I can't, you know I can't just sit in a chair and knit a blouse or whatever, I mean it's just I've got to through all these horrible sort of um, scenes and things, which is, which is what I'm all about, so um, you know they're just um, in a funny, in a funny way they're part of my life so I'm just putting them in pictures
[Clip of 'It's A Hard Life']
John: Yeah, I felt silly, and you know, it was, a, you know, weird things to do really, but, I dunno, I think really with everybody making videos, I mean, you have to try something different as well, and, and Freddie had some strong ideas, and er, in the absence of any other really good ideas, then, you know, you go with it, really, and some of them worked very well
Brian: I think it's our style, you know, if we do something then we do it to excess, and we do it as hard as we can do it, and um, yeah, it's very overblown, it's very over the top, but it's, it's fun, and we like it, that's the way we are
[Clip of 'It's A Hard Life']
Freddie: I'm, I'm a true romantic yeah, just like Rudolph Valentino, I like writing romantic songs, I've always written those, I mean, since the early days, since the first, second album, and um, I think I'll always write them, because I mean, they're a sort of part of me, and er, that doesn't mean I only write those kind of songs, I like to write all kinds of different songs, but the romantic types will always be there
[Clip of 'Hammer To Fall']
Brian: Rock music is something different from anything else, it's not just people sitting playing and, and everyone closes their eyes, you know, rock music is a complete contact
Freddie: We're aware of, of, the current trends and changes and we write accordingly, I mean Brian still you know writes in a heavy mould or whatever, and I think within, between the four of us, I mean we write very different songs, which is, which is very good
[Clip of 'Hammer To Fall']
Brian: It's like boys with toys, because you have the opportunity to do whatever you want on that stage, you know and we have the best people, the best technicians and we say 'we want this to happen here, and this to happen there' and they say 'OK, we'll find a way', you know and the people who built this rig are just so very clever and all this stuff, the lights, er, and the special effects, have never been seen before, everything is built specially, everything combined, and um, so they built the rig, which is like a, kind of like a bird, I think, you know, you can move it's wings
[Clip of 'Hammer To Fall']
Roger: I think we've realised that working is a really important thing in your life, you know, you can't just sit, sit on this and, and do nothing, it's the worst thing possible
[Clip of 'Hammer To Fall']
'A Kind Of Magic' Interviews This features various separate interviews recorded with all four members of the band in Spring 1986. Length 12:19. [Clip of 'A Kind Of Magic' and excerpts from various videos]
Interviewer: Since the release of 'The Works' in 1984, you've been relatively quiet
John: Yes, in a way, um, we did some touring last year, we did a big festival in Brazil, the Rock In Rio festival in January last year, and then later on in the year we went on, we did um, a concert in Auckland, New Zealand, and some in Australia, and some in Japan
Roger: It's strange actually, I think we, we added it up, and we, we, we added, I think between four or five concerts last year we played to almost a million people, which is, but you know, it's only a week's work, you know it's, it seems a very sort of efficient way of doing things, but um
Interviewer: You got involved in the movie 'Highlander'
[Clip from the film and 'Princes Of The Universe']
Brian: We initially said no, because um, we just didn't want to be a, we wanted a rest to be honest, and then we saw about twenty minutes cut of this 'Highlander' film and thought great, that's, that's us
John: Now, we, we had the scripts, and we went to see various, you know, quite a lot of the footage that they'd got already, and then we all went away and all tried to write songs for various bits
Brian: What actually moved me was the sort of sub-plot, the main plot is a kind of violent tale of immortals fighting each other to the death, up to the, from fifteenth century Scotland up to twentieth century New York, that's the main plot, there's a kind of sub-plot which is a tragic love story, and it comes about because the hero cannot die, but nevertheless he falls in love with people who can die, so he falls in love with this girl in the Highlands, and she gradually grows old and dies in his arms, and he has to say goodbye to her and he has to go on, it's a strange kind of tragedy, and that really came across to me very strongly, and I related it to, to my own life I suppose, and everybody's life, I thought love always does come to an end at some time, you know, and so I had this song immediately in my head, which is called 'Who Wants To Live Forever'
[Clip of 'Who Wants To Live Forever']
John: So I ended up writing a, um, a slow, another slow ballad in a six-eight, sort of er, which is called 'One Year Of Love', and that goes, that's, it's when he eventually decides to have another relationship with a woman again, 'cos he vowed he never would again because it hurt him so much the first one
[Excerpt of 'One Year Of Love', with clips from the film]
Roger: We found plenty of things in the plot to jump off on, you know, and, and to, to get song, to write songs around
Interviewer: Are you pleased that the new album though is not gonna be a complete soundtrack album?
