The sun is shining, I feel good.
And no one's gonna stop me now, oh yeah."
Made in Heaven is the fifteenth and final album by the British rock band Queen, released through Parlophone Records in the United Kingdom and Hollywood Records in America on 6 November 1995. After recording Innuendo, Freddie Mercury spent the remaining months of his life recording additional vocal and piano tracks before becoming too sickly to finish his final song "Mother Love", leaving the final verse to be sung by Brian May. On 24 November 1991, Freddie Mercury passed away after a lengthy battle with AIDS. The remaining members of the band assembled these recordings between 1993 and 1995 and added the instrumentations in their studio in Montreux, Switzerland, the site of the Freddie Mercury statue as seen on the album cover. "Made in Heaven", from which the album derives its name, was originally a song from Mercury's solo album Mr. Bad Guy, and rerecorded for the album to include the Queen sound.
It was released in two formats: a 48-minute LP, and a CD version with an additional 22-and-a-half-minute untitled ambient track. The covers of both were also different, portraying the Lake Geneva scenery in dawn and dusk respectively. It went quadruple platinum in the United Kingdom, also reaching gold and platinum status in various markets around the world. Two years after the release of the album, the band put out one last single, "No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)" (recorded for the compilation Queen Rocks), John Deacon retired from music, and Queen became inactive until 2004. To assure that they wouldn't be truly replacing Mercury, they would bill themselves as a collaborative act with a guest singer, first with Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers as "Queen + Paul Rodgers," then with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert as "Queen + Adam Lambert."
Made in Heaven was supported by six singles: "Heaven for Everyone", "A Winter's Tale", "I Was Born to Love You" (Japan only), "Too Much Love Will Kill You", "Let Me Live" and "You Don't Fool Me".
- "It's a Beautful Day" (2:33)
- "Made in Heaven" (5:25)
- "Let Me Live" (4:46)
- "Mother Love" (4:46note )
- "My Life Has Been Saved" (3:15)
- "I Was Born to Love You" (4:50)
- "Heaven for Everyone" (5:36)
- "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (4:20)
- "You Don't Fool Me" (5:25)
- "A Winter's Tale" (3:49)
- "It's a Beautiful Day" (reprise) (3:01)
- "Yeah"note (0:04)
- " '13' "note (22:33)
- John Deacon - bass, electric guitar, keyboard
- Brian May - electric guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, co-lead vocals ("Let Me Live", "Mother Love")
- Freddie Mercury - lead vocals, keyboards, backing vocals, drum machine
- Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals, keyboards, co-lead vocals ("Let Me Live")
Let me live and make a brand new trope:
- Alternate Album Cover: The CD cover depicts the view of the band's Montreux studio at dusk; the LP release, meanwhile, showcases the same area at dawn. Consequently, the back photo of the band also changes, going from them gazing at the Alps to them gazing at the rising sun.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The common Fanon of the once-untitled 22-and-a-half-minute ambient track " '13' ".
- Book Ends: The album begins and ends with "It's a Beautiful Day." On another level, as the reprise heads for the close, samples from "Seven Seas of Rhye," the final song on their first album, are mixed into the track.
- Continuity Nod:
- "It's a Beautiful Day" has a relatively big one that might have not even been intentional in that Freddie continuously chants "No One's Gonna Stop Me Now" throughout parts of the song, either a generic boast of his, or a fairly glaring reference to one of his songs that was (when "It's A Beautiful Day"'s vocals and piano were recorded) very recently released note .
- "Mother Love" samples Freddie Mercury's call-and-response chant from the band's 1986 Wembley Stadium concert (as documented in the 1992 Live Album Live at Wembley '86), with the synth string intro to "One Vision" playing in the background.
- "I Was Born to Love You" samples Mercury's ad-libs from the Title Track to A Kind of Magic.
- "A Winter's Tale", recorded during the post-Innuendo sessions, has a subtle but charming one: "It's A Kind of Magic in the air".
- Epic Rocking: The unlisted ambient track lasts for 22 and a half minutes. It wasn't on the 1995 LP, at least not in its entirety, but the 2015 LP has it as side four.
- Fading into the Next Song: "It's a Beautiful Day" → "Made in Heaven"; "A Winter's Tale" → "It's a Beautiful Day" (reprise) → "Yeah"note → track 13.
- Feelies: The original Parlophone Records CD release features embossed calligraphy Q's (taken from the Queen logo) lining the disc tray's spine. Sadly, this effect isn't replicated on any other release, not even on the 2011 remastered CD (which in theory could've printed the design in 2D on the inlay).
- Hidden Track: "Yeah" and " '13' " weren't listed. And " '13' " was so named because it is track 13 and otherwise untitled.
- Limited Lyrics Song: "Yeah" consists solely of the word "yeah." Likewise, the only lyrics in " '13' " are a mantra of "are you running?" during the bridge and Freddie Mercury shouting "fab!" at the very end.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Yeah" only lasts four seconds (the minimum track length of a Red Book-compliant CD), and only lasted a few more seconds on any LP release (albeit ending in a locked groove).
- No Title: " '13' " officially went unnamed until a 2015 LP reissue of the album, which named it out of necessity due to it taking up the entire fourth side. "Yeah" meanwhile still goes without an official title, with the name being derived from its one and only lyric.
- Posthumous Collaboration: Deliberate on Freddie's part. Freddie recorded as many vocals as he could for the band to work with, but they still had to dig deeper than that to make a full album. For example, Brian sings the last verse of "Mother Love" because Freddie didn't finish his vocals, a number of songs are repurposed from collaborations or Freddie's solo career, and "You Don't Fool Me" was essentially MacGyvered into a coherent song from scraps. Even discounting the solo career material, a lot of Freddie's vocal and piano work on this album comes from long before 1991. All in all, only three songsnote are actually written and completely recorded after Innuendo.
- Rearrange the Song: "Made in Heaven" and "I Was Born to Love You" are remixes of tracks from Freddie's solo album Mr. Bad Guy, featuring the original vocals atop re-recorded instrumental parts.
- Talk About the Weather: The lyrics to "A Winter's Tale" are simply about the beauty of winter weather; fittingly, they were derived from the sights outside Freddie's hospital window at Lake Geneva.