"Who Wants to Live Forever" is a song by the English rock band Queen. It is the sixth track on the album A Kind of Magic, released in June 1986, and was written by lead guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack to the film Highlander. The song peaked at No. 24 in the UK charts.
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). The song's title is taken from a line in another movie scored by Brian May and Queen, Flash Gordon (the line can be heard on "Battle Theme" from the Flash Gordon soundtrack album) and is based on May's personal troubles (the death of May's father and failing first marriage).
In the film, Freddie Mercury provides all the main vocals, while May sings lead vocals on the first verse on the album version, before Mercury takes over for most of the rest of the song, with May singing "But touch my tears with your lips" during Mercury's verse and then the final line of the song, "Who waits forever anyway?". An instrumental version of the song, titled "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 was backed up by an orchestra, with orchestrations by the co-composer of the film's score, Michael Kamen. Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists.
The song was played in the series finale of Eastbound & Down.
- 2 Music video
- 3 Cover versions
- 4 Dune version
- 5 Sarah Brightman version
- 6 Edyta Górniak version
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals
- Brian May - lead and backing vocals, synthesizer, electric guitar
- Roger Taylor - drum machine, backing vocals
- John Deacon - upright bass
- National Philharmonic Orchestra arranged by Michael Kamen and Brian May and conducted by 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 Orchestrawith forty choirboys and hundreds and hundreds of candles which remain lit throughout filming as well as Mercury wearing a tuxedo suit. It is the only Queen video to feature bassist John Deaconplaying an upright bass. According to Roger Taylor in an interview for Queen's Greatest Video Hits II, he was drunk during the filming.
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 theQueen Greatest Video Hits II DVD in November 2003.
- In 1988, Elaine Paige, recorded an album of Queen songs, and included a strong 'power ballad' version of the song.
- Seal performed a live version of this song at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, noting that the song made him cry when he first heard it.
- In 1995, Jennifer Rush recorded a version with Brian May on her Out of My Hands album. It featured May on lead vocals for a verse plus backing vocals and guitar work.
- Luciano Pavarotti called Giorgia for his charity concert Pavarotti & Friends where she performed the song. The recorded Live-CD was released in 1995.
- Shirley Bassey covered this song on her 1995 album Sings the Movies, and performed it on "A Royal Gala" at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996.
- Dune recorded an orchestrated version on the 1997 album Forever. It was also released as the first single from the album.
- The song is featured in the Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You. The version that appears on the original London cast recording is sung by Tony Vincent and Hannah Jane Fox.
- The symphonic metal band After Forever recorded a cover of this song and released it with their single "Emphasis" in 2002.
- Sarah Brightman covered this track on her 1997 album, Time to say Goodbye.
- Polish singer Edyta Górniak recorded a cover called "Nieśmiertelni" in 2003, released on Moja i Twoja muzyka, RMF FM compilation album.
- In 2005, the song was covered by Breaking Benjamin on the album Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen. It is also included on their greatest hits album Shallow Bay.
- The Ten Tenors recorded a version on their album Here's to the Heroes, released in 2006.
- Rock Star: INXS finalist, MiG Ayesa covered the song on his debut album MiG in 2007.
- Katharine McPhee covered this song on the "Queen" themed week on American Idol's fifth season.
- Eva Avila covered this song on the "1980's" themed week on Canadian Idol's fourth season.
- In 2007, the song was covered by the band Gregorian on their album Masters of Chant Chapter VI.
- Kady Malloy covered this song during "80's" week on American Idol's seventh season.
- Jonathan Ansell covered this song for his 2nd album Forever, released in 2008
- Rhydian Roberts covered this song on his debut album Rhydian, released on 24 November 2008.
- Katherine Jenkins covered this song on her seventh album Believe, released on 26 October 2009.
- Stacey Solomon performed the song on the sixth series of The X Factor.
- David Garrett covered this song for his eighth album David Garrett, released in 2009.
- During the 2009-2010 figure skating season, Chinese figure skating pair Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo performed their technical program to an instrumental version of this song. They would include this at the 2010 Winter Olympics where they won gold.
- Kitty Brucknell performed the song on series eight of The X-Factor
- Jonathan and Charlotte performed a cover of this song in Italian on their 2012 album Together following their second place finish on the 2012 season of Britain's Got Talent.
- In 2013, Il Divo, recorded from "A Musical Affair" album, and included a strong 'power ballad' version of the song from Italian and English.
- Lillie McCloud performed the song on the second part of the second live show of The X Factor U.S. season 3 (2013).
|"Who Wants to Live Forever"|
|Single by Dune|
|from the album Forever|
|Released||23 October 1996|
|Dune singles chronology|
Dune's version of "Who Wants to Live Forever" sold more than 500,000 copies in Germany. The single peaked at No. 3 in the Austrian singles charts, No. 9 in the Swiss Charts, No. 12 in the Dutch Charts and No. 59 in the Swedish charts.
- 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)
The music video was shot in the Scottish Highlands.
|"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)
- "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)
|Single by Edyta Górniak|
|Edyta Górniak singles chronology|
Polish singer Edyta Górniak released a cover of the song in 2003 called "Nieśmiertelni" (Immortals). She recorded the cover with Polish lyrics for the cover compilation album RMF FM – Moja i Twoja muzyka by Polish radio station RMF FM. It was released as a promo radio single by Pomaton EMI. The image on the cover was shot by photographer Robert Wolański.
- Nieśmiertelni (3:26)