News > Freddie Box Set Press Release

Added on 05-Sep-2000

EMI / Queen productions have sent out a press release for the Freddie Mercury Box set.Taken from


The SOLO Collection

10 CD and 2 DVD Collection

Definitive Book and Box Set

Release Date: 23 October, 2000

With 128 music tracks, many previously unheard, a 120 page photo book, interview tapes released for the first time, and a 2-hour new documentary on his life, Freddie Mercury: The Solo Collection meticulously assembles in one definitive package the life and works of the man who was born Farrokh Bulsara, and became known to the world as Freddie Mercury, incomparable, extraordinary, and as writer Sean O'Magan says in his appraisal of the artist and man: "the like of which we will not see again."

Freddie Mercury is best known as the charismatic front man of the rock group Queen. Along with Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Brian May, he dedicated the major part of his creative energies to that all-consuming project for over twenty years.

But for certain periods in his life he found time to direct his efforts into other areas his solo projects. This special edition, represents the most complete collection ever attempted of Freddie Mercury's musical works outside Queen.

The sound recordings appearing here in this giant compilation (10 CD's and 2 DVD's) have been assembled by Greg Brooks, who has been meticulously archiving the tapes of both Queen and solo material for the past few years, retrieved from the most original sources and where necessary remixed from Freddie's original tapes by Queen engineers David Richards, Justin Shirley-Smith and Josh Macrae; some unused mixes from the original sessions have also been included.

The three central pieces are the remastered 'Mr Bad Guy', Freddie's only true solo album, for many years out of print until now, the remastered Barcelona' album, which Freddie masterminded for his monumental duet with diva Montserrat Caballe, and The Great Pretender' album, the highly successful later collection of remixes of Freddie's most accessible solo material.

Also included here are the various projects which Freddie undertook with other artists when time permitted, including collaborations with Eddie Howell, Billy Squier, Roger Taylor, and Jo Dare.

In addition, there are three CD's of songs, and versions of songs, from all these sessions which were never released at the time, which provide a fascinating insider view of Mercury at work . One recording is of Freddie and Montserrat Caballe working together for the first time at Freddie's home. Here we hear the conversation between them and that historic moment when Freddie for the first time played his house guest a musical idea that was later to become 'Barcelona'. The set also includes a CD of conversations Freddie had with journalist David Wigg (the only journalist Freddie was really prepared to talk to).

Finally the two DVD's contain Freddie's solo videos made to accompany the single releases with specially remixed surround sound, and a special documentary made by the DoRo team in Vienna, who worked with Queen and Freddie over two decades. In this two hour journey across time and culture, the people who were closest to Freddie share their memories of him. His parents recall how Zanzibar was just too quiet for the young Freddie; CBS Record boss Walter Yetnikoff reminds us that Freddie's first solo album was not the great success he had expected: 'for another person the sales would have been interesting, for an offshoot of Queen it was disappointing. But I'm glad I did it. The fact it didn't work? F**k It!" Freddie's life-long girlfriend, Mary Austin, and Freddie's lover, Jim Hutton, movingly describe Freddie's losing battle with AIDS. From Mary Austin: "Freddie had given himself a limit. Ipersonally think that when he couldn't record anymore, when he didn't have the energy to do it, that would be the time, because his life had been his work and his joy, and without it he wouldn't have been strong enough to face what

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

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