We all know how talented Freddie Mercury was. But just watch this spine-tingling live video from 1976. Not only does he sound absolutely incredible, he pours so much emotion into the heartbreaking lyrics. This is the legend laid bare. Is it the moment he finally felt able to be himself? SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE CLIP.
The dedicated fan site Freddie Mercury Club on Instagram constantly posts hidden gems from the idol’s life.
This one highlights a truly beautiful moment and which confirms the extraordinary depth of his talent – and his lifelong yearning to be loved.
The post says: “43 years ago Freddie performed “You Take My Breath Away” for the very first time at Hyde Park before even recording it in the studio.
“Written by Freddie, “You Take My Breath Away” is based on the Japanese pentatonic scale and the song is the second track on A Day at the Races album which was released 0n December 19th 1976.”
Freddie Mercury talked about why this song was so special, musically, in an interview on Capital Radio: “This one I did myself, I multi-tracked myself. So the others (in the band) weren’t used on this for the voices.
“I played piano and basically, I don’t know how we managed to stay this simple, you know, with all our overdubs and things. People seem to think that we’re over complexed, and it’s not true. It depends on the individual track really, if it needs it – we do it. So this is pretty sparse actually by Queen and our standards.”
But the song isn’t just special in musical terms. It clearly has a very personal connection to Freddie. Who was the ballad written for?
Freddie famously wrote Love of My Life for Mary Austin. It has often been assumed that You Take My Breath Away was too.
In fact, it’s more likely it was really inspired by David Minns, Freddie’s first serious boyfriend. Freddie relationship with Mary was ending in 1976, as he began to explore his homosexuality.
Love Of My Life reflects his rather pure devotion to Mary. You Take My Breath Away is rather more passionate, but also layered with darker needs and fears. It is a very raw examination of loving and needing someone so desperately “I would surely die if you dismiss me from your love.”
Freddie always cherished the simplicity and stability of his love with Mary. It was something he would never find again.