Roger: Yes I, because I think the idea of a complete soundtrack album puts quite a lot of people off really, I think they're imagining all sorts of orchestral links which don't really do anything, and it's really, and it's really sort of, er, what's the word, um, just background music, which it isn't at all, is it, it's a very fully fledged Queen album
John: We did all the music for the film first, and they dubbed it onto the film, and when we came to do the album, we actually rearranged a lot of the tracks, made them, you know, longer, and you know, wrote more lyrics, and tried to make them into fully fledged songs, so they're um, so they stand up in their own right, er, you know without necessarily having to be with the film, you know you could actually hear them on the radio and they would sound like, you know, songs rather than actually more incidental music.
[Clip of 'A Kind Of Magic']
Freddie: We all have our own, um, ideas of how a song should be, because I mean, a song can be done in so many different ways, depending on who's doing it, but sometimes I just feel that it's not right, and like, in case of Roger's track, which is 'Magic', I mean he, he did it in a totally different way, which was quite good, but I just felt that there was another commercial streak, and I just realised that he was going away to L.A for about a week so I just got hold of it and I just changed it round completely, and when he came back I said, 'well what do you think' and he said 'oh, I like it', it's a completely different song, but, yeah something that sometimes you can see something else in other people's songs, and um, you know, I don't mind them, they do that to mine, my songs as well, they say, we all help each other in a way, but that's what then takes a lot of time
[Clip of 'A Kind Of Magic']
Freddie: The whole thing was, I mean it was like group policy, first of all the group couldn't agree on one single, because I mean it was to do with the film, and it was also to do with um, the new Queen product, because what's happened, I think for the first time in, in Queen's life, as it were, is that we've actually made a film soundtrack, but we've also made a Queen album, so we had, we had to try and let people know that it's not just a soundtrack, because we've got other songs as well, so it's very hard to try and depict that it's not all one, one soundtrack, and it's not just Queen, we had to try and bring two projects together, and so, I mean, within the members of the band as well, we were fighting as to who, who liked which song, so we couldn't agree at all, and, and basically what happened was in the end that we decided there should be two singles released simultaneously, in um, in different territories, and er, because the film is out in America first, we wanted to go with 'Princes', which goes with the film, but over here we released 'Magic' because we, we thought that if we'd released 'Princes' to go with the film, they're, they're not gonna see the film here until about July, and they're not going to know what it means, so sometimes you have to sort of get that diplomacy and work out things like that, so in America they've got 'Princes Of The Universe', over here it's 'Magic'
Roger: One of the videos for, it's a song called 'Princes Of The Universe' which is about the people, not about us, it's about the people in, in the film who are immortal, um, we, we shot that video using bits of the film, but we sort of integrated the two, er, by using Chris Lambert, and er, so he's sort of, he's in the film, then he suddenly strolls and he's on stage with us, and has a sword fight with Freddie and things, which is a nice way of integrating the film in a little bit, and instead of just cutting bits of film
[Clip of 'Princes Of The Universe']
Roger: I find that most actors are just frustrated rock 'n' roll stars, I know Chris Lambert is, and John Hurt's told me that loads of times, he's a rocker really, you know, and would love to be a rock 'n' roll star, odd really, isn't it. Most rock 'n' roll stars wanna be actors
Interviewer: I was wondering if you're gonna come back
Roger: Most are really bad it at as well
Freddie: To start off it was a Queen um, project as such anyway, but we did only, only like five tracks um, to go in the film, and there's about nine tracks now, is it nine, yes, about eight, yes about nine tracks, so those additional tracks, which are not in the film, so it is a Queen, a new Queen album anyway
[Clip of 'Friends Will Be Friends']
