Monday, December 16, 2013

Queen guitarist updates unreleased Freddie Mercury project

Queen guitarist Brian May recently revealed that the band have discovered more unreleased Freddie Mercury material in their vaults, and now he’s sharing an update on the planned project.

“Well, there's something coming. I'm not really quite sure what it is yet,” May tells Rolling Stone. “I don't know if there's a whole album. There's a piece of an album. We were looking at putting together a compilation of the more unusual and yet memorable Queen tracks. Things that weren't singles that have become or stayed popular through the years. That's the way it started and then we unearthed a few tapes of Freddie singing and us in the studio that we never finished off. We thought we got to the end of it with [1995’s] ‘Made in Heaven’. But there are a few other things which have turned up. So the album may turn out to be a mixture of some unusual things from the past and some very unusual things which no one has heard at all.”

May and drummer Roger Taylor are recording new backing tracks to the Mercury material, just as they did for the “Made In Heaven” album.

“Roger and I have both been working on tracks in our spare time,” he says. “A couple of them have Michael Jackson on as well, which adds another layer of interest. Freddie and Michael singing together and experimenting in the Eighties.”

“Michael used to come see us a lot,” began May, explaining how the two camps connected. “He was a big big fan, especially of Freddie, and Freddie and Michael got on real real well. Michael was very impressed with our lighting rig, I remember. I can't remember which tour it was. We had pods of lights that moved above the stage that had pilots in them. He said, ‘I'm stealing that,’ and sure enough on the ‘Victory’ tour they had something very similar. But Michael really was very fond of Freddie and sort've idolized him. Michael really felt he wanted to be a rock star.”

“He and Freddie worked mainly at Michael's studio,” explains May. “That's the tapes we have. Some of the tapes they worked on had us on them as well. But I never actually worked in the studio with Michael personally. Sometimes you come across a spare reel of tape and think, ‘Well, what's on that?’ And lo and behold, here's a tape of Freddie singing something we'd forgotten about.”

As for the songs with Jackson, May says there’s “at least one dancey, at least one ballady one. There's sort've three main contenders at the moment, possibly four.”

Queen recently released a limited edition 6 DVD box set that features four concerts, including “Live At Wembley Stadium – 25th Anniversary Edition”, “Queen Rock Montreal”, “On Fire: Live At The Bowl”, and “Live In Rio.”

Exclusive to this package, “Live In Rio” features the band performing at the “Rock In Rio” festival in January 1985 in front of 250,000 fans.

Find out more about the box set here.

See also:

VIDEO: Queen – A tour of The Studio Experience Montreux
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Queen launch The Studio Experience exhibition
Queen sign new deal with Universal Music
Queen discover more unreleased Freddie Mercury material
Queen: Freddie Mercury documentary wins International Emmy Award
Queen drummer Roger Taylor releases Sunny Day video
Queen drummer streams Fun On Earth bonus track
Queen to release limited edition 6 DVD box set
Queen: Hungarian Rhapsody wins Bronze Box Office Award
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Queen: Roger Taylor to release new album and solo catalog
Queen: Freddie Mercury documentary earns Emmy nomination
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