The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

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The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness
Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert poster.jpg
Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert poster
Genre Benefit concert
Dates20 April 1992
Location(s) Wembley Stadium, London, England
Years active1992
Founded by Brian May
Roger Taylor
John Deacon

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was a benefit concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, England for an audience of 72,000. [1] The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world, with an audience of up to one billion. [2] [3] The concert was a tribute to Queen's lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS on 24 November 1991. The show marked bassist John Deacon's final full-length concert with Queen (save a short live appearance with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Elton John in 1997). The profits from the concert were used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity organisation.

Benefit concert type of musical benefit performance

A benefit concert or charity concert is a type of musical benefit performance featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis.

Easter Monday day after Easter Sunday

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is a holiday in some countries. Easter Monday in the Western Christian liturgical calendar is the second day of Eastertide and analogously in the Byzantine Rite is the second day of Bright Week.

Wembley Stadium (1923) former stadium in London, England which opened in 1923

The original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium in Wembley Park, London, which stood on the same site now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The demolition in 2003 of its famous Twin Towers upset many people worldwide. Debris from the stadium was used to make the Northala Fields in Northolt, London.

Contents

History

Following Freddie Mercury's death on 24 November 1991 from bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS, the remaining members of Queen (John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor) came together with their manager Jim Beach to organise a concert to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury, and to raise money for AIDS research and spread awareness about the disease. [4] In February 1992, at the annual BRIT Awards ceremony, May and Taylor announced plans for the concert. When tickets finally went on sale, all 72,000 tickets sold out in just three hours, even though no performers were announced apart from remaining members of Queen. [4]

Freddie Mercury British singer-songwriter and record producer

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music, and was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Queen (band) British rock band

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

John Deacon British musician

John Richard Deacon is an English retired musician, best known for being the bass guitarist for the rock band Queen. He composed several songs for the group—including Top 10 hits "You're My Best Friend", "Another One Bites the Dust", "Back Chat", and "I Want to Break Free"—and was involved in the band's financial management.

Concert

"Good evening Wembley and the world. We are here tonight to celebrate the life, and work, and dreams, of one Freddie Mercury. We're gonna give him the biggest send off in history!"

 —Queen guitarist Brian May. [5]

The concert opened with a message from the three remaining members of Queen in tribute to Mercury. [5] The music then commenced with short sets from bands that were influenced by the music of Queen, including Metallica, Extreme (playing a Queen medley), Def Leppard (who brought Brian May onstage for a version of "Now I'm Here"), and Guns N' Roses. Between bands, several video clips honouring Freddie Mercury were shown while roadies changed the stage for the following act's performance.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Extreme (band) band

Extreme is an American rock band, currently headed by frontman Gary Cherone and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. The band reached the height of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s with original line-up Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Paul Geary and Patrick Badger.

Def Leppard British band

Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. This is the band's longest lasting line-up.

The second half of the concert featured the three remaining Queen members – John Deacon (on bass), Brian May (on guitar) and Roger Taylor (on drums) – along with guest singers and guitarists, including Elton John, Roger Daltrey (of The Who), Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), David Bowie, Mick Ronson (of Spiders from Mars), James Hetfield (of Metallica), George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin), Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (of Def Leppard), Axl Rose and Slash (of Guns N' Roses), Liza Minnelli, and others. Via satellite from Sacramento, California, U2 dedicated a live performance of "Until the End of the World" to Mercury. [6]

Brian May English musician and astrophysicist

Brian Harold May, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He uses a home-built electric guitar called the Red Special. His compositions for the band include "We Will Rock You", "Tie Your Mother Down", "I Want It All", "Fat Bottomed Girls", "Flash", "Hammer to Fall", "Save Me", "Who Wants to Live Forever", and "The Show Must Go On".

Roger Taylor (Queen drummer) English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist

Roger Meddows Taylor is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the drummer for the rock band Queen. As a drummer, Taylor was recognised early in his career for his unique sound. He was voted by radio listeners as the eighth-greatest drummer in classic rock music history in a poll conducted by Planet Rock in 2005.

Elton John English rock singer-songwriter, composer and pianist

Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive number one albums in the U.S., 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10, four which reached number two and nine which reached number one. His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and U.S. singles charts. He has also composed music, produced records, and has occasionally acted in films.

Home releases

The concert was originally released in VHS form (usually in two tape releases worldwide), but due to time limitations, "Love of My Life" and "More Than Words" by Extreme, "Animal" and "Let's Get Rocked" by Def Leppard, Spinal Tap's "The Majesty of Rock", U2's "Until The End of the World", Mango Groove's "Special Star" and Robert Plant's version of "Innuendo" were removed in the original release. The US release also omitted Bob Geldof's performance of "Too Late God", and Zucchero Fornaciari's performance of "Las Palabras de Amor".

Mango Groove is an 11-piece South African Afropop band whose music fuses pop and township music—especially marabi and kwela.

Bob Geldof Irish singer-songwriter, author and political activist

Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof, is an Irish singer-songwriter, author, political activist and occasional actor. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement. The band had Number One hits with his compositions "Rat Trap" and "I Don't Like Mondays". Geldof co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?", one of the best-selling singles of all time, and starred in Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as "Pink".