Freddie: I don't know what Queen stands for, I think that, by now I think it's, it's, it's four writers that write very different songs, and like um, I mean John's been writing quite a lot now, and he just writes in that one area which he likes, which is almost like a Tamla Motown, or the sort of, and I love that, 'cos I love to sing on songs like that, so he's very different, I mean you could never call his songs heavy or anything, I think Queen just write four very different types of songs, so like Brian writes from the guitar, so we have that element, and then Roger, I think writes from the drums, or whatever, and he, he sort of crosses over a lot, so we have all kinds of things
Brian: I don't know where our moti-, our motivation comes from really, um, except I think we're all still trying to use this beast which Queen is as a vehicle to get our own ideas across, and we all write very different kinds of songs, and it's quite a challenge to get them through this kind of machinery and get them out, it's hard to explain, but for instance for myself, if I write a song, which has a particular idea behind it, and I can hear it in my head, I've then got to take it to the other three, and they will see it totally differently and want to do it in a different way, and some of their input will be very good and very necessary, and some of it will probably actually destroy the meaning of the song, so you've gotta be, there's all this interaction going on all the time, and the motivation, the challenge, is to actually get something across in the right way, that moves people
Freddie: The question is like, you've achieved everything, what else is there? But the thing is, I have nothing else to do, I mean I, I don't know, you know I can't become a chef or something, you know, I don't know how to cook, so I have to sort of, and I know I can stop um, doing that and just live on my money, but I'm not that kind of person, I want to work, because I mean I'll get so bored, you know, I'd be so bored, and so I was thinking that, I know there will be a time where I can't run around on the stage, because it'll be, it'd be ridiculous, you know, I mean I know when, there comes a time when you have to stop, but music will still be my thing, so I mean I have to think in terms of what I can do, so maybe I'll go into production, or I'll still write songs, because I mean you can be quite old, and not have, you can be, you might not have the physical fitness to run around on stage, but you can still write songs, so one way or other, the music side is always going to be in my life, you know
[Clip of 'Friends Will Be Friends']
'The Miracle' Interviews This features various separate interviews recorded with Brian, Roger and John on the set of the 'Breakthru' video in May 1989. Length 8:22.
This feature was later included on 'The Miracle' 2011 iTunes LP, titled 'The Making Of The Miracle'.
At the very end, the feature includes about a second of Jonathan Ross introducing Queen from the 1989 'Goodbye To The Eighties' programme, possibly a clue to an unused featurette. [Clip of 'I Want It All' and excerpts from various promo videos]
Roger: Yes, it is our first studio album since 1986, um, I think that the reason for, for the delay, no, not the delay, for the long wait in between was that we wanted to sort of go away, and just recharge our batteries, quite logical really, and er, and just sort of generate some, some new energy and enthusiasm for, for being Queen
John: After we did the, the tour in 1986, which was a very big European tour, we were all absolutely exhausted, and shattered, and basically we didn't want to really work together or see each other for a while
Roger: To get into the whole cycle of er, just making an album, then going on tour, then coming back home and making an album again, we wanted to get out of that
Brian: We said right, we'll take a little break, we're not, we're not going to split up, but we just er, we need some space for ourselves, and when the time is right, we'll make the album, rather than, you know, somebody says you've got to make one so we make one, so we waited, and we did some, did various other things, you know, Freddie and Roger both did solo projects, and I'm half way through one, and did a lot of producing
John: That took at least a year to a year and a half, and then towards the end of that second year, er, we sort of met up, and Freddie suggested, I think it was Freddie, perhaps we'd try a little time in the studio
Roger: So we went into the studio, saw what it was like, and we enjoyed it very much, and we still didn't have any material, so then we decided to go in for the long, for a long, longer time
John: You know, the third year was spent making the album, so the, in a way it was a two year gap to us, rather than three years, and er, and what was the, I've forgotten the second part of the question already
Interviewer: Did it help you to return to the studios feeling refreshed?
