On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Gary King 4am - 6am
8 January 2021, 14:24
Brian May and Roger Taylor joined Luciano Pavarotti for an incredible duet of the Queen star's 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' at the operatic star's benefit concert in 2003.
Brian and Roger Taylor were in Italy alongside other great musicians including Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie, Bono and Andrea Bocelli for Pavarotti's famed "Pavarotti and Friends" annual benefit concert.
Earlier in the evening, in front of an audience of 25,000 people and televised across Italy, Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor had opened the show with a rousing performance of 'We Will Rock You' followed by 'We Are The Champions'.
However it was Brian May's duet with Pavarotti at the end of the show that prompted one Italian newspaper to describe as "one of the most intense moments of the concert".
'Too Much Love Will Kill You', written by Brian May, was originally recorded with Freddie Mercury on vocals in 1989 and was released posthumously on the album Made In Heaven in 1995.
However, the first time Brian May ever performed the song publicly left confusion about its origins for years to come.
Fans were to hear the song for the first time at the infamous Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley in 1992, where Brian played the stripped back song with just his keyboard for company.
Due to the heartfelt nature of the lyrics, it was immediately assumed the song had been written and dedicated to Freddie himself, but it was in fact written by Brian year before about the breakdown of his marriage and attraction to his future wife, Anita Dobson.
After performing the track at the April 20, 1992 tribute concert, Brian went on to include it in his solo album Back To The Light later that year and 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' was released as a single.
Reaching number five in the UK charts, number two in Belgium and number one in both the Netherlands and Poland, the song was also awarded the 'Best Song Musically and Lyrically' at the 1996 Ivor Novello Awards.
Brian was moved by the song's success and later said if there was ever a song he wanted to win an award for "it was this one".