Who Wants to Live Forever
"Who Wants to Live Forever" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It is the sixth track on the album A Kind of Magic, which was released in June 1986, and was written by lead guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack to the film Highlander. Queen were backed up by an orchestra, with orchestrations by the co-composer of the film's score, Michael Kamen. The song peaked at No. 24 in the UK charts. In 1991 it was included in the band’s Greatest Hits II.
|"Who Wants to Live Forever"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album A Kind of Magic|
|Released||15 September 1986|
|Queen singles chronology|
Since its release, the song has been covered by many artists. Seal performed a live version of the song at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. In 2014, Rolling Stone readers voted it their fifth favourite song by Queen.
The song is used to frame the scenes in the film where Connor MacLeod must endure his beloved wife Heather MacLeod growing old and dying while he, as an Immortal, remains forever young. (It was later used in the episodes "The Gathering", "Revenge is Sweet", "The Hunters", "Line of Fire", and "Leader of the Pack" of the Highlander television series).
Brian May wrote the song in the backseat of his car after seeing a 20-minute first cut of the scene of Heather's death.
In the film version, Freddie Mercury provides all the main vocals. On the album version, May sings lead vocals on the first verse before Mercury takes over, with May also singing "But touch my tears with your lips" during Mercury's verse and the closing line "Who waits forever anyway?". An instrumental version of the song, entitled "Forever", was included as a bonus track on the CD version of the album. This instrumental featured only a piano, with keyboard accompaniment during the chorus sections. The piano track was recorded solely by May. Queen were backed up by an orchestra, with orchestrations by the co-composer of the film's score, Michael Kamen.
The video was directed by David Mallet and filmed in a (now demolished) warehouse at Tobacco Wharf at London's East End in September 1986. It featured the National Philharmonic Orchestra with forty choirboys and hundreds and hundreds of candles which remain lit throughout filming as well as Mercury wearing a tuxedo suit. The video also features bass guitarist John Deacon playing a white double bass, despite not performing on the original recording.
An alternate version with clips from the film Highlander (which the song appears in) appears on the video single with "A Kind of Magic" in October 1986 and later as a hidden music video on the Queen Greatest Video Hits II DVD in November 2003.
- Freddie Mercury – lead and backing vocals
- Brian May – lead and backing vocals, synthesiser, electric guitar, orchestral arrangements
- Roger Taylor – drum machine, backing vocals
- John Deacon – bass guitar
- Additional musicians
Sales and certificationsEdit
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||250,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
- Seal performed a live version of this song at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. He said the song made him cry when he first heard it.
- Closing the Isle of Wight Festival in England on 12 June 2016, Queen + Adam Lambert performed the song as a tribute to the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida earlier that day.
|"Who Wants to Live Forever"|
|Single by Dune|
|from the album Forever|
|Released||23 October 1996|
|Dune singles chronology|
German band Dune released their cover of "Who Wants to Live Forever", from their album, Forever, as a single in October 1996. It is sung by German singer Verena von Strenge and sold more than 500,000 copies in Germany alone, after reaching number 2 there. The single also peaked at number 3 in Austria, number 8 in Hungary, number 9 in Switzerland, number 12 in the Netherlands and number 59 in Sweden. On the Eurochart Hot 100, it reached number 13 in January 1997. "Who Wants to Live Forever" was nominated to the 1997 Echo Awards for the most successful national dance single.
The music video for "Who Wants to Live Forever" was directed by Matt Broadley. It was shot in the Scottish Highlands. The video begins on an old churchyard, where Oliver Froning plays a man who stands by a grave. He sees von Strenge appearing in ghost-like form, dressed in a white dress, singing to him. When Froning leaves the churchyard, he walks into the highlands. By a river, he stops for drinking some water, and again sees von Strenge standing in front of a waterfall, singing to him. In the end, he reaches the top of the mountains, where he is united with von Strenge.
- Who Wants to Live Forever (Sixtysix Radio Mix) (3:54)
- Who Wants to Live Forever (South Bound Mix) (3:58)
- Highland Trilogy: One Day in Glencoe (4:49)
- Highland Trilogy: Valley of Tears (4:58)
- Highland Trilogy: In the Air, Part 2 (10:29)
Released: 4 December 1996
- Who Wants to Live Forever (Komakino Remix) (5:32)
- Who Wants to Live Forever (Future Breeze Remix) (7:03)
- In the Air, Part 1 (5:13)
Sarah Brightman versionEdit
|"Who Wants to Live Forever"|
|Single by Sarah Brightman|
|from the album Timeless|
|Sarah Brightman singles chronology|
Soprano Sarah Brightman released her cover of "Who Wants to Live Forever", from her album Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye, as a single in 1997 (See 1997 in music). The single peaked at No. 45 in the UK singles chart.
- "Who Wants to Live Forever" (Album version)
- "Who Wants to Live Forever" (Xenomania club mix)
Maxi CD singleEdit
- "Who Wants to Live Forever (Trouser Enthusiasts 'Cybernetic Odalisque' Mix)"
- "Who Wants to Live Forever (Xenomania Club Mix)"
- "Who Wants to Live Forever (Xenomania Dub Mix)"
- "Who Wants to Live Forever (X-Citing Mix)
- Who Wants To Live Forever. UltimateQueen.co.uk
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
- "Queen Greatest Hits II". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- "Readers' Poll: 10 Greatest Queen Songs". Rolling Stone. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Georg Purvis (28 August 2012). Queen: The Complete Works. Titan. p. 935. ISBN 978-1-78116-287-3. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Queen Promo Videos: Who Wants To Live Forever, Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 13 November 2019
- playlist on YouTube (Queen Forever)
- "Queen full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- "British single certifications – Who Wants To Live Forever". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Who Wants To Live Forever in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "Queen / Seal Who Wants To Live Forever". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Who Wants To Live Forever Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 20 August 2011
- "Isle of Wight Festival: Queen pay tribute to Orlando shooting victims". BBC. 14 June 2016.
- "Angels 'favourite funeral song'". BBC News. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Congratulations to the nominees for the 1997 Echo-Award" (PDF). Music & Media. p. 9. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "Credits - Matt Broadley". mattbroadley.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Austriancharts.at – Dune – Who Wants To Live Forever" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Dune – Who Wants To Live Forever". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dune" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Dune – Who Wants To Live Forever" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Dune – Who Wants To Live Forever". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Swisscharts.com – Dune – Who Wants To Live Forever". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "1997 Year-End Sales Charts: Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "who wants to live forever | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 November 2018.