Let’s take a trip back to 1986, when Dave Clark and David Soames’s sci-fi rock musical Time was shaking up the West End. Its story centered on an Earthling rock group who is forced to defend the planet against the judgment of a curious extraterrestrial, based on Doctor Who. That same year, Clark created a concept album, also called Time. It boasted a pretty astonishing mix of performers, including Dionne Warwick, Julian Lennon, Laurence Olivier, Leo Sayer, and Freddie Mercury. The Queen frontman had the honor of singing the album’s title track, which featured multi-instrument accompaniment and a rousing chorus as back-up.
Check out the 1986 music video for “Time.”
Cut to 2019, when a previously unreleased version of this song is being unveiled by Clark. To distinguish between the two, Clark is calling the new version “Time Waits For No One.” He told CNN this was the “original run-through,” which was recorded at historic Abbey Road with Mercury singing with piano accompaniment.
“It (became) a mega-production,” Clark said of “Time”s final mix, “Which I was happy with and Freddie loved. But I didn’t think about what we had originally done until a decade or so later, when I thought, ‘I’ve never felt that sort of goosebumps feeling that I got on that original run-through at Abbey Road with just Freddie and piano,” Clark said.
This “stripped-down” version doesn’t have all the pomp and percussion of the original. Still, because of his signature vocal swagger and the heart-pounding emotion Mercury put into every performance, this take is nonetheless out of this world.
Listen to Freddie Mercury’s “Time Waits For No One:”