08 April 2010

Freddie Mercury......the man that just ccould not be stopped!!!!

As children, we often heard songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" & "We Are the Champions" sung by the band Queen. Infact, I also knew a bit about the lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Later though, my interest in him was piqued when I came to know that he was an Indian, a Gujarati Parsi whose original name was 'Farrokh Balsara'.  This was definitely something to be proud of, considering the fact that the great UK music sensation was from our very own country, a fact that was unknown to me & many other people till quite some time into the artist's illustrious career!!!!

Freddie Mercury (09/'46 - 09/'91), considered as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music & one of the most influential Asian artists of our times, was a man with very humble beginnings. He was born in Tanzania & brought up in India, completing his education in Mumbai. Due to the revolution in Tanzania, his family shifted to the UK where he studied art. He played in quite a few local bands, later forming the band , 'Queen' which he named himself despite having gay connotations especially in those conservative days.

As a child, Mercury was influenced by Indian music, especially Lata Mangeshkar but he also followed & incorporated other styles of music into his work, primarily 'The rolling stones', Jimi Hendrix & 'The Beatles'. He wrote most of the group's songs without even being able to read music, but by making use of a variety of different key signatures. His songs were so intricate that they comprised of dozens of chords & merged totally different music genres.

His live performances were often on a large scale, very theatrical & most often delivered to packed audiences, being able to whip them up into a frenzy. He had a solo career as well although not as sucessful as the band. He frequently collaborated with other artists, even doing a couple of songs with Michael Jackson which were never released.

His premature death from AIDS, put an end to the illustrious career of a man who though depicting a larger than life persona on stage, was a very shy & introverted person off it. It was a pity that his personal life over-shadowed his musical genius, but as happens with most legends, the worth of his work can only be felt & realised now, when he is no more.

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