Freddie Mercury: The GREATEST Pretender
It's Freddie Mercury's 66th birthday this week and we take a look at why the Queen frontman remains such an icon, more than 20 years after his death.
Has there ever been a frontman with such magnetic stage presence? Well, the answer is probably no.
In the 50 years of popular rock and roll you can count on one hand the number of singers who had the ability - and the desire - to own a crowd as well as Freddie. We're talking Jagger, maybe Plant, maybe Bono, maybe Scott. These are the frontmen who stalk the stage until they look to be on the verge of collapse as they work the crowd's emotions with their charismatic charm. It's not really about the singing ability but more the ability to control the atmosphere of the room / arena / stadium.
Freddie topped ALL other singers in his ability to control the mood of the venue, and there is no greater evidence of this than 1985's Live Aid performance: the single greatest 22 minutes of rock n roll ever performed. Such a concentrated and well drilled burst of condensed rock grandeur which felt way bigger than its short running time. Taylor, May and Deacon are brilliant in their roles here but note the way that Freddie continuously looks to the crowd to not only gauge response but also keep them full involved in the proceedings. It's a nigh-on perfect encapsulation of rock and roll at its most pure.
Freddie really didn't look right for a rock star. With hindsight it's easy
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