On November 10, Queen returns with a new anthology – available in both single- and double-CD iterations with 20 and 36 songs, respectively – that intends to live up to its title, Queen Forever. While the collection eschews a traditional “greatest hits” approach (and with it, hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You”), it premieres three songs including a long-anticipated collaboration with the late Michael Jackson. In addition to the three “new” tracks available on both editions, Queen Forever also includes album tracks and favorites selected by Roger Taylor and Brian May to be “representative of our growth rather than the big hits,” per May.
The Virgin Records/UMe release introduces the Queen/Michael Jackson debut song “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” first written by the late Freddie Mercury during sessions for Queen’s 1981 album Hot Space. At the time, the band recorded a backing track, but the song remained incomplete. Mercury later recorded Michael Jackson on the song at the King of Pop’s home studio in Los Angeles. Queen revived the track during sessions for 1984’s The Works, but again it was shelved prior to completion, and in 1985, Mercury released a solo version on his debut LP Mr. Bad Guy. This new version fuses Queen’s original backing track with both Mercury and Jackson’s vocals, and has been produced and remixed by producer William Orbit.
The second previously unissued track is May’s composition “Let Me in Your Heart Again.” Initially recorded by Queen for The Works, it, too, was shelved. The version on Queen Forever presents the original live-in-the-studio band performance with newly-recorded guitar parts from May and new backing vocals from May and Taylor. The third new track, “Love Kills,” was composed by Mercury and producer-songwriter Giorgio Moroder in 1984 for Moroder’s new pop soundtrack to the 1927 silent movie Metropolis. Mercury’s dance version of the song became his first solo hit in 1985, but the production may have obscured the fact that all four members of Queen played on the original track. Prior to Queen embarking on their recent tour with lead singer Adam Lambert, Brian May proposed performing an acoustic ballad version of the song; this ballad arrangement is the basis for the recording that premieres on Queen Forever. It features the original band performance and Mercury vocal, augmented by newly recorded guitars and drums by May and Taylor.
There’s more after the jump, including the complete track listing with discography, and pre-order links!
For its non-chronologically sequenced archival material, Queen Forever stretches back as far as 1974’s Queen II and “Nevermore,” and goes through 1995 with tracks like “Too Much Love Will Kill You” and “A Winter’s Tale,” recorded during Freddie Mercury’s final recording sessions with Queen. Favorite albums such as A Night at the Opera (“You’re My Best Friend,” “Love of My Life,” “’39”), A Day at the Races (“Drowse,” “You Take My Breath Away,” “Long Away” and “Somebody to Love”) and The Game (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Play the Game,” “Save Me” and “Sail Away, Sweet Sister”) are all represented.
Queen Forever arrives in the U.K. on November 10, and in the U.S. on November 11. It can be pre-ordered below!
Queen, Queen Forever (Virgin/UMe, 2014)
- Let Me in Your Heart Again *
- Love Kills – The Ballad *
- There Must Be More to Life Than This (William Orbit Mix) – Queen + Michael Jackson *
- Play the Game *
- Dear Friends
- You’re My Best Friend *
- Love of My Life *
- Drowse *
- You Take My Breath Away
- Spread Your Wings
- Long Away *
- Lily of the Valley *
- Don’t Try So Hard *
- Bijou *
- These Are the Days of Our Lives *
- Las Palabras De Amor *
- Who Wants to Live Forever *
- I Was Born to Love You
- Somebody to Love *
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love *
- Friends Will Be Friends
- One Year of Love
- A Winter’s Tale *
- Mother Love
- It’s a Hard Life *
- Save Me *
- Made in Heaven
- Too Much Love Will Kill You *
- Sail Away Sweet Sister
- The Miracle
- Is This The World We Created…?
- In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited
* denotes track available on single-disc edition
Disc 1, Tracks 1-3 previously unreleased
Disc 1, Track 4 and Disc 2, Tracks 3, 11 and 14 from The Game (EMI, 1980)
Disc 1, Tracks 5 and 12 and Disc 2, Track 17 from Sheer Heart Attack (EMI, 1974)
Disc 1, Tracks 6-7 and Disc 2, Track 8 from A Night At the Opera (EMI, 1975)
Disc 1, Tracks 8-9 and 11 and Disc 2, Track 2 from A Day At the Races (EMI, 1976)
Disc 1, Track 10 from News of the World (EMI, 1977)
Disc 1, Tracks 13-15 from Innuendo (Parlophone, 1991)
Disc 1, Track 16 from Queen II (EMI, 1974)
Disc 1, Track 17 from Hot Space (EMI, 1982)
Disc 1, Track 18 and Disc 2, Tracks 4, 6 and 18 from A Kind of Magic (EMI, 1986)
Disc 2, Tracks 1, 7, 9 and 12-13 from Made in Heaven (Parlophone, 1995)
Disc 2, Track 5 from Jazz (EMI, 1978)
Disc 2, Tracks 10 and 16 from The Works (EMI, 1984)
Disc 2, Track 15 from The Miracle (Parlophone, 1989)