Published Dec 27, 2012There's certainly no disputing singer Freddie Mercury's iconic status. For some, it doesn't seem all that long ago that his death was announced, passing away on November 24, 1991 only a mere 24 hours after Mercury himself confirmed to the media that he had AIDS. A charismatic performer known for his flamboyances, yet shy when not in the spotlight, Freddie Mercury was the face of his band, Queen, for 20 years and both he and the group remain globally famous.
Richard Grey's Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender celebrates the influential musician, recounting Mercury's life by way of photographs from the private collection of his parents and Brian May (Queen guitarist and songwriter), as well as a sampling of portraits from over the years by famous photographers, like Snowdon and Mick Rock.
Tracing the life of the prolific singer from his roots in Zanzibar, we're treated to rare photographs of Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara) as an infant and an adolescent. It's apparent that showmanship was in his blood from birth as there are numerous photos that show a young Freddie hogging the spotlight and hamming it up.
The book contains an insightful forward and a well-written history of Mercury, detailing his upbringing, as well as his life both in and out of the public eye. And while the written text will provide a fascinating read for fans of the singer, it's the lavish photo archive that makes this a 'must-have' for fans. Each photo has an accompanying contextualizing caption allowing readers to immerse themselves in the singer's life as they turn the pages of the book.
Also included with the coffee table book is a CD containing audio interviews with the singer, adding some audio to the tangible, glossy, work of nostalgia, making this a comprehensive work for Mercury's fans. (Insight Editions)