I always find it fascinating that people struggle to listen to an artists' work because it tackles the issue of mortality head on. Sometimes, that makes it so utterly vital. And not all music has to make you happy... it's okay for it to hurt you, too. Some of my all time favourite recordings are the last things artists ever did - from Billie Holiday's self-titled final album, to Johnny Cash's American Recordings series, to Eartha Kitt's sublime Cheltenham Jazz Festival live recording. And yes, including A Winter's Tale and Mother Love as an artist going out on his own terms.Old Man wrote: ↑Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:48 pmNot sure, whether they "made him sing songs". According to May and Taylor Freddie wanted to sing as much as possible in his final months. Singing was his life ! And probably in those moments he could forget his situation for a while. It must have been a very difficult time for them and I do not feel like being in any position to criticise them. But "Mother Love" with those lyrics is nothing I can really enjoy.
I have similar problems with Bowie's "Black Star". I have highest respect, that he made it while knowing the end was near. But it hurts listening to that record. His music is also very important to me. Imagine my surprise, when there was the news in 81, they would do an album together....which of course turned out to be just a single-a-side.....
As for Bowie, Blackstar was a fascinating listen, especially those precious few days before he died where I couldn't help but wonder if it was his retirement record or all part of another character he'd created. Though personally, I think the hardest song from that period is Killing a Little Time on the No Plan EP - that's some real fury at his situation, there, and the chorus hits you like a ton of bricks: "I'm falling, man/I'm choking, man/I'm a broken line..."
And when he died, I realised so many of his lyrics over the years had tackled the subject of his mortality that it's just another running thread through his career. The two songs that made me cry on that day were Something in the Air from his unfairly lamented 1999 album ...hours, with the lyric: "I've danced with you too long...", and the sublime Bring Me The Disco King on Reality and that gut-wrenching verse: "Don't let me know when you're opening the door/Close me in the dark, let me disappear/Soon there'll be nothing left of me/Nothing left to release..."