(Hollywood Records) Queen The Greatest Live: "Who Wants To Live Forever" (Episode 12) has been released. Headlining at the Isle Of Wight Festival in June 2016, Queen and Adam Lambert stole the show with this powerhouse rendition of "Who Wants To Live Forever," backed by a dazzling laser show. It remains one of the most moving and memorable moments from a decade of Queen and Adam Lambert shows.
Sound and vision have always gone hand-in-hand at Queen shows. While recent episodes of Queen The Greatest Live have shown how the perfect blend of music and production have elevated the band's most rocking moments, this week we look back at an unforgettable laser-enhanced performance of Brian May's devastating power ballad, "Who Wants To Live Forever," which became the most emotionally charged moment of the 2016 Isle Of Wight Festival.
A highlight of Queen's 1986 studio album, A Kind Of Magic, "Who Wants To Live Forever" was released as a UK #24 single alongside one of the band's most iconic music videos, filmed in an East End warehouse with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, forty choirboys and several hundred candles. Just as memorable, the song was the emotional centrepiece of Queen's acclaimed Highlander soundtrack, scoring the heart-breaking scene in which Christopher Lambert's immortal Connor MacLeod endures the ageing and death of his beloved wife Heather.
It would take something truly special to match those iconic visuals. But at the 2016 Isle Of Wight Festival, the band pushed the envelope further than ever with a spectacular laser show that filled the night sky with a lattice of blue and purple beams. It was the perfect complement to Adam's incredible vocal, with the new singer demonstrating his sky-scraping range for a festival crowd who might not yet have seen him in action. No wonder the performance was included amongst the personally selected concert highlights on Queen + Adam Lambert's 2020's UK #1 Live Around The World compilation album.
"I've never heard it sung like that, that's special," noted Roger Taylor after the performance, while Brian was just as effusive: "Adam is astounding, the lengths he can push things to is extraordinary. Sometimes I'm standing right here playing "Who Wants To Live Forever," and he's there doing his thing. And when he goes into this stratospheric thing in the middle, I very often go, 'Wow.'"
The band's headline set on the Isle Of Wight held added emotional significance, coming just hours after the horrific attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida, where a mass shooting left fifty people dead and many more injured. As Adam told the festival crowd before 'Who Wants To Live Forever': "This song is dedicated to those who lost their lives last night, and anyone who has been a victim of senseless violence or hatred."
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