A stripped-down version of “Time” by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has resurfaced more than 30 years after it was recorded.
Mercury’s friend Dave Clark produced and released the track and music video on Thursday under the title “Time Waits for No One.” It’s a bare-bones rendition of the ballad showcasing the late singer’s powerful voice, paired only with pianist Mike Moran on piano.
The original, simpler version of the song had been buried deep in Clark’s archives as its final, single recording went on to be released with percussion and backup vocals for Clark’s eponymous sci-fi musical, “Time.” The fully produced single was later featured on the musical’s star-studded concept album and charted modestly.
But it was Mercury’s original recording of the ballad in London’s storied Abbey Road Studios that had deeply moved Clark, according to a statement posted on Mercury’s website.
“I didn’t think about what we had originally done until a decade or so later, when I thought, ‘I’ve never felt that sort of goosebumps feeling that I got on that original run-through at Abbey Road [Studios] with just Freddie and piano,’” Clark said in the statement.
The producer retrieved the original recording from his tape archive in the spring of 2018 and opted for the fanfare around the Oscar-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody” biopic to subside before releasing it.
Clark pulled together the “Time Waits for No One” music video with negatives and unprocessed film from a hasty four-camera shoot with the vocalist at the West End’s Dominion Theatre in 1986. It features Mercury, who died in 1991 at age 45, singing the ballad onstage in the same theater where the “Time” musical was playing an evening show.