John: Yes (laughter) yes
[Clip of 'I Want It All']
John: The first few weeks of the recording we did a lot of live, er, material, a lot of songs um, ideas came up, some jamming, we had a few ideas that were already prepared, er, 'I Want It All' was one of the, one of the few songs that was actually, written before we went in
[Clip of 'I Want It All']
Brian: It's basically the four of us, it's, there's a, if we ever deviated from that then we certainly came back to it, you know, it's just the four of us um, on the record, and there's guitars, bass, drums and vocals, and nowadays there's a few synthesisers and samplers and stuff thrown in, but er, we made a very conscious decision that the technology wasn't gonna take us over, and we were gonna keep the human element as far to the front as we could, and use the technology to preserve and augment that
[Clip of 'The Invisible Man']
Brian: Although it's a very techno-aware album, hopefully there's a lot of humanity in there as well, we think so, we think it's very exciting, because we, as I say we, we felt um, we're enjoying what we're doing, and the sounds reflect us as a group, more than they have done the last few albums, you know, it's, it's not like sit down with a drum machine and a synthesiser, you know we've played together and evolved things which seemed to excite us, and then built everything around that
[Clip of 'The Invisible Man']
Roger: We seem to work together better now than we did before, we're fairly um, fairly up and down characters, um, we're all very different, and we have different, er, tastes in many ways, and um, I'm going adrift here, um, yeah, and we used to have lots of arguments in the studio, and, but this time we decided for a start to share all the songwriting, which I think was a very um, democratic and good idea, you know, because then you get, you get decisions are made on artistic merit, rather than er, than sort of either financial or ego grounds, you know, so everybody wrote everything is the, is the line
John: The main component is the fact it's the same four people, and er, you know, it's Roger, Brian, myself and Freddie, (laughter), no it's OK, come on
Interviewer: We'll do the question again
Brian: He's lying
Voice: We can all come through
Interviewer: And then we'll do it again when the (laughter)
[Clip of 'Scandal']
John: Of course we fall out, er, we have patches where we don't want to see each other or, but we seem to be able to get over it, and you know, if we take time off, and keep, you know, I mean, in a way now, it's um, embarrassing to say, but it is, it is eighteen years since I first met the other three, I mean they were actually formed together and had the band Queen, and er, well I think they had one or two other bass players, er, but that is eight, eighteen years ago, which is a, a long, long time, but that I think is the secret in a way, that personality wise everybody er, knows each other, and we can actually understand each other
[Clip of 'The Miracle']
John: Two or three weeks before we finished we were gonna, it was gonna be called 'The Invisible Men', but then we changed it to 'The Miracle', it's a, it's a bit of a heavy title in a way, but it was um, it was from, from one song, I think the sentiment is, is, is quite nice in a way, er, a bit naive in some ways, but it's, reasonably, reasonably genuine, er, but mainly it's entertainment, and if people get pleasure out of it and enjoy it, then that's the main point
Roger: It's a very rounded album, I think it's quite mature, it's got, it's eclectic, and it's got a lot of hard arsed great guitar on it, um, I'd say go out and buy it
Brian: I guess when people see 'The Miracle' I want them to see the cover, and see four people almost indistinguishable from each other, and I'd like them, I'd like them to feel that inside that wrapper there is a group who has almost the same feeling, it's a very closely knit group, and we're very much alive, and we're very much out there again, and er, we wanna make you smile
[Clip of 'The Miracle']
'A Musical Prostitute' Freddie Mercury Interview This is Freddie's most famous interview, recorded at Musicland Studios, Munich, in early 1984, interviewed by Rudi Dolezal. Length 15:27. Rudi: (Dialogue in German) How does it feel, at the end of a day like that, do you like your job, in the evening like that?
Freddie: I love my job, but I hate talking to people like you
Freddie: No I didn't mean it, I love it right now, because I said earlier on, you're the last person I'm talking to, so, you'll probably get the best interview darling, don't worry
Rudi: I mean the whole thing like this afternoon when you have to talk to so many journalists, what
Freddie: Well, it's, it's part, it's part of my job, so I have to do it, but I don't do it that often, so I mean it's like, this is the first kind of press conference we've had for a long while, you know, three, four, five years maybe, so, I don't mind it, if I had to do this every day, forget it
Rudi: Do you sometimes have the feeling that I mean, obviously people are asking the same questions all the time, that it's (Freddie: they always do) that your music is your statement (Freddie: they always do) and not, not the topic
Freddie: No, no, I think that's, it's more than music, you know, we're personalities so you talk about more than music, I mean if, if all you talked about was music, depending on if you're a music paper, then you talk about music, but there's more to us than just writing songs, I mean, we do other things and we have characters and er, depends what you talk about, so I don't mind it, you know, and, and of course people ask the same questions, because some, some of the questions are current and they want to know about the same things, so ask me about my solo album then, huh?
