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Somebody to Love: The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
Packed With Details
Loaded with great photos "Somebody to Love" is the perfect read and celebration of a brilliant artist, Freddie Mercury.
Gotta Have It
"Somebody to Love" is a must-have if you want to gain a deeper understanding of how Mercury and Queen took the world by storm.
A Death Too Young
It puts the life and tragic early death of Freddie Mercury, due to AIDS-related causes, into the context of one of the worst health crises of the twentieth century.
|Pride||Rocketman||Somebody To Love||Bohemian Rhapsody||RuPaul's Drag Race|
|Description||Pride explores the history of the LGBTQ movement including events such as Stonewall and the global explosion in Pride Parades, and is a comprehensive account of the ongoing challenges facing the LGBTQ community.||Rocketman: The Official Movie Companion includes quotes and interviews from the cast and crew, and provides a fascinating insight into how the film was made, including locations, choreography, costumes and—of course—the music.||With interviews from Freddie Mercury's closest friends in the last years of his life, along with personal photographs, Somebody to Love is an authoritative biography of the great man.||Bohemian Rhapsody will look at all aspects of the making of the Queen biopic and the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Foreword by Brian May and Roger Taylor.||Includes 10 illustrated punch-out paper dolls of the winning contestants from the first 8 seasons, including the winners from the first 8 seasons of the Emmy Nominated RuPaul's Drag Race, and the winners of the first 2 seasons of Drag Race All Stars.|
|Page Count||192 Pages||160 Pages||448 Pages||160 Pages||74 Pages|
“It puts the life and tragic early death of Freddie Mercury, due to AIDS-related causes, into the context of one of the worst health crises of the twentieth century. Not only does it give a portrait of Mercury’s fascinating life, but it provides a concurrent picture of the epidemiology of a virus that has taken tens of millions senselessly…It’s the story of one of the world’s truly great rock stars, warts and all.” Source: A&U Magazine
“Fans of Queen and Mercury will have plenty to love in this rock biography, penned by Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne and chock-full of details about their hits—“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Are the Champions,” the band’s show-stealing Live Aid performance in 1985 and much, much more. The book also offers a fascinating glimpse at Mercury’s secret gay life, such as his nights at the Mineshaft, a legendary gay club in New York.” Source: POZ.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Mark Langthorne is CEO of Roland Mouret and has previously worked in the music industry and managed such stars as Kanye West and Annie Lennox. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B01MXE3R35
- Publisher : Weldon Owen (November 22, 2016)
- Publication date : November 22, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 3187 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 465 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1681884097
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #124,341 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I came into this biography with a passing knowledge about Freddie Mercury, Queen and even the AIDS epidemic. I grew up listening to Queen as my parents were big fans. They had every one of their pre-90s albums on vinyl and I can still remember the very first one I listened to - News of The World, I picked that one because it had the "weird robot" on the front - I was instantly hooked. But growing up listening to their music and knowing their history are two different things. It wasn't until I was in my late teens coming to terms with my own sexuality that I learned who exactly Freddie Mercury was and how he died. I did some research on him, what limited stuff there was on the internet at that time, but it took until I was an adult to really take up an interest in him and his legacy.
I watched the recent movie biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and it completely reignited the fire of how much I have always loved Queens music. And instead of trolling through Wiki pages trying to learn all I could about the history of Queen, and more specifically Freddie, that I stumbled onto this book. And out of the seemingly 100s of Freddie biographies I could have chosen to read - I am so glad I picked this one.
Not only does this book seem to give a brash look at Freddies life, choices, and consequences but as it goes through his timeline it chronicles HIV/AIDS and its development and spread in history. Having these two story lines going on simultaneously made Freddies life and death all that more poignant. Not to mention, I was born in the late 80s. I was never around to see what our world was like at that time for LGBTQA people and the struggles they had to face with the AIDS epidemic. “We view the past from a different present” page 390. It is not something that is taught in school or anything so my knowledge of it was limited to hearsay, movie plots and what little information I had come across in my lifetime (ie I knew that our US Government at the time hindered a lot but I had no idea how badly they messed up our people until reading this).
While reading this book, any of the singles they mentioned, performances, articles, places, events etc I looked up (unless I had them already). So I listened to and watched things while reading this so I could really get in it. That so helped. There were only a couple songs mentioned that I couldn't remember hearing, I looked up people who I didn't know - basically immersed myself in this as much as I could.
And by the end of reading this, I had cried several times. This was an intense, incredibly emotional, powerful biography. Freddie may have made some questionable choices in his life but he deserves all the accolades and the legacy that came from his immense talents.
Some issues with the book:
1. How could anybody know when Freddie Mercury caught HIV? There is a chapter in the book which tries to pin it down to 1982, and maybe sometime in July or August. Aside from that being a very morbid thing to do, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know when the guy caught that awful disease. Maybe just the fact he caught the disease and died should be enough! No sources to back up this claim.
2. About sex....that is most of what the book concentrates on. Freddie did this or did that. It also makes claims that Freddie was starting to get really promiscuous by 1975. However, other books about Queen have not stated this as fact, it was always the late 1970s.. Is this just conjecture and if not, where are the SOLID sources on this? This book just seems to care all about Freddie Mercury and his sexual practices......it is obsessed with that aspect of Freddie.
