May 1997, Brian May awarded an Ivor Novello for ‘Too Much Love Will You’ for Best Song Musically and Lyrically!
Brian has admitted that this beautiful and emotionally charged song is the most important song he’s ever written.
He authored this song with Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lamers. This personal ballad is about Brian’s failed marriage to his first wife, Christine Mullen and his attraction to his future wife, Anita Dobson.
It was written in the US and originally recorded in 1988 by Queen with Freddie Mercury on vocals and was set to go on ‘The Miracle’ album released in 1989, however, there were some legal issues with the companies representing publishing rights for Musker and Lamers so they could not release the song properly on ‘The Miracle.’ Queen had made the decision that all songs would be credited as a band rather than individuals, this gem would go into the vault.
In 1995, Queen decided to pull this song from their vault as they were painstakingly adding material they recorded with Freddie for their final studio album ‘Made In Heaven.’ They properly released ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ on February 26, 1996. This version reached the #15 slot in the UK.
“I’m very touched that ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ has been a catalyst for onward journeys in lives. I always worried that the song didn’t give any answers. I was going to write the sequel … But I guess that the song, in combination with where my life actually went, does give enough clues. The biggest truth in the song is, I now believe, that staying in the same place, in these situations, and not making a decision, is the recipe for a long slow mental death. Moving yourself on, even if it’s in a wrong direction viewed in the long-term in retrospect, seems to be the only way forward, and out. And telling the truth seems to be a necessity. That’s a hard place to get to, sometimes….. ” ~ Brian May
Brian recorded his own version and included it on his 1992 solo album ‘Back To The Light,’ releasing it as a single. It achieved great success, peaking at #5 in the UK, #2 in Belgium and topped the charts in the Netherlands.
Although, the Queen recording didn’t duplicate the chart success of Brian’s solo version, it’s regarded as the definitive version, and earned him an Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, at the 1997 Ivor Novello awards.
We can’t deny Freddie’s impressive vocal range and heartfelt passion he pours into everything he sings!
“I loved working with Freddie to do that vocal. We were aware that the song was becoming something different, and it meant something different. We were all aware of it. We obviously knew Freddie’s days were probably limited barring a miracle. So the song started to feel like something different. And we didn’t shy away from making it very big, very Queen-like. And I like it.”
Brian said if there was one song that he would have wanted to win an award for, it was this one.