Solo - The Very Best of Freddie Mercury
Box Set, Remastered
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During the 1980s, Freddie Mercury--the flamboyant lead singer of Queen--launched a promising solo career that produced two wildly disparate albums, a handful of singles and contributions to other projects that are documented in this three-disc collection. While 1985's "Mr Bad Guy" finds Mercury's melodramatic vocal flair struggling to overpower his sometimes patchy songwriting and the dated Euro-disco production of Reinhold Mack, the singer rose to the campy heights of "Bohemian Rhapsody"--and then some--on "Barcelona", his grand, neo-operatic collaboration with Spanish diva Montserrat Caballe and one of the most deliriously ambitious pop albums of modern times. Both are available here in sharp, digitally remastered sound. The third bonus disc gives another broad outline of Mercury's talents, from the rare, surprising 1972/slightly pre-Queen Phil Spector tribute single, "I Can Hear Music" through his contributions to Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis soundtrack, Dave Clark's musical theatre piece Time and the singer's delightfully overwrought remake of "The Great Pretender", a song he claimed as autobiography. --Jerry McCulley