3. Album sales. Queen was a very big band, with estimates putting sales anywhere from 150-300 million albums worldwide. That is all good and well, but the book states that A Night At The Opera sold 12 million units worldwide. The sources I found claim only 6 million, but who really knows. The point being, where is this information being pulled from? Were the authors making this up as they went? Just look at the bibliography in the back and you will not find answers to most of this stuff. You will find the authors pulling from other books written about Queen, from earlier works that were published before this one. But it just feels like stuff was written, without proper citation or research.
4. It is about the music isn't it? Why is it all books about Queen always concentrate on Freddie Mercury and his sexuality? This gets old and is not very interesting. I don't care what sexual preference the man had, I care about the music Queen put out, and some of Freddie's solo work, that is it! John, Brian and Roger are always mostly ignored in these books and that is a shame. Brian May has so many memorable solos and riffs. The same for the massively underrated John Deacon and his famous bass parts. Roger Taylor is a good and competent drummer who also sang some awesome backup vocals or even sang whole songs. Who doesn't love "I'm In Love With My Car," or "39"? Each of the four members contributed much to the band, not just Freddie. They were truly a "supergroup" before the term was invented.
So out with the bad and in with the good:
1. The parts about the beginnings of HIV and AIDS, in Africa, in the early 1900s, are very well researched and interesting. This is one of the best histories I have read about the HIV epidemic, and is done well. To clarify, I mean about the earliest known history of the disease in humans.
2. The book is written in a very unique narrative style. It writes about events with Queen and at the same time writes about events in the HIV/AIDS crisis; events that take place either in the same year or within a couple years of each other. This part works very well in the book.
3. It is really thick on the HIV/AIDS information, but in simplified terms. To me, the book really feels like a companion piece to the excellent, and now 30 years old, And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts. It feels similar to that book, though not as thick. Almost like part II with Queen and Freddie Mercury as the sideshow.
4. STL spends a lot of time talking about all the great 1970s Queen music, which is really cool. My issue is though is they only seem to spend time on the famous tracks, not the less famous ones unfortunately. Seriously, it is about the music and anybody that claims fandom, outside of the Greatest Hits, would know that the first 4 albums are just amazing. Queen II is solid all the way through, so is Sheer Heart Attack, and the first album is one of the most varied and interesting debuts from a famous band I have ever heard. By the time the book comes around to The Game, it is full speed ahead and gives very little background on the albums after The Game. Not tons on Flash, or the uneven Hot Space (I actually like this album and feel Freddie turns in an amazing vocal performance on it). Many books on famous bands always do this. They spend lengthy chapters on the early albums of a band, then rush to the finish line while compressing information about the later works. There were stories to be told about the later albums, but most of this was shelved in favor of the HIV/AIDS talk about Freddie, which is disappointing. The last 3 albums Queen did in the 80s have some excellent tracks, despite being uneven albums. Think such tracks as Gimme The Prize, It's A Hard Life, Princes of The Universe, I Want It All, Breakthru, Was It All Worth It etc.
5. About Live Aid....how many more good things can be said about Queen and Live Aid? The book does a good job of describing the lead up to the concert, and the performance itself.
In summary: I give this a barely recommend, despite the 4 star rating. It is well written, but makes many assertions that are not based on hard facts and sources. You won't learn a lot more than what is in other books on Queen. You will learn some new and interesting things about HIV/AIDS (The theories about where the disease began are quite good), so that is a plus. It does go way too far on the sexuality issue with Freddie. This is so disrespectful to Freddie Mercury and his memory. Yet......the books on Queen cannot seem to get away from FOCUSING about it. Freddie Mercury is possibly the greatest singer of all time, regardless of genre. Talk about his greatness and don't give us conjecture about what is going on in his head....whatever. I liked "Is This The Real Life" quite a bit more than this. This is worth a read for hardcore Queen fans, and maybe rock fans in general. And while it has some emotional gut punching, it doesn't carry the force that And The Band Played On does (I highly recommend this book). It is all about the music for me, and Queen has that in spades.....great music and songs and albums!
Last update: Get the book. After rewatching the dog-s**t that is Bohemian Rhapsody, my review just doesn't seem correct. That movie completely downplays the history of Mercury and Queen and the sexuality going on here. What I now realize is how much Freddie and his sexuality, was part of the music. I know, this was hiding in plain sight, but I get it now. Yes, the music matters, but so does the truth. This book, while the bibliography could be much better, at least attempts the truth while the movie bends the truth at every opportunity (except for Live Aid and the making of the Bohemian Rhapsody song). The book isn't a character assassination of Mr. Bad Guy like the movie......argh! If you read this far, buy it! Thanks for reading and stay safe.
Top reviews from other countries
This book uses a lot of quotes and storyline that has been seen and heard previously. However, the way it was interwoven with the history of how the aids virus began and was transmitted was very interesting and insightful.
As a Queen fan since Killer Queen was released, the Book brought out so many great memories and emotions of the best Band and Front Man that there has ever been.
If I wanted a book about the epidemiology and history of aids and its transmission vectors I would have bought one.
The focus on the details of the disease was way OTT and unnecessary and an unwelcome distraction.
If I had known I would have got a different biography on him.
I get the feeling the writers used the aids focus as filler to pad out what they had.