Rudi: Yeah, what about your solo album?
Freddie: Oh, it's great
Rudi: Of course it is. Does it sound different?
Freddie: Yes, it's sounds, hopefully it sounds, it's not finished yet, see, so I don't know how it's gonna come out, but um, at the moment I've, I've worked on it for about two months, two or three months, and um, I was supposed to finish it before the Queen tour, but um, I needed a bit more time, and um, it's sounding good, I've got, it's nice to actually play with different people, because I've always played with Queen all the time, and er, so I had a, you know there's a drummer from, a session drummer from Munich, and a guitarist from Munich, so basically all German players, and um, it's, it's made my songs song different, you know
Rudi: To people outside it sometimes feels funny that, or special that are so many solo projects whereas the band is still going as well on the side. Ah, how would you analyse the, the influence of the solo stuff for the band, when you come back together again, is that an advantage that you're four strong writers who also do stuff on your own, or does it
Freddie: Yes, I think, I think um, in, in a funny way I thought because, um I think this is one of the few groups that all four members write, and I thought that we'd be doing solo albums much before this, but I think um, in a funny way, when you do a, a, a Queen album, they're like four solo projects within themselves anyway, because I mean I have my bunch of songs, Brian has his, and Roger and John, and so it's, it's like four little solo projects working side by side, and then we put them all together, so I think that's the reason that we didn't actually go and, and do, um, solo projects earlier on, I mean if we were write, if we were writing all the same kind of songs then we would have get, gotten, fed up and said, 'oh I want to do my solo album first', but we're all writing different songs, so it, it keeps us interested, so, for what, about thirteen years or whatever, you know, that was interesting enough for us to carry on, and as far I was concerned, all Queen albums were little solo projects anyway, I was writing my kind of songs that I wanted, but now I think the time has come when I want a whole album of my own, and Roger's done two already, so, I think most people thought that I would be the first one to, to have a solo album and then the band would, you know, Queen would break up and all that, but, um, here you are, after thirteen years, the four old, four old ladies are still rocking away
Rudi: What about the, the actual work in the studio when you four come together and everybody wants to, to bring his side of songs (Freddie: yeah that happens all the time, yeah), it sounds like having also (Freddie: it's like a cockfight, isn't it), yeah
Freddie: Yeah, four cocks fighting, cor, it's getting nice this. You know the funny thing is, this, this sort of happened almost when we met, the four of us, and it's, it's just, you wouldn't believe it, I mean people think that OK, now they're fighting, we fought on virtually the first day because we used to know each other from university and all that, and we used to fight about um, um, musical, um, um, ideas and this and that because we're all very strong characters, you know, and we all have egos and all that, so we always kept fighting, but I think the fighting seems to keep us together, because, um, I think sometimes, I think bands break up when there's one very strong person and the others, and the others get left out and they think 'OK God, this arsehole's just too strong and we want to join another band', but the four of us are real, actually I can't say these four letter words, huh, we're very strong individually, so we just keep er, going at each other and I think the reason we've stayed together for so long is just none of us want to leave, because, I mean if you leave, it's like being a coward, and going out, so we still keep going and um. As long as the music is still there, and as long as the people are still buying the music then, then it's OK. When they stop buying our records then I'll say goodbye, and do something else. Become a strip artist or something
Rudi: Yeah, what, to what music you would strip, what music would you use?
Freddie: All the songs I've written, like, come on
Rudi: Announcing a tour like that, if you think of the tour life that's ahead of you, is that a pleasant, um, imagination, or do you hate tour life basically?
Freddie: What, the, the touring?
