This is an EVENT!!!

A very special download for the surfers of my site!
The COMPLETE Video: "The Untold Story" from the Freddie Mercury Box Set!

Read the details about this special box set, the last very and definitive Freddie Tribute!

But don't forget to download the 4 files of "The Untold Story"!

Part 1 ------ Part 2 ------ Part 3 ------ Part 4

(*** Links re-re-fixed the 21th April 2001!!! ***)
Remember: you need the Real Video Player to watch those videos!


Now, the details on this outstanding opera:

A 10 CD and 2 DVD set was presented in a deluxe 120 page slipcase hard-back book. For a limited time only, every Freddie Mercury Solo Box Set have been dispatched with an exclusive first day cover of the Freddie Mercury postage stamp dated June 1st 1999.

Mr Bad Guy, Barcelona, And The Great Pretender

Also includes The Singles plus many rare and previously unreleased tracks as well as Freddie talking candidly in The David Wiggs Interviews and his music as you've never heard it before!

The set also includes 2 DVD's available in both PAL and NTSC formats.

The Video Collection featuring all of Freddie's solo videos specially remixed for surround sound audio together with interviews with David Mallet, Gavin Taylor, Rudi Doezal and Hannes Rossacher. The Untold Story by those who knew him best. Directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher. This documentary is a revealing portrait of the offstage life of one of the world's greatest showmen. Including the interactive Freddie Mercury Photographic Exhibition on DVD ROM

A 120 page book featuring many previously unreleased photographs
A foreword by Brian May
A new appraisal by Seán O' Hagen and an appreciation of each album by Greg Brooks.

The text of the Freddie Mercury Solo Collection boxset is available in a number of languages. This has been done to ensure that the customers can all enjoy the book.


The official press release for The Solo Collection

"We used to listen to Indian music, folk music, English music and he would just pick up the record and sing; he had a variety of tastes in music. We used to go to functions and parties and he would always sing because they always asked him, and he used to feel so proud to make everyone happy…. even at that age"
Jer Bulsara, mother of Freddie Mercury.

The SOLO Collection
10 CD and 2 DVD Collection
Definitive Book and Box Set
Release Date: 23 October, 2000

With 128 music tracks, many previously unheard, a 120 page photo book, interview tapes released for the first time, and a 2-hour new documentary on his life, Freddie Mercury: The Solo Collection meticulously assembles in one definitive package the life and works of the man who was born Farrokh Bulsara, and became known to the world as Freddie Mercury, incomparable, extraordinary, and as writer Sean O'Hagan says in his appraisal of the artist and man: "the like of which we will not see again."
Public property as the posturing, mercurial lead singer of Queen, with whom he shared twenty years and nearly 200 million record sales, there was, however, much about Freddie that either remained concealed or simply became eclipsed by the rock stadium roller coaster that Queen rode through three generations.

While the masses adopted as anthems the all-conquering Queen rock signatures of the band's 70's and 80's hey-days - We Will Rock You, Radio Ga Ga, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The Dust - few seemed to be aware that at the same time, away from Queen, Freddie was busily getting on with channeling his inexhaustible love for music into solo projects. He was tireless in the pursuit of new musical adventures, some intensely personal projects, others providing the excitement of collaborations with writers and performers who fired his imagination, such as his well documented love affair with the Spanish opera singer, Montserrat Caballe. There were also tracks with less well known musicians and songwriters such as Eddie Howell and Billy Squier who Freddie produced and wrote with simply because they provided interesting diversions..

Just how much Freddie achieved in his forays away from Queen is likely to surprise those who think of Mercury's solo career as being confined to a handful of hits, most notably, the posthumous No.1 Living On My Own; the title song from Dave Clark's 1986 stage musical Time; his cover version of The Platters' classic The Great Pretender, and his flirtation with opera with Montserrat Caballe which produced the Olympic anthem Barcelona.

