Mr. Bad Guy

Mr. Bad Guy is the only solo studio album by British musician Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. Released in 1985, during a period in which Queen were on hiatus from recording, it contains eleven songs, all written by Mercury himself.[4]

Mr. Bad Guy
Freddie Mercury Mr. Bad Guy.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 April 1985
RecordedEarly 1983 – January 1985[1]
StudioMusicland Studios, Munich, West Germany
Genre
Length40:41
LabelColumbia
ProducerReinhold Mack, Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury chronology
Mr. Bad Guy
(1985)
Barcelona
(1988)
Singles from Mr. Bad Guy
  1. "I Was Born to Love You"
    Released: 9 April 1985
  2. "Made in Heaven"
    Released: 1 July 1985
  3. "Living on My Own"
    Released: 2 September 1985
  4. "Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow"
    Released: 18 November 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone(positive)[3]
This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry - also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe - screw everybody else!

- Freddie Mercury in the albums notes[4]

The album was reissued for the first time on 11 October 2019, in newly remixed form, on CD, vinyl, digital and streaming services, via Mercury Records.[5]

BackgroundEdit

In contrast to Queen's typically rock-oriented work, Mercury and co-producer Reinhold Mack drew on disco, dance music and pop influences for Mr. Bad Guy, all of which had surfaced on Queen's previous studio album, Hot Space (1982), also produced by Mack.[6] Mercury stated, "I had a lot of ideas bursting to get out and there were a lot of musical territories I wanted to explore which I really couldn't do within Queen."[7] Co-producer Mack added, "he used to get pretty annoyed working with the others, because there was always Brian saying, 'It needs to be more rock 'n' roll.'"[8] Mr. Bad Guy took nearly two years to record, as Mercury had to gather enough material together while committing to band activities.[3]

Initially, the album was supposed to feature duets with Mercury and Michael Jackson.

We had three tracks in the can, but unfortunately they were never finished. They were great songs, but the problem was time — as we were both very busy at that period. We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely.[9]

— Mercury in Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury

However, other sources state that personal conflicts were to blame for unfinished tracks. Mercury reportedly dropped out of any further collaboration after feeling uncomfortable working with Jackson's pet llama in the studio,[10] while Jackson was upset by Mercury's drug use.[11] One track from these collaborative sessions, "There Must Be More to Life Than This", was reworked for the Mr. Bad Guy album, although the original recording featuring Jackson was eventually released on Queen Forever in 2014.

ProductionEdit

Recording was taxing on Mercury, as he took part in everything from performing the tracks (including vocals, piano and synthesizer), arranging the orchestration and working with the sound engineers. Mercury's use of synthesizers and orchestration in track development added to the diversity of each piece.[12][13]

The songs are not trying to be anything else but Freddie. A lot of people were expecting Freddie to be catering to the audience. He didn't want that. He just wanted the songs as they are. I didn't try to get involved in the mixing, because he may not have wanted a lot of new ideas at that stage. It was already great and I would not want to have gone in and made changes for the sake of it, like someone painting a nose on a Rembrandt portrait at the very end.[14]

— Mack on working with Mercury

The album's original title was Made in Heaven, but Mercury changed his mind weeks before the album went to press.[15]

Basically, I was lost for a title, but as far as I'm concerned album titles are immaterial. I didn't know what to call it, but I had what I thought was a very beautiful track called "Made in Heaven", which seemed to conjure up an image of some kind. But to be honest, I'm not really worried about it. It's what you listen to that matters, not what the title is.[16]

— Mercury during the album's promotion

Originally released on Columbia/CBS, copyrights for Mercury Songs, a company owned by Freddie Mercury's estate, had been revoked following his death in 1991. Mr. Bad Guy would remain out of print on CD until 2000, when was included on The Solo Collection, and in 2019, when it was reissued and remixed due to the commercial success of Bohemian Rhapsody, a biographical film about him.[citation needed]

SinglesEdit

Lead single "I Was Born to Love You" with the non-album B-side "Stop All the Fighting" debuted at number 50 on 14 April 1985, peaking at number 11 on 5 May 1985.[17] It also reached number four in South Africa and number 20 on 1 June in Austria.[18] "Made in Heaven" peaked at number 57 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 July 1985 and charted for four weeks.[19] "Living on My Own" charted at number 50 in the United Kingdom, while the fourth and final single, "Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow," debuted and peaked at number 76 on the UK chart on 24 November 1985.[20]

Re-worked singlesEdit

"Living on My Own" was re-released in 1993 in a remixed form by No More Brothers, while "I Was Born to Love You" became Mercury's only solo chart success in Australia, reaching number 13. That song and "Made in Heaven" were later reworked by the three surviving Queen members and included on the 1995 studio album Made in Heaven.[16]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Freddie Mercury.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Let's Turn It On"3:42
2."Made in Heaven"4:05
3."I Was Born to Love You"3:38
4."Foolin' Around"3:29
5."Your Kind of Lover"3:32
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Mr. Bad Guy"4:09
7."Man Made Paradise"4:08
8."There Must Be More to Life Than This"3:00
9."Living on My Own"3:23
10."My Love Is Dangerous"3:42
11."Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow"3:46
UK CD bonus tracks[21]
No.TitleLength
12."Let's Turn It On" (12" Version)5:06
13."I Was Born to Love You" (12" Version)7:03
14."Living on My Own" (12" Version)6:40

PersonnelEdit

The following personnel are credited in the liner notes. [22]

Chart performanceEdit

Chart Peak position
Australia[23] 38
Austria 23
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[24]
Special edition
91
Japan 20
Netherlands 20
Switzerland 14
UK Albums Chart (OCC)\ 6
US Billboard 200 159

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mr. Bad Guy (album) queenpedia.com Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Mr. Bad Guy - Freddie Mercury". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b Holmes, Tim. "Mr Bad Guy - Rolling Stone (Issue 450)". Queen Archives. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b Jen Longshaw. "Freddie Mercury's Cats". Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Freddie Mercury 'Never Boring' 5 Disc Box Set: Details". 5 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Freddie Mercury: The Baddest of Them All". 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Mr Bad Guy: Why Freddie Mercury's Solo Album Was "A Shot in the Arm"". 17 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Why Freddie Mercury (Briefly) Went Solo with 'Mr. Bad Guy'".
  9. ^ Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury (2012) - ultimateclassicrock.com
  10. ^ Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - Documentary.
  11. ^ "The real Freddie Mercury: why the Queen biopic only tells part of the story". The Times. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  12. ^ Queen: Days of Our Lives - Documentary.
  13. ^ "Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury". inquistr.com. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  14. ^ Chilton, Martin (10 December 2019). "'He Was Music': Reinhold Mack On Working With Freddie Mercury". uDiscover Music. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Freddie Mercury interview (1985)". YouTube. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  16. ^ a b ARCHIVE MR. BAD GUY (1985) - freddiemercury.com
  17. ^ Official Singles Chart Top 100 - 5 May 1985 - 11 May 1985
  18. ^ AUSTRIA TOP 40 - SINGLES 01.06.1985
  19. ^ Official Singles Chart Top 100 - 21 July 1985 - 27 July 1985
  20. ^ Official Singles Chart Top 100 - 24 November 1985 - 30 November 1985
  21. ^ "Freddie Mercury - Mr. Bad Guy". Discogs. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  22. ^ "QueenVault.com-Liner note of Mr Bad Guy".
  23. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  24. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201944 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  25. ^ BPI certification for Mr Bad Guy Album - Type Mr Bad Guy in BPI Awards Search and press: Apply