A previously unreleased version of Freddie Mercury’s 1986 song “Time,” which was recorded for the hit musical of the same name, has seen the light of day. The track was unveiled by U.K. legend Dave Clark, of The Dave Clark Five, a longtime friend of Mercury’s, under the new title “Time Waits for No One.” Watch video in player below. Listen to the track here.

“Time Waits for No One” was written by Clark for the 1986 West End musical Time, which combined sci-fi, rock music and special effects to create a unique production that was well ahead of its time. The show broke records during its two-year run and featured acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier and music icon Cliff Richard.

Mercury recorded the songs for the Time soundtrack at Abbey Road Studios in October of 1985. The sessions were recorded over the course of many late nights fueled by “fabulous food, vodka and Cristal Champagne,” courtesy of Freddie’s personal chef. Dave Clark, who wrote the songs and produced the sessions says, “We got on great… If I didn’t like something I’d say, and vice versa… we were both aiming for the same thing: to make something special.”

Following the initial sessions, Mercury returned to the studio in January 1986 to record the version of “Time Waits for No One,” which was written by Dave Clark and John Christie. The poignant song is as relevant today as it was when it was recorded and highlights Mercury’s incredibly powerful voice and now seems to serve as a compelling eulogy to the late-Queen frontman.

Photo courtesy of Dave Clark International
Photo courtesy of Dave Clark International

The original version of “Time” is vastly different from the stripped down take released today. It used 48 tracks of backing vocals and set a record for Abbey Road at the time of 96 total tracks of instruments and vocals. While Clark says the original version of the song “worked,” the feeling of “goosebumps” he experienced during rehearsals never dissipated over the years. After searching through the vaults to find the version without all the backing vocals, Clark discovered the session featuring Mercury and Mike Moran on piano in the spring in 2018. He tapped Moran to re-record the piano part and then added just one vocal track featuring the great Freddie Mercury.

The video, below, was pulled together using negatives from a four camera shoot, which was being stored in Pinewood Studios outside of London until they were returned to Clark after his 2014 documentary Glad All Over. The Dave Clark Five and Beyond. The clip shines a light on Mercury’s “magic performance,” featuring the iconic vocalist looking angelic in all white, belting out the song in his signature style fitting for a Broadway stage.

In a 1986 interview with Mercury and Clark (below), Freddie explains, "I undertook this project knowing fully well that he was the overseer, but of course I wanted to put my stamp on it and in the end we disagreed on a lot of elements. But then he gave way and I gave way to a lot of things." He adds, "Sometimes you have to give way to understand certain problems." Clark says that Mercury's performance channels legendary vocalists Edith Piaf, Jennifer Holliday and Shirley Bassey."

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