Apart from the three albums which are the central pieces of this collection - Mr. Bad Guy(1985) Freddie's only true solo album, Barcelona (1988) , and The Great Pretender (1992 US tribute album) - this collection houses dozens of tracks which show the true extent of Freddie's solo work with three CD's of songs, and versions of songs which were never released at the time. They also provide a fascinating insider view into Mercury at work. Listen, for example, to Freddie's improvised jam recording, When This Old Tired Body Wants To Sing' (Rarities II) in which Freddie calls a halt to the session in his own inimitable style.

Some ignorance of Freddie's output is understandable. Not all of his solo singles were widely accepted at radio; two tracks many consider among his finest tracks - his versions of the Beach Boys' I Can Hear Music and Goffin-King's Goin' Back, released as the A and B sides of his first solo single, surfaced under the name of Larry Lurex (a play-on-words joke at the expense of Gary Glitter). Since the single disappeared without trace, not many are aware of this inauspicious start to Freddie's solo career. Both these tracks are included here.

At the heart of the Rarities CD's is an absorbing insight into the evolution of Freddie the writer, musician and singer and his experiments with different styles of music in the years 1973 - 1988. They include intriguing alternative mixes of familiar songs, acapella mixes, out-takes, unfamiliar demo recordings, unreleased 12" extended mixes, and even out-takes from orchestra sessions. Present are such gems as Hold On, a duet with American actress Jo Dare recorded for the German feature film Zabou, (the self-confessing?) Money Can't Buy Me Happiness and New York, two of five out-takes intended for the Mr. Bad Guy album before being discarded, Holding On, an up-beat live studio take with Freddie improvising what few lyrics there are, and the electrifying It's So You, a song that Freddie revisited on two more occasions, but, regrettably, never progressed further than this sparse recording.

There are then the tracks which highlight the collaborations, where Freddie participated as producer and/or guest vocalist: the Eddie Howell 1976 recording The Man From Manhattan, produced by Freddie as well as featuring his vocals and piano (as well as Brian May. The rest of Queen weren't asked to contribute as Freddie thought it would make the track too Queen); and two tracks with Billy Squier from Freddie's very fertile mid-80's period: Love Is The Hero which features a distinctive vocal introduction by Freddie, and Lady With A Tenor Sax, co-written and arranged by Freddie. Although the final version of the latter did not feature Freddie, this version is Freddie's guide vocal version, heard here for the first time. Freddie also contributed to the early solo work of Queen band member Roger Taylor, providing vocals for Taylor's first The Cross album track Heaven For Everyone (later re-recorded with the band and the first single release from the Made In Heaven album).

The hundreds of hours Freddie spent with opera diva Montserrat Caballe crafting the Barcelona tracks come to light on Rarities II. Considered by Freddie to be one of the most productive and exciting periods of his recording career, he spent endless hours experimenting in his wish to provide the singer with eight very different pieces of music. Many ideas born out of those sessions are heard here for the first time: early versions laid down by Freddie, improvised where he has yet to come up with the lyrics; tracks where Freddie sings not only his part but those of Montserrat too; falsetto guide vocals which his co-star would later use to record her own parts. The most intimate and compelling of these have to be extracts from a recording made on a modest cassette recording by Freddie's assistant Peter Freestone on the night Freddie and Montserrat first sang together around the piano at Freddie's home. It includes extracts of their conversation that night as well as the historic moment that Freddie first played his house guest a musical idea that was later to become Barcelona. Friends claim that Mercury was obsessed for a period with the Spanish singer and nervous about what he could deliver, and certainly his pursuit of perfection shows in the very many work-in-progress recordings heard here.

