Queen are set to release a new album including unheard tracks sung by late frontman Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May has confirmed.
The record, working title Queen Forever, is due to hit stores at the end of the year and will feature songs from the 1980s. Mercury’s identifiable vocals will be merged with recently recorded instrumental tracks.
“It is quite emotional, it is the big, big ballads and the big, big epic sound,” May told BBC Radio Wales. “We had to start from scratch because we only had scraps, but knowing how it would have happened if we had finished it, I can sit there and make it happen with modern technology.
Drummer Roger Taylor will be helping May restore the songs, one of which could be a 1983 collaboration with Michael Jackson.
"Brian has been active working on old tracks, a couple of tracks that Freddie did with Michael Jackson," Taylor told Classic Rock Magazine. "They've been hanging around for years and Michael's estate haven't really been able to make their mind up about what to do with them.
"So we suggested we finish them and see. They're pretty good - one of them is great.
The duet failed to make the listing for the King of Pop’s posthumous album Xscape and it remains unclear whether fans will hear it on the new Queen release.
The legendary rock band will be touring North America for the first time in almost a decade in June, with Adam Lambert standing in for Mercury.
Five brilliant bands who formed at university
Five brilliant bands who formed at university
Farrokh Bulsara (AKA Freddie Mercury), an art and design student at Ealing Art College, met graphics and drawing student Tim Staffell, during the late 1960s. Brian May, an astrophysics PhD student at Imperial College London, and Roger Taylor, a dentistry undergraduate at the London Hospital Medical College, were in a band with Staffell named Smile. Freddie Mercury joined the band in 1970 to become their lead singer, changing its name to Queen and also putting his artistic background to use by designing its logo himself. Staffell left and John Deacon, who achieved a First Class Honours Degree in electronics at Chelsea College, now part of King’s College London, joined the band’s line-up. Queen went on to become very successful, with anthemic hits such as “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “We Will Rock You”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions”. You might have heard some of them. (Photo: Douglas Puddifoot)
Founding members Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland formed a band in 1996 while studying at University College London (UCL), after they met during orientation week. It was also at UCL that they met future band members Will Champion and Guy Berryman. Coldplay have achieved worldwide success with songs such as “Fix You”, “The Scientist”, “Speed of Sound”, “Viva la Vida” and “Paradise” and their sixth studio album, Ghost Stories, is to be released in May 2014. (Photo: Phil Harvey)
3/5 Alt-J (∆)
Alt-J (∆) formed in 2007 when Gwil Sainsbury, Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green met at Leeds University. Unger-Hamilton studied English, while the others were art students. Their debut album, An Awesome Wave, was released in May 2012 and contains popular songs like “Fitzpleasure”, “Breezeblocks” and “Tessellate”. The band’s music embodies a unique blend of genres including dub-pop, alternative rock and layered folk.
4/5 Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd formed in 1965 when its members – most of them architecture students – met at London Polytechnic, today’s University of Westminster. The band went on to pave a psychedelic and progressive musical path which has seen them inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Their most popular hits include “Comfortably Numb”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Another Brick in the Wall”.
Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden formed the band during their first year studying at Wesleyan University, a private liberal arts college in Connecticut, USA. The name is an abbreviation of "management". The duo have achieved success with songs such as “Kids” and “Time to Pretend”. (Photo: Danny Clinch)
“We’re in a very good place with the movie and we remain friends with Sacha and hopefully there will be another project that we will work on together in the future,” May said last October.
“It’s a shame that there were these sensationalist stories about him walking out, none of that was true.”
Queen are not the only classic outfit to return with ‘new’ music. Led Zeppelin have unearthed “La La” from their vaults after it was recorded during sessions for 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. Fans can hear it when the record is re-released in June.