“Doing the album was a completely unstructured process,” says Mack. “Freddie lived here at the time. He had an apartment and I used to come about one or two to pick him up. We drove to the studio and decided what to do. We would play Scrabble for a while, sometimes we would go and do some shopping. Maybe we’d do a little recording. He usually came up with really good ideas in a matter of 15 or 30 minutes. He was always good at finding something, even if it was not the complete song. Sometimes he would devise the main hook really quickly. Then he developed it and I edited the stuff together. If we had the backbone of a song, we were happy. We would usually work hard until seven o’clock and then go to dinner.”
The Mr Bad Guy album was a labour of love, taking nearly two years to complete. Mercury wrote all 11 songs on it, sang the vocals, played piano and synthesiser, arranged the orchestration and worked painstakingly with Mack to obtain the sound he wanted.
Mack says he is still proud of Mr Bad Guy, adding “I really like ‘Let’s Turn It On’ – but then I like all of the tracks on the album. The songs are not trying to be anything else but Freddie. A lot of people were expecting Freddie to be catering to the audience. He didn’t want that. He just wanted the songs as they are. I didn’t try to get involved in the mixing, because he may not have wanted a lot of new ideas at that stage. It was already great and I would not want to have gone in and made changes for the sake of it, like someone painting a nose on a Rembrandt portrait at the very end.”
👉 Full Interview
Pic: 1985 – Freddie Mercury with Reinhold Mack during the recordings ‘Mr. Bad Guy’ album (behind Jim Beach, Queen’s manager)
➡Today, on April 29, 1985
Freddie Mercury released ‘Mr. Bad Guy’, first solo album in UK/Europe
Reached number 6, on chart for 23 weeks, achieved Gold status.