The 25 songs that singer Freddie Mercury loved the most
Formed in London in 1970, Queen is one of the best-selling bands of all time that created many songs the became the favorites of millions of fans worlwide. The group’s legendary vocalist Freddie Mercury died too soon at the age of 45 back in 1991 and to show fans what were some of his favorite songs, Queen created a playlist on Spotify that has the songs that Freddie Mercury loved the most.
The 25 songs that singer Freddie Mercury loved the most:
Released in 1982 on “Toto IV”, “Africa” remains as the most famous song of the American group. It reached number one on the United States’ Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the only time that the band had a Billboard number one.
The band received six Grammy Awards for the album, including Record Of The Year for the hit “Rosanna”. During their career, the group sold more than 40 million records worlwide.
Led Zeppelin “Kashmir”
One of the most famous guitar riffs of all time, “Kashmir” was first released on Led Zeppelin‘s famous 1975 album “Physical Graffiti”. Due to the success of the song and the record, “Kashmir” was a constant song in the band’s setlist after the release.
Other famous Zeppelin songs released on the same record were “In My Time of Dying”, “Houses of the Holy”, “Ten Years Gone” and “Trampled Under Foot”.
The Beach Boys “I Get Around”
Released on The Beach Boys 1964 album “All Summer Long”, “I Get Around” remains as one of the band’s most famous songs. It was the group’s first number one hit in the United States.
As pointed by the website of Brian Wilson, Beach Boys’ mastermind, Freddie talked about the band once saying: “Back in the old days, we were often compared to Led Zeppelin. If we did something with harmony, it was the Beach Boys.”
Wham! “Careless Whisper”
Released on Wham!’s 1984 album “Make It Big”, the song has one of the most famous saxophone riffs of all time that became a huge commercial success reaching number one in nearly 25 countries. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley composed the song that sold an estimated amount of 6 million copies worldwide.
In 1992 George Michael was part of Freddie Mercury’s tribute show at Wembley Stadium. He sang the songs “39”, “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” and “Somebody To Love” with Queen that night.
Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock”
Recorded by Elvis Presley back in 1957 for the film of the same name, “Jailhouse Rock” remains as one of his most famous songs. It reached the top of the charts in the United States and in several other countries.
Elvis’ inspiration on Queen members can be heard especially in their famous song “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” from the 1980 album “The Game”.
Barbra Streisand “Woman In Love”
Born in New York City back in 1942, Barbra Streisand achieved fame as a singer and actress. With a career spanning over six decades she already was awarded with and Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
The song “Woman In Love” was first released on her 1980 album “Guilty” and had the special participation of the Bee Gees member Barry Gibb playing acoustic guitar and being responsible for the arrangement. The album sold an estimated amount of 12 million copies worldwide.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Relax”
Composed by the English synth-pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” was first released on their 1984 album “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”. However, BBC Radio banned the track because of the lyrics, branding the song and the album cover as “obscene”.
It remains as the most famous song of the band that had in their most well-known line-up Holly johnson (Vocals), Paul Rutherford (Backing vocals), Peter Gill (Drums), Mark O’Toole (Bass) and Brian Nash (Guitar).
Elton John “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”
One of the best-selling musicians of all time and one of Freddie’s dearest friends, Elton John was also an influence on his career. “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” is one of John’s biggest hits and it was first released on the classic 1973 album “Goodby Yellow Brick Road”.
In his memoir book, Elton John recalled the friendship with Freddie Mercury and recalled how much he cared about his friends, saying: “By all rights, Freddie should have spent those final days concerned only with his own comfort. But that wasn’t who he was. He truly lived for others. Freddie had passed on November 24, 1991. Weeks after the funeral, I was still grieving. But on Christmas Day, I learnt that Freddie had left me one final testament to his selflessness.”
“I was moping about when a friend showed up at my door and handed me something wrapped in a pillowcase. I opened it up, and inside was a painting by one of my favorite artists, the British painter Henry Scott Tuke. There was a note on the front from Freddie.”
Elton John continued:
“Years before, Freddie and I had developed pet names for each other. Our drag-queen alter egos. I was Sharon and he was Melina. Freddie’s note read, ‘Dear Sharon, I thought you’d like this. Love, Melina. Happy Christmas.’”
“I was overcome, 44 years old at the time, crying like a child. Here was this beautiful man, dying from AIDS. But in his final days, he had somehow managed to find me a lovely Christmas present.”
“As sad as that moment was, it’s often the one I think about when I remember Freddie Mercury. Because it captures the character of the man. Even in death, he reminded me of what made him so special in life.”
Dusty Springfield “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”
“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” is a song written by Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David. The track was first recorded by Chuck Jackson in 1962. But the version that Freddie Mercury liked was the one from 1964 made by Dusty Springfield.
One of the most famous female singers of all time, Dusty Springfield was active in the music business from 1959 until 1995, four years before her death.
Aretha Franklin “Respect”
Originally recorded by Otis Redding, the song was covered and rearranged by Aretha Franklin in 1967. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister.
At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular-music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records.
