Highlander Queen songs ‘opened a floodgate’ for Brian May ‘dealing with various tragedies’

Brian May addresses controversy over album promo

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This week’s episode of Queen the Greatest looks back at the band’s second time working on a Hollywood movie. Having penned the Flash Gordon soundtrack, the band were roped into contributing to 1986’s Highlander by director Russell Mulcahy after showing Queen 20 minutes of rough footage. In the end, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon agreed to write six songs and additional music, when the filmmaker was only hoping for one initially.

Roger Taylor remembered: “I don’t know what prompted Russell to get in touch with us, but he said, ‘Come down to a screening theatre and have a look at this and see what you like.’ 

“And we went and we saw the opening scenes and then I think the love scene, in the Highlands, and we thought it was magnificent, visually.

“It was nowhere near finished by then, we just thought, ‘That’s really great, we could do some good stuff on that’.  And that inspired Brian to write Who Wants To Live Forever, and then I wrote A Kind Of Magic off that, nicking the line from the film.  And that was quite a nice experience.”

For Brian May though, the plot involving the danger of falling in love really hit home with him personally.

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