Watch Queen + Adam Lambert perform dramatic version of The Show Must Go On

Queen + Adam Lambert
(Image credit: Brojan Hohnjec)

Queen + Adam Lambert have released a live version of Queen's 1991 single The Show Must Go On. It's taken from their upcoming live album Live Around The World, which is released on October 2. The Show Must Go On was filmed at London's O2 Arena on the band's 2018 European tour.

"The Show Must Go On is a song with a very deeply resonating message," says Lambert. "I think we all have moments in life where we feel the odds are against us and the climb is a steep one. 

"I always sense a great cathartic release throughout the audience during this song. I think we all recognise that it was a big statement for Freddie at that point in his journey as well: He was fighting for his life."

The Show Must Go On was originally released as the final track on Queen's Innuendo album, recorded as frontman Freddie Mercury was battling the AIDS virus.

“Even though we were all aware of Freddie's impending tragedy, we had some inspired and joyful times in the studio, making the Innuendo album," says Brian May. We didn’t speak much about Freddie’s illness - he just wanted to get on with ‘business as usual’ as far as possible.   

"The melody called for some very demanding top notes, and I’d only been able to 'demo' them in falsetto. I said to Freddie, 'I don’t want you strain yourself - this stuff isn't going to be easy in full voice, even for you!' 

"He said, 'Don’t worry – I’ll f…ing nail it, Darling!'. He then downed a couple of his favourite shots of vodka, propped himself up against the mixing desk, and… delivered one of the most extraordinary performances of his life. In the final mix of The Show Must Go On, when you get to “On with the Show” you are listening to a man who conquered everything to deliver his finest work." 

Live Around The World will be available on CD, CD/DVD, CD/Blu-ray, vinyl and on digital and streaming platforms.

The inspiration behind the album came after Queen and Adam Lambert streamed their YouTube Watch Party back in June – a selection of highlights from previous concerts which followed the postponement of their Rhapsody tour.

Drummer Roger Taylor explains: “We hadn’t really watched those clips before, we were always too busy touring. We weren’t aware of how good the band sounded. So we thought, well, maybe there’s a live album of highlights of concerts that we’ve done over the last eight years with Adam Lambert to be made.”

“The collection climaxes in Sydney earlier this year when, in support Fire Fight Australia, we recreated the complete Queen Live Aid set," says May. "It was a historic event for a great cause – with perhaps the highest adrenaline level since the original Live Aid in 1985.  

“It makes me particularly happy that we can now share this unique moment with the whole world.”

Lambert adds: “When we couldn’t tour this year we wanted to give the fans something in place of that, and a live album just felt right. It’s the first time we have released an album together and we have had a lot of fun putting it together, picking out favourite performances over the past seven years.”

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.