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Freddie Mercury’s History Chronicled in ‘The Great Pretender’ Documentary

Freddie Mercury
Fox Photos, Getty Images

Most remember Freddie Mercury as the frontman for Queen, but a new documentary film takes things a little further by digging through the archives to chronicle the singer’s life, career, and even his solo projects.

Titled ‘The Great Pretender,’ the film will be available from Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD and Blu-Ray beginning Sept. 25. It was created by the same team behind the well-received ‘Queen: Days of Our Lives’ BBC documentary and was produced and directed by lifelong fan and expert Rhys Thomas.

The extensive footage includes rare interviews with Mercury, concerts, video shoots, and personal material from the singer’s own collection. In addition, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, along with manager Jim Beach, are among those offering testimonials about the vocalist.

Specific highlights in the film include Freddie and Rod Stewart singing their demo of the unreleased song ‘Take Another Piece of My Heart’ and Mercury’s unreleased collaboration with Michael Jackson on ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This.’ Plus, Mercury appears in some of the archived footage with the Royal Ballet in 1979.

There’s also footage of Mercury’s 39th ‘Black and White’ birthday party in 1985 in which the singer and his friends celebrated with a cross-dressing theme party to signify his final year before turning 40.

As for the music, expect to hear outtakes from the video shoots for ‘I Want to Break Free,’ ‘One Vision,’ ‘Days of Our Lives,’ ‘I Want It All,’ ‘A Kind of Magic,’ ‘Princes of the Universe,’ ‘Living on My Own,’ ‘Born to Love You,’ ‘Great Pretender,’ ‘Made in Heaven,’ and ‘Who Wants to Live Forever.’

Coinciding with ‘The Great Pretender” DVD offering will be the ‘Barcelona: Special Edition’ album in which Mercury teamed with Montserrat Caballe for a record that’s been re-recorded with a full 80-piece orchestra and will be issued with the book titled ‘The Great Pretender.’

In other Freddie Mercury news, the Savoy Hotel will host the second annual ‘Freddie for a Day‘ charity event Sept. 3, with proceeds aiding the Mercury Phoenix Trust to fight AIDS worldwide. ‘The Great Pretender’ film will screen three days later (Sept. 6) at BAFTA.

Next: The Best Queen Songs

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