Queen The Greatest Live – These Are The Days Of Our Lives (Episode 48)

These Are The Days Of Our Lives - Roger Taylor, Brian May. These Are The Days Of Our Lives - Roger Taylor, Brian May. Photo Queen Productions Ltd
Photo: © Queen Productions

“Queen The Greatest Live” The Greatest series returns with a year-long celebration of Queen Live.

A 50-week YouTube series going behind the scenes to reveal what goes into creating a Queen show, featuring moments from iconic performances and demonstrating why the band is regarded as the ultimate live act.

Queen The Greatest Live – These Are The Days Of Our Lives (Episode 48)

Roger Taylor’s wistful ballad stands amongst Queen’s most powerful moments, joining the dots between the Freddie era and the band’s post-millennial rebirth. This performance from 2005 – featuring Taylor on lead vocals – reminds us why the song has been an electrifying setlist highlight for the past 20 years .

For both the long-term fans who understand its significance – and the newcomers beguiled by the sweet yet wistful melody – These Are The Days Of Our Lives is one of any Queen show’s most emotionally charged moments. This week’s archive footage might have been filmed at a Queen + Paul Rodgers concert in 2005, but as befits a song that addresses the losses and gains of passing time, it invites those watching to reflect on the band’s history, and their own.  

By the late-’80s, those in Queen’s inner circle knew the band’s talismanic frontman Freddie Mercury was desperately ill. As Roger Taylor told Absolute Radio, These Are The Days Of Our Lives took form as he looked back on the pair’s adventures as young men, from working with the singer on a Kensington Market clothes stall to conquering the rock world alongside Brian May and John Deacon.

“I was sitting at home in a rather reflective mood and I did know that Freddie was ill, and I think it came out of that slightly melancholic mood. I guess I was trying to put an optimistic slant on it in a way – those were the days then. And these are the days of our lives – today is more important than yesterday.”

These Are The Days Of Our Lives was a highlight of 1991’s Innuendo album, but most poignant was the video, which would prove Freddie’s final appearance in front of a camera before his death that November. “He must have had terrible pain, but you don’t see that, you just see a man and his destiny,” director Rudi Dolezal told People. “He didn’t want any special treatment. He was so brave.”

Fourteen years later, as Roger sings lead vocals on this heartfelt take of These Are The Days Of Our Lives, the Sheffield, UK, audience is transported back to Queen’s earliest years by onstage video footage of the band’s tea ceremony during their inaugural 1975 tour of Japan. But this song is also about the here-and-now, and there’s a tenderness as Roger adapts the lyric to introduce the guitar solo from his old friend: “When I look and I find… Brian May!”    

Next Week: Tribute To Freddie