18 January 1983 – Freddie Mercury met with Italian producer and composer Giorgio Moroder and was asked to contribute a song to the Metropolis movie remake. “Love Kills”, Freddie’s first solo track, released in September of 1984 and included in the movie soundtrack.

Never one to remain inactive for long, Freddie started recording tracks for a proposed solo album shortly after the 1982, ‘Hot Space’ tour, with ‘Love Kills’ being one of the early survivors to make it past the demo stage. Initially, the song was submitted for Queen’s ‘The Works’ album, but after several unsuccessful attempts, it was discarded and set aside.

Freddie, recognizing the song’s potential, worked on it further, though it was later offered to legendary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder (who is also owner of the Musicland Studios in Münich) for the restored and updated version of the 1927 Fritz Lang film, ‘Metropolis.’ Georgio produced it with Reinhold Mack and Freddie.

How Moroder became involved in the writing of the song was uncertain. Here’s a reason; on the soundtrack to ‘Metropolis,’ a set of lyrics is printed that is completely different from the well-known version; reportedly, when Moroder first asked Freddie to contribute to the song, he agreed but was displeased with the result and chose to rewrite it. This set of lyrics, though, sounds akin to the personal feel that Freddie had been going for and the finished lyrics also contain several of Freddie’s trademarks.

Then it was later reported that Giorgio Moroder approached vocalists who he wanted to be involved in his project separately, with the intent of co-writing the entirety of the soundtrack along with his lyricist partner Pete Bellotte; while other musicians would be fine with this, Freddie was more hesitant to concede to Moroder, which led to a bit of friction between the two. Regardless, Moroder was highly complimentary of Freddie, and, after the two met on 18 January 1983, Freddie agreed to work on the soundtrack, with the caveat of that ‘Love Kills’ be released as a Queen song.

Later in the year, when Queen were preparing to release their first single in almost two years, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, they wanted to use footage from ‘Metropolis’ in the accompanying music video; Moroder gained the upper hand, requesting that, in exchange for the footage, ‘Love Kills’ would then become a solo song by Freddie, with co-credit to Moroder. Peter Freestone, Freddie’s assistant, later revealed that Freddie would play the song to Moroder on the phone, and that Moroder did contribute considerably to the recording, justifying his co-credit.

Giorgio Moroder spoke about his greatest onscreen collaborations and he brought up the experience of “Love Kills” : “With Freddie, I didn’t have too much work to do — the vocal is perfect. But, he confesses that recording with Mercury “was a little difficult. … I don’t know, maybe I was a little intimidated. I’m not saying Mercury was better than David Bowie, but he played piano, he composed, he sang, he had the show, the image. I mean, he was definitely a big icon. So I don’t know if I was a little nervous. It went OK. It could have gone better, the way we interacted, the two of us.

Sometimes I felt he was a little bit English. You know, like I’m not saying the Brits invented music, but they just did a lot of great music, starting from the Beatles on. So I think they have some right to say, ‘Yeah, we know music.’ And that was certainly Freddie.”

Brian May has revealed that ‘Love Kills’ features Roger’s programmed drums and his own guitar work, John didn’t provide bass as it was later mentioned Reinhold Mack was on synthesizers. In essence, ‘Love Kills’ is almost a complete Queen recording, but since it was rejected and Freddie later turned it into something far greater than it had been, it duly became his solo single released in September of 1984. The original version peaked an impressive #10 on the UK charts (three positions higher than Queen’s ‘Hammer To Fall’ which was released the same day)

In 2014, Brian and Roger reworked a previously unreleased ballad version of the song for inclusion on their new compilation ‘Queen Forever’, an album which focuses on Queen’s love songs and ballads.