Queen + Adam Lambert have shared an epic live version of “The Show Must Go On”.
The song, which was first released in 1991, was originally created as a tribute to Freddie Mercury’s lust for life, even while the Queen frontman’s health was failing.
“In this socially-distanced global world of 2020 ‘The Show Must Go On’ — perhaps now more than ever — feels like the perfect anthem for our times,” says the band in a statement about the new release.
“The Show Must Go On” was the last track on Innuendo, Queen’s final album during Mercury’s lifetime.
“Even though we were all aware of Freddie’s impending tragedy, we had some inspired and joyful times in the studio, making the Innuendo album,” said Queen guitarist Brian May.
“We didn’t speak much about Freddie’s illness — he just wanted to get on with ‘business as usual’ as far as possible. But already there was only a day or two per week when Freddie was well enough to come in and work with us. We grabbed those precious moments and made the most of them,” he continued.
The musician revealed that he had been working on “The Show Must Go On” as an idea, but he was uncertain whether the title was too obvious.
“Freddie heard it and loved it and dismissed any thoughts that there was a problem with the chorus or the title. He wanted to work on it,” he added.
The live performance was filmed at London’s O2 Arena on Jul. 4, 2018.
Adding that the song has “a very deeply resonating message,” singer Lambert said: “I think we all have moments in life where we feel the odds are against us and the climb is a steep one. I always sense a great cathartic release throughout the audience during this song. I think we all recognize that it was a big statement for Freddie at that point in his journey as well; he was fighting for his life.”
Queen + Adam Lambert’s first-ever live album, Live Around the World, is set for release on Oct. 2.