If you’re like me, Queen is a staple in any playlist. Part of that reason is because of Freddie Mercury’s incredible vocals, which encourage us all to sing along. Even though we usually associated Freddie with Queen, the iconic singer did plenty of solo and outside collaborations while he was still alive. Thanks to Mercury’s longtime friend and collaborator Dave Clark, we can enjoy Freddie’s incredible vocal work on a previously unreleased song.
Originally called “Time,” “Time Waits For No One” is the titular song Dave Clark wrote for his sci-fi rock musical of the same name. Clark, who had already secured Stevie Wonder and Laurence Olivier’s involvement in the musical, wanted Mercury’s distinct vocals. Mercury originally wanted Queen to accompany him on the song, but Clark managed to convince him to do it alone. Soon after recording at Abbey Road, the two were asked to record a video performance of “Time.”
With only three hours to shoot, Mercury performed “Time” in 1986, a year after Queen’s Live Aid performance. Years later, the video and audio recordings of the song disappeared, leaving Clark on a decades-long hunt to find them. In 2018, Clark was able to find Mercury’s Abbey Road recording, and began restoring it. Soon after, he visited Pinewood Studios to get the film negatives developed of Mercury’s performance. Clark then edited 96 tracks down to two: Mercury’s vocals and a rerecording of long collaborator Mike Moran’s piano performance.
Once completed, Clark released the song as the renamed “Time Waits for No One” on YouTube. Mercury’s range is on full, isolated display, and it’s great to see the phsyicality of the icon’s performance on screen again. Although this is a stark contrast to the multivocal, rock opera of Queen, Mercury’s passion and ability to entertain is still there.
Featured Image: Freddie Mercury