Freddie Mercury's biggest solo hits of the digital age revealed

As rare solo music by the Queen legend is unearthed, we remember Freddie's hugest hits when he went it alone.

Freddie Mercury died in 1991 when he was just 45, but his legacy lives on with the numerous hits he wrote and composed for Queen, as well as his own solo career.

Freddie left a huge body of work behind him, but there are still lost gems being rediscovered, and this week saw a previously unheard version of an old Freddie tune finally get a release.

Time Waits For No One was originally recorded in 1986 for West End show Time, and was a very grand affair, but the original piano rehearsal, recorded at the iconic Abbey Road studios, was thought lost – until now.

As part of Queen, Freddie enjoys the accolade of the UK's biggest selling album of all time, but to celebrate the release of the unearthed Time Waits For No One, we look back at Freddie’s biggest solo hits of the digital age by revealing his Official Top 10 biggest selling downloads. Here's a closer look at the very biggest

Barcelona

Never one to shy away from the dramatic, it’s fitting Freddie’s biggest track in the digital age is Barcelona; a theatrical, classical-pop crossover featuring opera singer Montserrat Caballé, whom he’d been a big fan of years previously. The track originally peaked at 8 on its 1987 release, but a reissue shortly after his death to coincide with the 1992 Olympics in – you’ve guessed it – Barcelona, sent it back up the chart, reaching Number 2.

Barcelona ended up being a part of what was to become Freddie’s final live performance in 1988, where he sang three songs with Caballé from their collaborative album to celebrate Barcelona as the next host of the Games. It's been downloaded over 87,600 times and has racked up 3.43 million streams.

Living On My Own

Taken from his first solo album Mr Bad Guy, Living On My Own missed the Top 40 on first release in September 1985. It wasn’t until two years after his death in 1993 when the No More Brothers Mix of the song struck a chord with the general public and topped the Official Chart for two weeks – Freddie’s only solo Number 1. It's sold 36,500 downloads and, thank to 3.44 million plays since we started counting in 2014, is Freddie's most streamed solo track, just beating Barcelona!

The Great Pretender

Originally recorded by The Platters in 1955, Freddie covered the song in 1987, reaching Number 4 on the Official Singles Chart. The accompanying music video became one of the most well-known of his career, featuring him in many of his famous Queen guises through the years, including his looks for I Want To Break Free, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Bohemian Rhapsody. In one of his final interviews, Freddie explained the song represented the way he viewed his career and being on stage. In interviews, the band maintained that Freddie was actually quite shy when off-stage.

Here are the full Top 10 Freddie Mercury solo songs in the digital age:

  TITLE PEAK YEAR
1 BARCELONA (WITH MONTSERRAT CABALLE) 2 1987/1992
2 LIIVNG ON MY OWN 1 1985/1993
3 THE GREAT PRETENDER 4 1987
4 I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU 11 1985
5 LOVE KILLS 10 1984
6 IN MY DEFENCE 8 1986
7 LOVE ME LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW 76 1985
8 TIME 32 1986
9 HOW CAN I GO ON 95 1988
10 MR BAD GUY N/A 1985

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Article image: Rex