Mercury was much more than just singer and writer. He was also a musician capable of complex, meticulously constructed arrangements. The Instrumentals is a volume solely given over to appreciating his intricate and often breathtaking musical arrangements and vocal harmonies on tracks such as Guide Me Home, How Can I Go On and The Fallen Priest. Thirteen of Freddie's most accomplished tracks are heard in an entirely new form - without the man himself.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all in reviewing this massive body of work created outside of Queen is how grossly undervalued Freddie's solo recorded work now appears. Even CBS boss Walter Yetnikov who signed the solo Freddie admits of the Mr. Bad Guy album in The Untold Story DVD programme: "We sold 160,000 copies. For another person that would have been an interesting result. For an off-shoot of Queen that was a great disappointment. It was certainly not one of the best deals I've done. But I'm glad we did this together." He adds: I think Freddie Mercury was a genius. If you are a genius, you have certain liberties which are given to you by society, you can act a little different, you can act other than you're expected to."

The Video Collection DVD

All of Freddie's solo video performances, specially remixed for surround sound audio, feature on the DVD The Video Collection: the majesty of Freddie and Montserrat and fire and fountains in Barcelona; Freddie and 300 Amazonian women in I Was Born To Love You; men in women's clothing in Living On My Own; and Freddie recreating some of his personal favourite video characters in The Great Pretender. Mott The Hoople's Ian Hunter once observed there were some alarming lapses of taste from the Queen camp over the years. The extended version of the Pretender video, though a solo endeavour, may well be the kind of thing he had in mind; humour, theatricals, colourful language - and frocks to match. Last word from director David Mallet:
"Freddie was always involved - with Queen or with his own single records - in every aspect of it. Any video that you made with Freddie was always a dichotomy between laughing so hard that you felt you just couldn't stand up - because he was one of the funniest men I have ever met - and moments of utter despair, when everything was going wrong and he was unhappy and miserable. But everybody came away enriched in some way. Freddie was one of the really great originals of the second half of the Twentieth Century. There was nobody like Freddie. There was no-one even a bit like Freddie. There was just nobody like him at all."

The video ends with a stirring version of Mercury's Guide Me Home performed by Swiss jazz pianist Thierry Land. It is one of five compositions specially arranged and recorded by Lang for this box set - the other four appear on the DVD Rom section of The Untold Story which invites viewers in to a private view of The Freddie Mercury Photographic Exhibition. This exhibition, first staged at The Royal Albert Hall in London in 1996 and continues to travel the world promoting AIDS awareness.

The David Wigg Interviews

Much has been written about Freddie, most particularly since his death in November 1991. During his life he consented to very few interviews, although when he did provide a rare quote he could be relied upon to produce a scorcher: "Darling. I'm simply dripping with money. It may be vulgar but it's wonderful! All I want from life is to make lots of money and spend it." And then there was a different Freddie Mercury, one capable of a totally contradictory remark. "It needs a strong willed person to survive. You have to be so astute, so strong. You have to be a hard faced bitch - and a lot of us can't be."

Few but the closest of his circle knew the real Freddie Mercury at any given time. The David Wigg Interviews, recorded in the late 70's and early 80's by one of the few writers he felt he could trust, provide a fascinating insight into the changing world of Freddie over a decade. In Wigg's first encounter backstage, Freddie stormed into the dressing room and hurled a clothes iron at a full-length mirror smashing it to pieces, an outburst sparked by an on-stage technical fault that night. "Some people can take second best but I can't. If you have the taste for being No.1 then No.2 isn't good enough. I'm a spoilt child."

In the mid-eighties, interviewing him in the grounds of his new Kensington home, it was a more tranquil Freddie that David found himself faced with: "Everyone wants a…everybody wants a lovely relationship and at the same time to go out and have fun. For me at the moment in time, I'm quite happy just coming home and tickling…my peonies."
Says Wigg in his written introduction to his taped conversations: "Although these interviews obviously explore certain stages of Freddie's outstanding musical career with Queen, at the same time I attempted to penetrate the veneer of this flamboyant but somewhat private rock star."

Available on audio for the first time, The David Wigg interviews provide an opportunity to eavesdrop on a number of intimate and frank conversations between two friends.
"It's my career that keeps me going, What else am I going to do - dig weeds, get fat and be beautifully in love? No, I'd like to remain as successful as I am, writing beautiful songs and be in love. That's my priority. Would I miss fame? I know nothing else. To me it's a normal life. It's like winning the pools every day."

