"Love of My Life"
Song by Queen
from the album A Night at the Opera
PublishedQueen Music Ltd.
Released21 November 1975 (1975-11-21)
Recorded1975
StudioRockfield (Rockfield, Wales)
GenreSoft rock
Length3:39
Label
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Producer(s)

"Love of My Life" is a song by the British rock band Queen from their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.[1] A sentimental ballad featuring a harp, it was written by Freddie Mercury.

After Queen performed the song in South America in 1981, the version from their live album Live Killers reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in both countries for an entire year.[2][3]

Mercury wrote it on the piano and guitar first, and Brian May rearranged the song for acoustic 12-string guitar for live performances, also lowering the key by a minor third. May contributed occasional guitar phrases to the original recording and played the swooping harp glissandos by pasting together multiple takes of single chords.

Background

Queen spent a month during the summer of 1975 rehearsing in a barn at what would become Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey.[4] The group then had a three-week writing and rehearsing session in July in a rented house near Kington, Herefordshire before recording began.[5] From August to September 1975 they began to record the song at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire.

Live performances

One special song stole the show: "Love of My Life". The fans knew the song by heart. Their English was word-perfect. The throng was suddenly transformed into a sea of swaying flames as thousands pulled their lighters out.

Lesley-Ann Jones on the crowds in South America responding to Mercury in singing "Love of My Life.[2]

Introduced during the News of the World Tour in 1977, "Love of My Life" was such a concert favourite that Mercury would stop singing and would conduct the audience as they took over. It was especially well received during concerts in South America, and as a result, the band released the Live Killers version of the song as a single there.[1]

I think it’s the moment when we first realised that they knew "Love of My Life". Not only knew it but would sing it. And not only would they sing it but would sing it with a passion that brought tears to our eyes.

— Brian May on the 1981 South American concerts.[6]

A live performance of the song appears in Queen at Wembley from 1986 where again Mercury conducts the audience as they sing the song.[7] After Mercury's death, Brian May has frequently dedicated the song to him in his own live performances. A notable exception is the Sheffield show which yielded the Return of the Champions CD and DVD. At that show, May announced that Mercury's mother was at the show and he dedicated the song to her instead. In the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour, May would sing a few lines of the song, then let the audience take over for every verse, as Mercury did. When played at the Glasgow SECC in the 2008 Cosmos Rocks tour, May dedicated the song to his own mother, who had recently died.

During Rock in Rio 6 in 2015, Queen + Adam Lambert was one of the artists to celebrate the festival's 30th anniversary. "Love of My Life" had both May singing a few lines and archive footage of Mercury performing the song during the inaugural Wembley concert in 1986.[8]

1979 live single release

"Love of My Life (Live at Festhalle Frankfurt, 2 Feb '79)"
German single picture sleeve
Single by Queen
from the album Live Killers
B-side"Now I'm Here" (live at Palais des Sports Lyon, 17 Feb '79)
Released29 June 1979 (1979-06-29)
Recorded1979
VenueFesthalle Frankfurt
GenreSoft rock
Length3:43
LabelEMI
Songwriter(s)Freddie Mercury
Queen singles chronology
"Jealousy"
(1979)
"Love of My Life (Live at Festhalle Frankfurt, 2 Feb '79)"
(1979)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(1979)
Music video
"Love of My Life " on YouTube

The acoustic version of the song featured on the band's 1979 album Live Killers[1] was recorded at their concert at Festhalle Frankfurt on 2 February of that year. A shortened version was released as a single in the UK and other territories, which did not include the spoken intros and outros from the album. The liner notes for the DVD release Greatest Video Hits 1 state that although the live audio is from Frankfurt, the accompanying music video that was edited to the track consisted of footage from a 1979 Tokyo concert. In fact, the footage was filmed before one of three Tokyo concerts the band played between 23–25 April. Some bits of footage from two concerts in Paris from earlier in the year are woven in. After performing the song in South America in 1981, it was this version that reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in both nations for an entire year.[2][3]

Personnel

Original studio version[9][10]
1979 live version[11]

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Brazil 100,000[18]
Italy (FIMI)[19] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References

  1. ^ a b c Love of My Life. Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2011
  2. ^ a b c Jones, Lesley-Ann (2012). Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury. Simon and Schuster. p. 198.
  3. ^ a b “Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock”. p.164. Voyageur Press. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  4. ^ Salter, Jessica (26 February 2011). "Roger Taylor remembers rehearsing with Queen in 1975". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. ^ Bell, Max. "Queen: A Night At The Opera – Behind the albums". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Freddie Mercury: Queen 'brought to tears' by Love of My Life response in Argentina". Headtopics.com. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  7. ^ Chapman, Phil (2017). The Dead Straight Guide to Queen. This Day In Music Books.
  8. ^ "Queen repete coro de 1985 em 'Love of My Life' e lembra Freddie Mercury". Correio Braziliense (in Portuguese).
  9. ^ A Night at the Opera (Media notes). EMI Records. 1975. EMTC 103.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Live Killers (Media notes). EMI Records. 1979. EMSP 330.
  12. ^ "Queen: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Queen – Love of My Life". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Queen – Love of My Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Queen – Love of My Life". AFP Top 100 Singles.
  16. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 200 FTD 2018" (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  18. ^ Souza, Tárik de (27 January 1980). "O som nosso de cada dia". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese): 7. Retrieved 19 September 2021. (...) The single Love of My Life obtained in Brazil the surprising mark of 100 thousand copies sold, despite having failed in the market in England and the United States.
  19. ^ "Italian single certifications – Queen – Love of My Life" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 15 November 2021. Select "2021" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Love of My Life" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Queen – Love of My Life". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Queen – Love Of My Life". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 October 2020.