|The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness|
Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert poster
|Dates||20 April 1992|
|Location(s)||Wembley Stadium, London, England|
|Founded by|| Brian May |
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.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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.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.
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 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 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.
—Queen guitarist Brian May.
The concert opened with a message from the three remaining members of Queen in tribute to Mercury.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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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".
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."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" 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 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.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:
Queen were backed by the following musicians:
Mott the Hoople are an English rock band with strong R&B roots, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid-1970s. They are best known for the song "All the Young Dudes", written for them by David Bowie and appearing on their 1972 album of the same name.
"Under Pressure" is a 1981 song by the British rock band Queen and British singer David Bowie. It was included on Queen's 1982 album Hot Space. The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Queen's second number-one hit in their home country and Bowie's third. The song only peaked at No. 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1982, and would re-chart for one week at No. 45 in the US following Bowie's death in January 2016. It was also number 31 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s. It was voted the second best collaboration of all time in a poll by Rolling Stone.
Innuendo is the fourteenth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 5 February 1991 by Parlophone in the United Kingdom and it is the band's first studio album to be released by Hollywood Records in the United States. Produced by David Richards and the band, it was the band's last album to be released in lead singer Freddie Mercury’s lifetime, and their most recent one to be composed of entirely new material. It reached the No. 1 spot on the UK album charts and stayed at that position for two weeks, and also peaked at No. 1 in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, staying at No. 1 for three weeks, four weeks, six weeks, and eight weeks, respectively. It was the first Queen album to go Gold in the US upon its release since The Works in 1984.
Joseph Thomas Elliott, Jr. is an English singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Def Leppard. He has also been the lead singer of the David Bowie tribute band the Cybernauts and the Mott the Hoople cover band Down 'n' Outz. He is one of the two original members of Def Leppard and one of the three to perform on every Def Leppard album.
"Stone Cold Crazy" is a song by British rock band Queen from their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack. The song is the eighth track on the album. Although the song was not released as a single at the time, it was played live at almost every Queen concert from 1974 to 1978. "Stone Cold Crazy" also features on the band's 1992 compilation album, Classic Queen.
"These Are the Days of Our Lives" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Although credited to the whole band, it was largely written by their drummer Roger Taylor, and is the eighth track on the band's 1991 album Innuendo.
Yeah! is the ninth studio album by English hard rock Def Leppard. It is the first cover album by the band. It was originally to be released on 20 September 2005, but it was announced on 31 March 2006 that the album would be released on 23 May 2006. The album charted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and No. 52 on the UK Albums Chart.
"The Show Must Go On" is a song by the British rock band Queen, featured as the twelfth and final track on their 1991 album Innuendo. It is credited to Queen, and written by all four members. The song chronicles the effort of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life, although his diagnosis with HIV/AIDS had not yet been made public in spite of ongoing media speculation claiming that he was seriously ill. Mercury was so ill when the band recorded the song in 1990 that May had concerns as to whether he was physically capable of singing it. Recalling Mercury's performance, May states; "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing.' And he went, 'I'll fucking do it, darling' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."
"All the Young Dudes" is a song written by David Bowie, originally recorded and released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972. In 2004, Rolling Stone rated "All the Young Dudes" No. 253 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and on its 2010 update was ranked at number 256. It is also one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
"Somebody to Love" is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by the lead singer/pianist Freddie Mercury. It debuted on the band's 1976 album A Day at the Races and was also featured on their 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits.
"I Want It All" is a song by British rock band Queen, featured on their 1989 studio album The Miracle. Written by guitarist and backing vocalist Brian May and produced by David Richards, it was released as the first single from the album on 2 May 1989. "I Want It All" reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, the Irish Singles Chart, the Finnish Singles Chart, the New Zealand Singles Chart, and the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. On the Hot 100, the song reached number 50. Elsewhere, it reached number two in the Netherlands, number four in Italy and Norway, and the top 10 in Australia, Germany, and Switzerland.
David Victor Mark Mallet is a British director. Mallet rose to prominence in the late 1970s as a director of the then new format of music videos with the hugely successful enterprise MGMM he co-founded with Scott Millaney, Brian Grant and Russell Mulcahy. He is noted for his innovative work on hugely popular music videos in the 1980s, becoming one of the decade's most sought-after directors for this format. His work includes Iron Maiden's Run to the Hills, David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" and "Let's Dance", Rush's "Distant Early Warning", and Queen's "Radio Ga Ga" and "I Want to Break Free" videos. He has also served as a producer on television programmes including The Kenny Everett Video Show. He is also known for directing some concert recordings of soprano Sarah Brightman and other major live music and spectacle events such as 46664 and Cirque du Soleil. He has also directed such prominent concerts as Pink Floyd's Pulse and U2's PopMart: Live from Mexico City.
"Now I'm Here" is a song by the British rock band Queen. The sixth song on their third album, Sheer Heart Attack (1974), it was written by lead guitarist Brian May. The song is noted for its hard riff and vocal harmonies. In the UK, the song reached #11 on the charts when released as a single in 1975. The song was a live favourite, performed at virtually every concert from late 1974 to 1986.
Heaven and Hull was the final solo album by Mick Ronson, released in 1994, following Ronson's death the previous year. It featured collaborations by longtime friends of Ronson including David Bowie, Joe Elliott, and Ian Hunter. Other artists included Peter Noone, Martin Chambers and Chrissie Hynde, Phil Collen and John Mellencamp. The "All the Young Dudes" track on Heaven and Hull is from the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, where Ronson was suffering from cancer. It was his last concert.
"Las Palabras de Amor " is a rock ballad by the British rock band Queen. It was released as the third single from their 1982 album Hot Space. It is sung mostly in English, but with several Spanish phrases. Written by guitarist Brian May, the song proved more popular in the United Kingdom than their previous single, reaching #17 in the UK Singles Chart.
"Headlong" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was released as the third single from Queen's 1991 album Innuendo.
The English rock band Queen was well known for its live musical acts. Diverse musical catalogues, large sound systems, lighting rigs, innovative pyrotechnics and extravagant costumes often gave shows a theatrical nature. Artists such as Bob Geldof, David Bowie, George Michael, Kurt Cobain, and Robbie Williams have expressed admiration for lead singer Freddie Mercury's stage presence.
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.