The Photographic Book

Friends and family of Freddie also contribute to his story in the centre-piece of the Freddie Mercury: The SOLO Collection box set - a 120 page book which traces Freddie's life in photographs and supporting text. Freddie is first photographed aged six months as the winner of a local Zanzibar beautiful baby competition - "Even at that age he loved to pose", says mother Jer Bulsara; taking part in the now classic Queen II cover shoot - "There was a feeling that the Dietrich shoot might be pretentious. To Freddie that word was meaningless - 'but is it fabulous?' was all that mattered" (photographer Mick Rock); Freddie on stage and at play on the road, his image constantly taking on a new identity. "We got more publicity for Fred growing that moustache and shaving his chest than we did at almost any other point" says band member Roger Taylor reflecting on a photo of Mercury during his clone era. The album closes on the last photo Freddie approved of himself, an image of him wearing his favourite waistcoat, a present from a friend who had it specially painted with pictures of Freddie's much-loved six cats.

The collection is drawn from family, photographers who penetrated the inner sanctum, as well as from Brian May's and other private collections. Together they illustrate and note Freddie's most public and private moments.
"My favourite shot of me and Fred together is the one of us on stage at the Marquee Club, London, 1973" writes Brian May (Page 46). "The shot was taken from underneath the (only!) vocal monitor - this is the black shape at the bottom of the picture. Little did we know what the years would bring….".

The Untold Story DVD
By Those Who Knew Him Best

"Of course I couldn't get Queen, so I thought, to hell with it, I'll have Freddie Mercury. I liked him. He was very bouncy, very effusive - very drunk." CBS boss Walter Yetnikov on signing Freddie Mercury.

"When we first arrived in London, Freddie stood out from all the other boys of his age. The fashion for hair styles was long and shaggy. Freddie had his hair short in a Cliff Richard style. I used to walk behind him so people didn't think I was with him."
Freddie's sister, Kashmira Cook.

"He was always coming into Biba and just hanging around me. It took about 5/6 months before he asked me if I wanted to go out on a date. Five months later we were living together." Mary Austin.

There were those who shared an extremely close relationship with Freddie: his mother and father Jer and Bomi Bulsara, sister Kashmira; Mary Austin, his long time girlfriend who continues to live at Garden Lodge, his last home; designer Diana Mosely, who first met him on his Born To Love You video and became designer of his private wardrobe and public costumes; Peter Freestone, personal assistant for more than 10 years; Jim Hutton, his boyfriend at the time of his death. Outside of this close circle there were the friends, photographers, record producers, and record bosses; and back in Zanzibar and India the relatives, school friends, even his first child sweetheart, Gita RGoshi, on whom he had a crush during his school day years at St. Peter's in Panjghani, India. Together they weave the rich tapestry that was the life of Freddie in this powerful programme.

A documentary feature by the DoRo film-making team of Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, who worked with Queen and Freddie over more than a decade, The Untold Story DVD, a journey across time and culture, tracks the life of the young Farrokh Bulsara from The Hospital Government Zanzibar where he was born on a Thursday, September 5, 1946 and where his childhood friend John Baptist da Silva is still lobbying the islanders to recognize him, through schooldays in India, the working class suburbs of 60's Bohemian London, and over the twenty plus years which followed; years of extraordinary and fabulous success. The story finishes without end. Even today Freddie's final resting place remains a secret. "He suddenly announced one day, after Sunday lunch, 'I know where I want you to put me," recalls Mary Austin. "But I don't want anyone to know. I don't want to be dug up. I want to rest in peace'".

Mary Austin, the person perhaps closest to Freddie throughout his life, talks lovingly and at length about the man who she was all but in name 'married' to: "It was a relief when he told me he was gay. How could I deny him the right to be at one with himself? It was a love that you accept and understand because you want the person inside to grow, and fascinating to see this person finally at ease and at one with himself; it was an almost euphoric feeling."

