Queen – I want it all
In mid May 1989 we lived another important day for 80s music. On different days in many countries, Queen released their new album “Miracle”, presented by this iconic song, “I want it all”. The story behind this song belongs to Brian May. He was just exiting from his first marriage and had a relationship with actress Anita Dobson who, according to the story, used to repeat this sentence, “I want it all and I want it now”. May took it as an intent, a way to remember to be assertive and focused. Actually he wrote hte song two years before, but Queen decided to use it for this new album.
Of course, during this period the story of Queen was absolutely tied to the personal story of Freddy Mercury. In May 1989 he had not officially disclosed his health status, but he was certainly suffering, because he had to pause the tour several times. And some say that also wearing a beard in this video was not a coincidence, but rather a way to hide illness marks. And actually in the very first frames of the video, Freddie’s face and skin seems to reveal that there is something wrong. Maybe this was a way to introduce this topic to the world.
We know this song: it’s fantastic, very powerful, and they chose it as first single off the new album. Yet, they never played it live in their concerts while Freddie Mercury was alive. A weird choice, considering the rock rhythm of the song. During the years many associated the song to claims and protests from various groups of people. As we saw, the song stems from a personal experience by Brian May, but the fact that Freddie Mercury never wanted to sing it live might have deep meanings. Maybe “I want it all” could represent his desperate cry to life, asking for whatever he could have, in his short time remaining.
We are now in May 1989, Mercury knows of his disease since about two years. It seems that Queen were made aware at the end of 1989, but they had to break their tours few times, so they might have been some concern. Freddie Mercury will disclose his health status in November 1991, when things got worse, and actually he only had few days to live. The following years Queen will honor him with the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, where they will sing this fantastic song live for the first time, and it will be one of the song most appreciated by all fans.
So I'm living it all, yes I'm living it all,
And I'm giving it all, and I'm giving it all,
It ain't much I'm asking, if you want the truth,
Here's to the future, hear the cry of youth,
I want it all
Queen on Wikipedia