Michael Jackson “Rock With You”
First released on Michael Jackson‘s classic album “Off The Wall” in 1979, “Rock With You” is one of the most famous tracks of that record that also has: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “It’s the Falling in Love.
Also known as the “King Of Pop”, Jackson started his career with his family members in the Jackson 5 when he was still a kid. He then achieved even bigger fame on his solo career. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time with more than 400 million records sold worldwide.
The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody”
Even though the song was originally released as theme for the 1955 film “Unchained“, the most famous version of the track is the one made by The Righteous Brothers 10 years later.
The song reappeared on the US Billboard charts in 1990 after it was used on the soundtrack of the successful movie “Ghost” that had Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.
The Walker Brothers “Make It Easy On Yourself”
First released by Jerry Butler in 1962, the song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. However, the most known version of the track was recorded by the Walker Brothers. It became a number 1 hit in the United Kingdom.
The track appeared on the group’s debut studio album “Take It Easy with the Walker Brothers”. The song also had success once again when Dionne Warwick re-recorded in 1970.
The Seekers “The Carnival Is Over”
The song that became the most famous one from the Australian band The Seekers, “The Carnival Is Over” was written by Tom Springfield. It was based on a Russian folk song from circa 1883.
Released in 1965, the single sold about 93.000 copies per day in the United Kingdom. It reached an estimated amount of 1.41 million copies sold.
Cliff Richard “Please Don’t Tease”
Composed by Cliff Richard and The Shadows, “Please Don’t Tease” was released in 1960 and became a number 1 hit on the United Kingdom singles chart, spending three weeks at the top.
The track sold an estimated amount of 1.59 million copies worldwide. Also reached number one in India, New Zealand, Norway and Thailand.
Elvis Presley “Love Me Tender”
First released by Elvis Presley as a single in 1956, “Love Me Tender” became one of his most famous songs. Also was featured in many Hollywood movies over the decades.
Called the “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley was born in January 8, 1935 and died August 16, 1977. The singer inspired a whole generation of musicians that would become successfull in the following decades.
John Lennon “Imagine”
The most famous song from John Lennon‘s solo career, “Imagine” became an anthem for peace over the decades, especially after the musicians tragic death in 1980 at the age of 40. The track was first released on the album of the same name in 1971.
The album also had other hits like “Jealous Guy”, “Gimme Some Truth” and “How Do You Sleep?”.
Michael Jackson “Billie Jean”
One of the most famous Michael Jackson songs, “Billie Jean” was first released on “Thriller” (1984), his most successful album. Also is the best-selling album of all time, with more than 70 million copies sold worldwide.
Even though the album is the one that sold more copies worldwide, the record didn’t sold as much as The Eagles greatest hits album released in 1976. The Classic Rock group album sold 38 million copies, 4 million units more than “Thriller”.
Mahalia Jackson “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”
A famous Gospel song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” was Martin Luther King Jr.’s favorite song. He often invited gospel singer Mahalia Jackson to sing it at civil rights rallies to inspire crowds.
Often considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century, Mahalia was an American Gospel singer. She had an active career from 1928 until 1971, one year before her death at the age of 60.
Aretha Franklin “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
First released by Aretha Franklin as a single in 1967, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” became a big hit reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1968 the track was also released on her album “Lady Soul” that also had famous tracks like “People Get Ready”, “Groovin'” and “Ain’t No Way”.
Dusty Springfield “Goin’ Back”
Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, “Goin’ Back” became an international hit when recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1966. Over the decades other artists covered the song, including Freddie Mercury that recorded in 1973 a version with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, releasing the track under the pseudonym Larry Lurex.
Also was covered by The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen, The Pretenders, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi and many more.
Ruggero Leoncavallo, Luciano Pavarotti and more “Pagliacci/Act 1: ‘Vesti La Giubba'”
Freddie Mercury was a big fan of opera and this song was recorded by the supergroup The Three Tenors. The trio had the famous tenors Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti.
The song was first released on the “The Three Tenors in Concert 1994” album, recorded in Los Angeles.
Prince “Little Red Corvette”
First released by Prince on his 1983 album called “1999”, “Little Red Corvette” is one of the musicians most famous songs. At the time the track became Prince’s highest charting. Also was his first song to reach the top 10 in the United States, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
One of the most praised and influential American musicians of all time, Prince sold more than 150 million records worldwide, what made him one of the best-selling artists in history.
Grace Jones “Pull Up To The Bumper”
Released in 1981 by the Jamaican singer Grace Jones on the album “Nightclubbing”, the song “Pull Up To The Bumper” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. Also became her first international hit.
Also known for her acting career, Jones most remembered role was in the 1985 James Bond movie “A View To A Kill”, the last one to have actor Roger Moore as 007.
Giuseppe Verdi, Montserrat Caballé and more “D’amour Sull’ali Rosee”
Another opera that Mercury liked, “D’amour Sull’ali Rosee” had the spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, that recorded an album called “Barcelona” in 1988 with Freddie Mercury. The title track of the record was chosen to be the anthem of 1992 Olympics in Spain. But Freddie Mercury died less than seven months before the games.