Rudi: Touring and all this
Freddie: It depends, I mean, this tour, I'm looking forward to it, because we haven't done it for two years, there was a time where we were doing tours so extensively, because I mean we would, we would go into a studio, make an album, and then tour the world, and then we'd go back, and that was the routine, I mean, I didn't have any time to actually break away, and we virtually did that for about eight or nine years, and that's why the last couple of years, we, we wanted to break away from that format, because I was getting very bored, and so were the others, and just to get away and, and do different things, and think about certain things, and um, so this tour I'm looking forward to it, because we haven't toured and er, we can do different things, it's gonna be a bit, it's gonna be fresh, yeah, and um, otherwise, there were tours I hated because I mean we used to do American tours that lasted for three or four months and towards the end it was just terrible, I just never wanted to go on a stage again, 'cos after a while the songs sounded very, you know, and if you're doing it for three months you have to say, do the same routine, and yeah, you just need time away so you can get freshness into it, and I think that, that probably happens to everybody
Rudi: What's the fresh element now in, in the new tour that you're doing?
Freddie: It's me, it's my costume. No, it's just um, it's new I mean, I, ah, the one thing, element that I like on this tour is that we are actually gonna go all the way back and do songs from all the old albums as well, because I mean, so that I think anybody coming to see Queen this time is gonna get a little piece of all the albums, so I mean there are times where somebody comes to a show and say 'oh, they didn't anything from this album' or whatever, of course we can't do, um, all the songs from thirteen albums, we'd be there for two days, but um, I think what we're doing is we're gonna take, even if it's one song from one album, or two from each, we're not gonna leave any album out, so, I think that, um, that to me is, is fun, because we've been practising some of the early stuff, I mean we were practising 'Keep Yourself Alive' and 'Liar' from the first album, and, um, it made me think, you know, that about thirteen years ago we were doing this, and er, at that time I had long hair and black fingernails and make-up and everything, the kind of thing that Boy George is doing right now, and to think that I'd, sort of, still be singing those songs it sort of uh, makes me sound old, doesn't it? (Rudi: well) I don't look too bad for thirty seven, I tell you
Rudi: Do you have the feeling that a lot of people are imitating because you mentioned Boy George, do you have the feeling that you see them come and go, while, while your career is, is, is going on, you know, so many new bands
Freddie: I don't, I don't think Boy George is gonna come and go, I think Boy George is gonna be here for a long while. There always has, I mean there's, there's always people that come up like that and for me you can always tell somebody who's gonna stay, and some, and Boy George is gonna stay. I dunno, what do you think?
Rudi: Yes, I think so too, if, but the question is what will he wear in ten years?
Freddie: Oh that's, doesn't matter, I mean, you know (laughter). That's the least of his problems, I should think, you know
Rudi: What does it mean to you, I mean, I talk to Keith Richards recently and he said the most important thing in his career was when he realised that being on stage and being admired by young kids is not the answer to life. Did you have a similar experience once when you first of all thought that's it and then you're, and that from a certain stage you're thinking of something else that's
Freddie: No, the most important thing to me is to be happy, to be honest, to have fun, and depending on how, whatever I do, I mean, of course music is important to me, and, because that's my life, and er, as long as, I mean I can er, I'll carry on as long as I, I write music and people want to buy it. That's important to me, but I mean, that's not the be all and the end all, I mean I just, er, they're very sort of, to me, happy, happy, happiness is, is, is the most important thing, and if I'm happy, then it shows in my work, and, and, so basically I just want to be happy and um, make a lot of money and, and buy a lot of things, especially in Vienna
Rudi: Yeah, antique (unknown dialogue) yep, just a moment. Um, you were also recording something with Michael Jackson that was not released yet, I think the song is even called 'Victory', is that true?
Freddie: That's right, yeah, um, I've done, um, I've done like three tracks with him, and that was about a year ago, longer than that, and um, yes 'Victory' was one of the songs, but he wanted to use the, the title for the Jacksons thing, but the song is still, still there, and it's probably just waiting until the two of us get together and finish it
Rudi: You haven't finished it yet?
