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Monday, December 14, 2015

The Mercury Man

Billy Loveman

Freddie Mercury

             The outstanding singer, Freddie Mercury was not only one of the best vocalists of all time, but he lives throughout history as a legend. Mercury stood up for freedom of equality and liberation, while also writing music that gave meaning to his values. Towards later years in his life, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDs, which was a new, yet deadly disease at the with you time. By this time in his life, he had earned the fame and immortality across the globe, making a sustaining mark in society. Although dying at a young age, Mercury had made several accomplishments in the music industry and had explored unknown territories within different genres with his band, Queen. The areas that the world remembers Mercury for are his rise to glory, his mixing of themes and categories, and the influence that he had on the rights in society.

             With the original name, Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was born in Zanzibar, East Africa, to two British-born parents. His father had moved the family here to continue his occupation as a cashier at the British Colonial Office. Here, the family lived in a small flat and Mercury began to take piano lessons at the age of 7.  When he was 8, he was sent to an all boys school in Mumbai, India, where he would form different bands and establish his piano and vocal talents. Here, he would cover many rock and roll bands, and he would exploit his natural talents for music. "A friend recalls 'he had an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano.'" When he was 17, his family and him fled Zanzibar because of violent revolution that was occurring, then moved to Middlesex, England. Mercury worked tirelessly and many different odd jobs, while also working toward his dreams in the music industry. Hopping around different bands, one after the other failed to take off. In 1970, he joined with Brian May (guitarist) and Roger Taylor (drummer), where they had initial management by just Mercury himself. By this time, Mercury had foreseen hope in the band, so he devoted all of his time to the success of this band. He named the band "Queen," full well knowing its gay connotations. Mercury changed his last name from Bulsara to Mercury and went by Freddie, establishing an eternal name throughout history. In his early years, Mercury worked his "ass off" in music education and made several logical decisions that would lead to his success and fame in society.

             The international sensation that Queen earned was due to the complex songs, harmonies, and genres that they took on. Freddie Mercury lead the band in concerts through his flamboyant, yet awesome performance style, giving off a theatrical and operatic edge. It was not established to the public that Mercury was homosexual until an interview in 1974, making it the first time ever that it was cool to be gay. Mercury became very open with his sexuality and everyone in the world didn't mind it, in fact they appreciated his behavior and the stage personas that he had. Mercury had a natural talent of a four octave range, using this advantage to cover genres that no one had attempted in music history. Queen created unorthodox song structures and complicated harmonies that sounded beautiful. The lyrics were inspirational to many people because the meanings related to Mercury's emotions and made the songs all more powerful. With songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle Race, and We Will Rock You, theatrical stories were told and enhanced through insane vocal scales. They also manufactured many rock operas based on the unique songs and albums they had written, expressing even more of a theatrical essence. Known as one of the best bands ever to exist, Freddie Mercury lead Queen to several record breaking accomplishments and successes in genres that had not yet been explored by rock and roll yet.

             The primary reason that Freddie Mercury is long remembered, is for the influence he had on people standing up for their rights and peacefully fighting for the liberties that the free world was promised. Having a homosexual background, many religious and outside anti-gay activists loathed Mercury's personality and the symbols he stood for. In the music video for I Want to Break Free, the members of Queen cross dressed and highlighted risks for sexuality, while making a meaning to freedom of sexual orientation. This music video was subsequently banned by MTV for "inappropriate sights," sparking a rage throughout America and all fans of Queen. To this day, the video is still banned by MTV and prohibited from people of certain ages. Queen would soon release songs, like Radio Gaga, expressing how they were being forced to conform to society's rules and could not express their feelings. Songs like these had the crowd collectively pumping fists to the dance and singing along to the powerful lyrics. Many followers joined in on the fight for liberation in America and also made an effort to earn rights for all sexual orientations. Towards the end of his career, Mercury would make others songs that dealt with different circumstances and the current dilemma that he was internally or externally battling. For example, he sang The Show Must Go On with immense passion about his battle against AIDs.  Mercury soon died from this deadly disease, although rose as a significant figure that made efforts to creating an equal world. Mercury was a powerful role model that gave influence to gay rights, freedom of speech, and passion for individual beliefs.



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