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

Away from Queen, the late music icon scored a string of solo hits in the 1980s.

Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 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; last year saw a previously unheard version of an old Freddie tune Time Waits For No One finally get a release 33 years after its original recording.

As part of Queen, Freddie holds the accolade of the UK's biggest selling album of all time, but he also landed a string of hits away from the band. Below, we look back at Freddie’s biggest solo hits of the digital age by revealing his most-streamed and downloaded songs.

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 UK chart sales stand at 150,000, made up of 91,200 downloads and 8 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. Living On My Own ranks as his second biggest solo hit, with 103,000 chart sales, including 8.6 million streams - Freddie's most-played solo song.

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.

Freddie Mercury's Top 10 biggest solo songs in the digital age

  TITLE PEAK YEAR
1 BARCELONA (WITH MONTSERRAT CABALLE) 2 1987/1992
2 LIVING ON MY OWN 1 1985/1993
3 THE GREAT PRETENDER 4 1987
4 I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU 11 1985
5 TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE N/A 2019
6 LOVE ME LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW 76 1985
7 LOVE KILLS 10 1984
8 IN MY DEFENCE 8 1992
9 INNUENDO (WITH THE WE WILL ROCK YOU ENSEMBLE) NA 2003
10 MADE IN HEAVEN 57 1985

©2020 Official Charts Company . All rights reserved.

This chart is compiled combining downloads and streams since 2004.

Article image: Rex/Shutterstock