The song is from the Queen album A Kind of Magic from 1986. It was written by Queen guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack of the movie Highlander. The song is also on the compilation album Greatest Hits II. The song was released worldwide as a single in September 1986, but was not very successful commercially. In the Netherlands it only managed to reach the National Hit Parade; in 1992 it became a hit in both the Top 40 and the National Hit Parade.
After the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, the song was re-released in the Netherlands. This time the seventh position was achieved. Since then, the song has been selected in several ‘all-time lists’, such as the Top 100 of all time (highest position: 15 in 2003) and Radio 2’s Top 2000 (22 in 2002).
On the 12-inch edition of the single from 1986 and on the re-release of A Kind Of Magic from 1991, an instrumental version of the song entitled Forever was included as one of the bonus tracks.
Just before the release of “A Kind of Magic”, there were rumors that the men of Queen would separate. At one of the Magic Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium, Freddie Mercury debunked these rumors by shouting, shortly before the band “Who Wants to Live Forever” started to shout, “We’re gonna stay together until we fucking well die, I’m sure of it! “. Mercury did not know at that time that this was already the case with him almost five years later, as he was tested HIV positive in 1987 and died in November 1991 of the effects of AIDS.