Zucchero Fornaciari Italian singer and songwriter

Adelmo FornaciariCavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI, more commonly known by his stage name Zucchero Fornaciari or simply Zucchero, is an Italian singer-songwriter and musician, with an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. His stage name, Zucchero, is the Italian word for "sugar", as his elementary teacher used to call him. His music is largely inspired by gospel, soul, blues and rock music, and alternates between Italian ballads and more rhythmic R&B-boogie-like pieces. He is credited as the "father of Italian blues", introducing blues to the big stage in Italy. He is one of the few European blues artists who still enjoy great international success.

In April 2002, for the 10th anniversary of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the second half of the concert featuring the performances by the surviving members of Queen was released on DVD and entered the UK charts at number 1. [7] "Innuendo" was not included on the DVD, at the request of Robert Plant. In addition, the original 4:3 footage had been cropped down to widescreen.

Innuendo (song) song by Queen

"Innuendo" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor but credited to Queen, it is the opening track on the album of the same name, and was released as the first single from the album. The single went straight to Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1991.

Robert Plant English singer of Led Zeppelin

Robert Anthony Plant is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Plant is regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in the history of rock music.

On 24 June 2013, Queen announced on their Facebook page that a new remastered version of the concert would be released in late 2013 on DVD and Blu-Ray. [8] The DVD and Blu-Ray was released on 2 September 2013. Like the earlier, VHS release, this version excludes Extreme's "Love of My Life" and "More Than Words", Def Leppard's "Animal" and "Let's Get Rocked", Spinal Tap, U2 and Mango Groove from the opening acts segment of the show, and Robert Plant's "Innuendo" from the Queen+ segment of the show.

Clips of rehearsals and of Metallica's set (as well as James Hetfield's performance of Stone Cold Crazy with Queen and Tony Iommi) were featured in the 1992 documentary A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica.

Several songs from the concert have also been released in audio-only format:

Performances

Without Queen

  1. Metallica – "Enter Sandman", "Sad but True", "Nothing Else Matters"
  2. Extreme – Queen Medley, "Love of My Life", "More Than Words" (Gary Cherone & Nuno Bettencourt)
  3. Def Leppard – "Animal", "Let's Get Rocked", "Now I'm Here" (with Brian May)
  4. Bob Geldof – "Too Late God"
  5. Spinal Tap – "The Majesty of Rock"
  6. U2 – "Until the End of the World" – played via satellite from Sacramento, California
  7. Guns N' Roses – "Paradise City", "Only Women Bleed", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
  8. Mango Groove – "Special Star" – played via satellite from Johannesburg, South Africa
  9. Elizabeth Taylor – AIDS Prevention Speech
  10. Freddie Mercury – compilation of various interactions with the audience

With Queen

  1. Queen + Joe Elliott & Slash – "Tie Your Mother Down"
  2. Queen + Roger Daltrey & Tony Iommi – "Heaven and Hell" (intro), "Pinball Wizard" (intro), "I Want It All"
  3. Queen + Zucchero – "Las Palabras de Amor"
  4. Queen + Gary Cherone & Tony Iommi – "Hammer to Fall"
  5. Queen + James Hetfield & Tony Iommi – "Stone Cold Crazy"
  6. Queen + Robert Plant – "Innuendo" (including parts of "Kashmir"), "Thank You" (intro), "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
  7. Brian May + Spike Edney – "Too Much Love Will Kill You"
  8. Queen + Paul Young – "Radio Ga Ga"
  9. Queen + Seal – "Who Wants to Live Forever"
  10. Queen + Lisa Stansfield – "I Want to Break Free"
  11. Queen + David Bowie & Annie Lennox – "Under Pressure"
  12. Queen + Ian Hunter, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Joe Elliott & Phil Collen – "All the Young Dudes"
  13. Queen + David Bowie & Mick Ronson – "Heroes"
  14. David Bowie – "Lord's Prayer"
  15. Queen + George Michael – "'39"
  16. Queen + George Michael & Lisa Stansfield – "These Are the Days of Our Lives"
  17. Queen + George Michael – "Somebody to Love"
  18. Queen + Elton John & Axl Rose – "Bohemian Rhapsody" Using the same light show as The Magic Tour from 1986 for the opera section and vocals played from a tape using the original 1970's studio recording featuring Freddie Mercury.
  19. Queen + Elton John & Tony Iommi – "The Show Must Go On"
  20. Queen + Axl Rose – "We Will Rock You"
  21. Queen + Liza Minnelli supported by everyone else who performed at the concert – "We Are the Champions"
  22. Queen – "God Save the Queen" (taped outro)

Queen's activity

Guest musicians

Backing musicians

Queen were backed by the following musicians:

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The Magic Tour was Queen's final tour with their lead singer Freddie Mercury and their bass guitarist John Deacon, with 26 concert dates in Europe in 1986. The band would not tour again until 19 years later, when the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour began in 2005, after the death of Mercury on 24 November 1991, and the retirement of Deacon in 1997. The Magic Tour supported the band's album A Kind of Magic.

References

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  2. Freddie Mercury: The Tribute Concert ABC Television (20 August 2007). Retrieved 29 August 2011
  3. LG. "Queen - Royal Legend: Discography: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert VHS". queen.musichall.cz.
  4. 1 2 Freddie Mercury Tribute The Times. Retrieved 27 August 2011
  5. 1 2 Queen Introduction: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 27 August 2011
  6. 1992 The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 29 August 2011
  7. The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (Special 10th Anniversary Reissue) Retrieved 25 May 2011
  8. "Queen". www.facebook.com.