LISTEN: “There Must Be More To Life Than This” by Queen & Michael Jackson

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As announced yesterday, an unreleased duet between Queen and Michael Jackson has been premiered by Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show. 

The song – “There Must Be More To Life Than This” – was unveiled live on air today in the presence of Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor.

“It’s been something we did know about but didn’t have the opportunity to work on it because you need permissions and stuff from Michael Jackson’s estate and everything,” said May of the track, which was originally recorded by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson way back in 1981. “Everything is now in place.”

“What happened was that we found some high quality recordings which had all the original tapes,” explains May. “So then you can go in and start comping and making it into something a bit more polished than the rough cassette we had up to that point. So this is a mixture. Hopefully it sounds like it happened in the room – and I’m gonna spoil it now by telling you it didn’t quite – because all the pieces on it are assembled like a jigsaw in a sense.”

“They did this song together,” adds Taylor of Mercury and Jackson’s collaboration on the track. “We did our own mix of this which you’re not going to hear, sadly. We think it’s marvellous. We think it’s brilliant, actually. But this is a very nice mix – and a very different approach – from William Orbit, who’s a friend of ours who we got. [We said] let’s put another slant on it and see what William comes up with, and he’s a very clever man.”

Taylor went on to explain that Orbit’s mix is more heavily packed with instrumentation and sounds than Queen’s version – which takes a more subtle ‘less is more’ approach on the production.

After listening to the track live on air both Taylor and May agreed that there were a few things that bothered them about Orbit’s mix – including the volume levels of Mercury and Jackson’s vocals which they’d both prefer to be louder.

This isn’t exactly they first time that the public has had a chance to hear “There Must Be More To Life Than This”. Mercury recorded and released a solo version of  on his ‘Mr. Bad Guy’ album in 1985, while Jackson’s solo demo has also been widely available among fans online for more than a decade.

The William Orbit mix of “There Must Be More To Life Than This” will feature as one of 36 tracks on a brand new 2-disc compilation called ‘Queen Forever’ – including two other previously unreleased tracks – when it’s released on worldwide on November 10, 2014.

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