Queen will finally unveil There Must Be More to Life Than This, a duet between frontman Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson, 33 years after the band first began working on the track. The much coveted tune will make its first appearance on the upcoming Queen Forever compilation, out Stateside this November.
There Must Be More to Life Than This, a heartfelt appeal for peace in the world, was originally written during the sessions for Queen’s 1982 album, Hot Space, most famous for featuring Under Pressure, the band’s smash hit collaboration with David Bowie. While the track did not make the final album as the band never finished recording it, Mercury released his own version on Mr. Bad Guy, his 1985 solo debut.
As Rolling Stone reports, producer William Orbit, known for his work with Madonna and Britney Spears, was brought in to finish There Must Be More to Life Than This. “When I first played it in my studio, I opened a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians,” said Orbit in a statement.
“Hearing Michael Jackson’s vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie’s vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level.” Orbit’s version of the tune stands in contrast to Mercury’s stripped-back rendition.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor first revealed that he had uncovered some of Mercury’s 1983 demos with Michael Jackson and was planning on releasing them in July of last year. However, it was only recently confirmed that a finished version of the two vocalists’ duet would appear on Queen Forever. The track had previously made its way online in the form of leaked versions. This will be its first official release.
Listen: Queen feat Michael Jackson – There Must Be More To Life Than This