‘Freddie’s there, as large as life’: Brian May revels in newly discovered Queen music

Brian May talks about a cache of unreleased Queen tracks that he discovered — and what it’s been like hearing the group, then still a four piece, working at the peak of its powers.

May plans to finish up these raw demos with fellow Queen stalwart Roger Taylor for a forthcoming new release, their second since frontman Freddie Mercury succumbed to AIDS-related illness in the early 1990s.

“We’re looking at some tracks, which we found miraculously,” May tells BBC’s Danny Pike. “We thought there were none left, but we have a couple — in fact, three.”

One of them dates back to 1983, May adds. “And it sounds just as if it was recorded yesterday,” he says. “Freddie’s there, as large as life, having a lot of fun, being very cheeky. And we’re all playing as a band, the four of us. It’s wonderful.”

John Deacon, the group’s co-founding bassist, has been retired since 1997. As with 1995’s Made in Heaven, May and Taylor will have to complete the unfinished demos themselves.

“Obviously, it wasn’t finished, so you have to work a bit of magic on it,” May says, “but you can do that these days. We’re quite used to using ProTools, and weaving spells around what fragments we can find. This is a big fragment, though — a big archeological find. We’re having a lot of fun with it.”

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