Dating back to 1986, a recently unearthed video offers a rare glimpse of Freddie Mercury performing without a full band behind him. In the video, the famous Queen frontman sings “Time Waits for No One” from the concept album of the musical Time, accompanied only by a piano.
Dave Clark, creator of Time, found and released the original recording of Mercury’s performance after decades of searching for it. “I didn’t even think of going back to the track until 10 years later,” he says. “And it wasn’t to rerelease it. It was for my own peace of mind. I wanted to hear it, to keep it. But I couldn’t find it. A few years later, I sent my technical engineer down. We couldn’t find it. This went on for years. And then in 2017, we found it. And it was magic.”
As Clark explains, the official 1980s version of the song went through a hefty production process, ending up with 96 tracks in the final production. The 2019 release, though, shows off the bare bones of “Time Waits for No One,” with Mercury’s powerful vocals on full display.
Clark recalls first working with Mercury on the recording: “When I walked into the studio at Abbey Road, it was just Freddie and piano.” Now, listeners can experience that stripped-down performance — and the incredible voice that it spotlights — for themselves.
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