Added on 23-Jul-2012
Press Release: Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender: A Life In Pictures
Published in hardback by Goodman, 3rd September 2012*, £25
An illustrated portrait of the legendary showman’s life, published to coincide with Freddie For A Day, the annual awareness and fundraising event in aid of the Mercury Phoenix Trust.
Click here to pre-order on amazon.co.uk.
Freddie Mercury is a man who has left such a fantastic legacy of iconic songs and sublime performances that he will live forever. This official book celebrates the colourful life of the legendary showman: as a child growing up in Zanzibar; as a singer in the legendary rock band Queen; as a solo artist; and above all captures him as one of the 20th century’s foremost popular, cultural icons.
Freddie’s life is recounted in insightful text and captivating photographs, from the most recognised to the very rare.
Fans are given unprecedented access to all areas of The Great Pretender’s world.
Also included is an hour-long CD that contains a rare, revealing interview with Westwood One “Off The Record” radio host Mary Turner recorded in the 1980s, in which he candidly discusses all aspects of his life and stardom.
*Worldwide release date are to be confirmed.
Created and Designed by Richard Gray
Photographer and graphic designer Richard Gray has been behind some of the best recognised Queen imagery of the past 26 years. Having studied at the London College of Printing, Gray entered the music world working in the late 70s to early 80s as assistant to the legendary music photographer Gered Mankowitz. Among his early album designs was ‘Lionheart’ for Kate Bush. In the early 80s Gray worked with David Bowie on the brochure for the ‘Serious Moonlight Tour’ and designed the ‘Sing Blue Silver’ book for Duran Duran. He was later asked by Harvey Goldsmith to design the poster and programme for ‘Live Aid’ with Bob Geldof. At this time he met the Queen team and began working with the band in early 1986 on the ‘A Kind Of Magic’ album. As well as designing album and singles covers, Gray also photographed Queen on stage at the end of their last concert with Freddie and shot the last portrait taken of Freddie (both included in this book). He created the image for the album ‘Made In Heaven’. His most recent projects for the band include the Carlton book ‘40 Years of Queen’ and the Hal Leonard book ‘Queen: The Complete Illustrated Lyrics’.
Text by Sean O’Hagan
Sean O’Hagan was named British Interviewer of the Year in the British Press Awards 2003 for his work with footballer Roy Keane and the musician Brian Wilson. In 2011, O’Hagan won the 2011 J Dudley Johnston Award from The Royal Photographic Society for what they described as “major achievement in the field of photographic criticism”.
About Freddie For A Day
Freddie For A Day was started in 2010 as a means to engage the public in remembering the late Queen frontman around the date of his birthday and at the same time raise funds for the work of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity founded in 1992 in Freddie Mercury’s name by Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor and manager Jim Beach. The MPT has quietly got on with its work of helping AIDS charities all over the world and to date has given away over 15 million dollars to over 300 charities in its global work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. With the continued support of the members of Queen and fans and friends around the world, the MPT continues to grow and keep Freddie Mercury’s legacy alive. The public embraced the FFAD idea so positively that it has now become an annual worldwide event.
The Great Pretender DVD and Blu-ray: Eagle Rock Entertainment. Released 24 September.
Created by the same team behind last year’s widely acclaimed “Queen: Days of Our Lives” BBC documentary, “The Great Pretender” in similar vein presents a compelling insight into its subject matter, unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage and presented for the first time in High Definition. Produced and directed by Rhys Thomas, the programme uses extensive archive footage to reveal more than ever before the inside story of Freddie’s life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen, including rare interviews with Freddie, concerts, video shoots and personal material, much of it being seen for the first time, along with newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach, soprano Montserrat Caballé, composers David Arnold and Mike Moran, lyricist Tim Rice, comedian and lifelong fan Matt Lucas and many more.
Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé: ‘Barcelona –Special Edition’ CD. Island Records. Released 3 September.
Twenty five years after the original release of the lead single, Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s most self-defining and personal work, his ‘Barcelona’ album, recorded in collaboration with Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, has a special re-release in an entirely newly orchestrated re-working. One of the most audacious and ground-breaking musical collaborations of the 80’s, ‘Barcelona’ was for Freddie the embodiment of his long held fantasy of combining rock and opera. The re-created ‘Barcelona’ album is being hailed as the version Mercury would have wanted to make at the time had he felt able to work with a full symphony orchestra. This 2012 special edition replaces producer Mike Moran’s synthesised arrangements, with a full symphonic orchestral score performed by the 80-piece FILMharmonic Orchestra, Prague, one of the most sought after recording orchestras in Central Europe, featuring leading members from Czech foremost orchestras (Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony).