Added on 03-Aug-2014
William Orbit is overseeing songs for probable pre-Christmas release
William Orbit has confirmed he is producing Queen’s new album based on unreleased vocals by late singer Freddie Mercury.
Orbit announced the news in a tweet which said: “Am definitely working with QUEEN. Amazing songs. That’s all I’m saying for now. Watch this space.”
Queen guitarist Brian May confirmed in May that he and drummer Roger Taylor were working on the album, which is likely to be called ‘Queen Forever’ and is believed to be released before Christmas.
“We had to start from scratch,” May told BBC Radio Wales of the new recording sessions. “Knowing how it would have happened if we'd finished the songs, I can sit there and make it happen with modern technology. It's quite emotional. It's the big, big Queen ballads and the big, big epic sound." May added that Mercury’s vocals for the album were recorded in the 1980s.
Orbit, who has produced Blur, Madonna and Britney Spears, previously announced in July 2013 that he was producing a duet between Mercury and Michael Jackson, which is likely to feature on the new Queen album.
Mercury and Jackson recorded three unreleased songs during the sessions for Jackson’s classic 1982 album ‘Thriller’. The three songs were subsequently re-recorded, but not as Jackson/Mercury duets. ‘Victory’ and ‘State Of Shock’ were sung by The Jacksons on their 1984 album ‘Victory’, with ‘State Of Shock’ featuring Mick Jagger singing what would have been Mercury’s vocals. ‘There Must Be More To Life Than This’ is on Mercury’s 1985 solo album ‘Mr Bad Guy’. Jackson and Mercury’s demo of ‘State Of Shock’ can be heard below. It isn’t known which of the three songs will feature on the new album.
The new album will be Queen’s second to feature vocals based on unreleased Mercury vocals since the singer’s death in 1991. ‘Made In Heaven’, released in 1995, featured bassist John Deacon, but he has since left the band and won’t feature on the new album.
Queen have also released an album, 2008’s ‘The Cosmos Rocks’, featuring Free’s Paul Rodgers as singer. Rodgers left in 2009, with American Idol winner Adam Lambert Queen’s vocalist since 2012.