Love of My Life is a ballad from the album A Night at the Opera by English rock band Queen. A live release of the single reached number 1 in Argentina and Brazil, in 1979. The preceding track on the album, "The Prophet's Song", flows seamlessly into this song, although the two were never performed back to back live.
Freddie Mercury wrote it on the piano and guitarist Brian May rearranged the song for acoustic 12-string guitar to facilitate live performances. May contributed occasional guitar phrases to the original recording and played the swooping harp glissandos by pasting together multiple takes of single chords. The song is a good example of Mercury's familiarity with rubato phrasing, showcasing his classical piano influences, notably by Chopin and Beethoven.
"Love of My Life" was such a concert favourite that Mercury frequently stopped singing and allowed the audience to take over. It was especially well received during concerts in South America, and the band released the song as a single there.
The 1979 album Live Killers features a live version of the song. It was also performed during the Queen Rock Montreal, Live at the Bowl, Live at Wembley '86, and Return of the Champions concerts. There is a live video of the song on the DVD Greatest Video Hits 1 of a May-Mercury-Audience trio in Tokyo, 1979. The audio for that clip came from a 1979 performance in Frankfurt.
After Mercury's death, Brian May usually dedicated the song to the late Freddie Mercury. A notable exception is the Sheffield show which yielded the Return of the Champions CD and DVD. At that show, May announced that Mercury's mother was at the show and he dedicated the song to her. In the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour, May would sing a few lines of the song, then let the audience take over. He did this on every verse.
Numerous artists have released a cover of "Love of My Life" commercially, including Declan Galbraith, Scorpions, Michael Burgess, Extreme (which featured Brian May), Rose Marie, Elaine Paige, Mark Slaughter, Antonio Vega, Norma Waterson,Iris and czech vocal quartet 4TET.