Freddie: And um, no, I mean, it's just because he has commitments, I have commitments, and ah, it's very difficult, I mean, he's on tour, I'm going on tour, and you've got this sort of um, you know it's very difficult when two different, you know, musicians trying to get together, I mean they have, he has to do his stuff, and er, it's just that when I was, um, spending some time in L.A and we're friends, he said 'oh why don't we try something', so I mean, one day it, it'll probably be finished, and um, well the other song is called 'State Of Shock' which I, which I did, and Mick Jagger's on it because, but it's all OK because um, Michael called me up and said 'look, I want to finish the song, I want it on The Jacksons album', and I said I can't come over because I'm in Munich, and he said 'well, is it OK if, if, Michael, if, if Mick does it', so I said fine, you know, songs are songs, I mean, as long as our friendship carries on we can er, write all kinds of songs after that
Rudi: With what other people would, could you think of co-operating like you did with Bowie, and Jackson, on this unreleased stuff? What other people who are interesting to you
Freddie: No it depends, I mean I just um, I don't, I don't sort of think of those things, I mean sometimes you just meet friends and er, if you, if you think about er, doing a song together you talk about that, otherwise that's not what I think about all the time, I mean they're, Elton and I have been friends for a long time, but we never, we've actually sort of said to each other one day we probably go in there together and, and, and write a song, but it's, it's, it's better being friends, you know what I mean, and er, and the thing about it is, is spontaneity, so I mean, it's just er, if it happens that we're talking and suddenly we say 'oh, let's go in the studio and do it', that's the best thing, and that's what happened with David Bowie, we were just, he was just around, we were having dinner for a couple of days and we, we were recording in the studio and he just said 'oh, maybe I'll come in and just see what happens', so it wasn't planned, if it's planned then it's boring, because then it's just, and we were just going in there and, fooling around to see what happens, and suddenly there's this song started taking shape and we said 'oh that's quite nice, let's work on it a bit' and um, the result of that was 'Under Pressure' so. I'm not really um, I don't get up every morning and say OK which, who am I gonna work with today, that, those kind of things don't work
Rudi: How would you describe your, yourself as an artist, would you say that you're a very organised person, very spontaneous person, or how would you say?
Freddie: No, myself as an artist, I'm just a musical prostitute, my dear (laughter) that's basically that
Rudi: Organised, you know?
Freddie: Oh, who cares? Disorganised and organised, that's an asshole question to ask anybody, it's just um, I dunno, I'm just me, you know, I'm just me, I'm very disorganised at times and I'm organised at times, and um, I'm just me
Rudi: What emotions do you have when you see old stuff, for example like you mentioned before with long hair and black fingernails
Freddie: When I see myself? (Rudi: yes) Oh dear, I want to tear them all up, I just think um, I actually laugh at myself, but I know that it was something that you had to do, I think someone like Boy George in, in about five or ten years time is gonna look and say 'oh my God, did I really look that?', but he knows that it was, it was relevant at the time, and it was right, and er, and I think, I don't regret any of the things I did, it's just that I laugh, I mean, what did you look like ten years ago?
Rudi: Horrible, yeah
Freddie: Do you look at your pictures and...? (Rudi: yes) Well there you are then. So I mean I just think, er, I just think, er, and it's, it's a process of growing, growing up, you know, to experience and er, I just think at this point in time I think that if I have long hair and, and fingernails and wearing the things, I would look ridiculous... I mean I looked ridiculous then, but it worked (laughter), but it was alright then so, er, it's just, it's just, it's just growing up and, and getting experience
Rudi: If you look at, at other members of the band, I know it's a, it's a, difficult question, but what do you think every single member does contribute to the special chemistry that, that Queen in the end, is this?
Freddie: What do I think, what they give? Well, it's hard to sort of pinpoint those things, because I mean, we certainly have an, an ingredient between the four of us otherwise it wouldn't have worked, especially for this long, and um, we all have a role to play, but I couldn't tell you what, what it was, I mean it's just, the only thing I could tell you is that, is, the reason is because we're diverse, we're four different characters coming from and that's, that's why I think it's worked, not two of us are, are the same, I mean, so that, you know, we all like totally different things, but we come together, it's a, it's a chemistry that works, and I couldn't tell you what it was, because I mean who can, it's just something that, that seems to fit, and that's what good bands are made of, you know, and we're good
Rudi: OK, thank you very much