Jer Bulsara, Freddie's 'mummy' and sister Kashmira tell how it was inevitable that Mercury would want to leave Zanzibar: "for a boy like him there wasn't much for him to do, instead he was always looking at magazines which came from overseas and wanting to know what it would be like to be there. Jer talks about Freddie's first journey away from the family, sent just before he reached his 9th birthday to St. Peter's, a residential boarding school in India, a period that was to have a dramatic influence on his development as a budding musician and performer.

It is the section of the programme filmed at Freddie's school that we get the first real insight into Freddie' burgeoning talent as musician and performer. His aunt recalls how she encouraged him to take piano lessons, which led to the young Freddie forming his first band The Hectics. While Freddie and The Hectics may not have shaken the world outside India, the impression they made locally was seismic. Gita Gosh recalls: "The Hectics, I think were more important to us than Elvis Presley or anyone else and we were very proud of them, especially the girls who were associated with them on a regular basis."
Freddie's former teacher recalls that The Hectics even made an impression on the staff: "Freddie was playing the piano…remove the piano and there was nothing left of The Hectics. All the symptoms were there, plenty of noise and I could say, very melodious. Even people like myself enjoyed their music."

A fellow member of The Hectics, Zahid Ali Abrar recalls how the normally reticent Freddie took on a new persona once he was at the piano: "he didn't have stage fright -
otherwise he would be a shy boy - but when he went on the keyboard he would be in a bliss, playing like, I would put it crudely, multiple orgasm."
It was perhaps Freddie's preoccupation with music that resulted in his leaving
St. Peter's having failed his academic exams, and a report which rounds up his achievements as: "accomplished boxer, good singer, outstanding pianist, unbeatable table tennis player, thoroughly mediocre cross country runner.."

Assessing the years in which Freddie reigned one of the world's most fabulous rock stars , fashion designer Zandra Rhodes talks about the evolution of the Mercury image: "He was a free thinker; I think those changes of image show a wonderful free-spirit."

Spanish Opera legend Montserrat Caballe 'the voice that sang with Freddie Mercury the song for my city', recalls how nervous he was at their first meeting: "I felt the cold on his hand, I thought he's nervous too, so that's good, because when people are nervous it means both are expecting something from one another". Montserrat also recalls the night spent around Freddie's piano when they first got to know one another. "It was a very special night, a wonderful night I will never forget. It was such a wonderful time that we didn't realise that time passed so quickly. It was 6 o'clock in the morning when I left and there were lots of people in the street, surprised that I had spent the night in Freddie's home!"

Freddie's final days are movingly told by his family, boyfriend Jim Hutton, assistant Peter Freestone, and Mary Austin, who says:
"Freddie had given himself a limit. I think personally that when he couldn't record anymore, when he didn't have the energy to do it, it would be the time, because his life had been his work and his joy, and without it he wouldn't have been strong enough to face what he had to face."

Further information:
Phil Symes/Rob Deacon
Tel: 020 7323 1200
Fax: 020 7323 1070

The SOLO Collection
A 10 CD and 2 DVD Set
Presented in deluxe 120 page slipcase hard-backed book

Contains the CD's:
Mr. Bad Guy (1985 album)
Barcelona (1988 album)
The Great Pretender (1992 album)
The Singles (1973-1985)
The Singles (1986-1993)
The Instrumentals
Rarities 1
Rarities 2
Rarities 3
The David Wigg Interviews
Also includes the DVD's
The Video Collection
The Untold Story

Release Date: 23rd October, 2000
ICPN: 7243 5 2777964 0 3Also Available:
3-CD Set
Freddie Mercury Solo
Includes the albums Mr. Bad Guy and Barcelona
Plus Bonus CD featuring hits and rarities.
ICPN: 7243 5 28047 2 6
The Video Collection
Freddie Mercury Solo Videos
ICPN: 07243 492443 37 (VHS) / 07243 492443 00 (DVD)