Queen’s remaining members Roger Taylor and Brian May are now admitting that piecing together yet another album of posthumous odds and ends — more than 20 years after frontman Freddie Mercury’s death — hasn’t been easy.
First, there’s the matter of 1995’s Made in Heaven, a project also assembled from what was left of Mercury’s unreleased musical legacy. The album became Queen’s biggest UK hit since 1977’s News of the World, but it followed a scouring of the vaults.
“We really went to town on the Made In Heaven album and we wrung every piece of juice out of what we could find. And we were all very proud of it,” May tells News.com.au. “It was one of the best albums we made and Freddie was very much there even though he had already passed on.”
When work on this new compilation — to be co-produced by William Orbit, and titled Queen Forever — was first announced, it appeared that Mercury’s long-lost Michael Jackson collaborations would act as a centerpiece. But Taylor says Queen has been slowed in getting that content cleared. “If we could get a decision from the Michael Jackson estate, who seem to be, well, difficult,” he told The Standard. “William Orbit did a really nice mix of one of our tracks with Michael and I’m pretty certain that will be on Queen Forever. But it’s been like wading through glue.”
Otherwise, it seems precious little is left. “There’s a couple of things with Michael Jackson, a couple of things with us which had strangely got put in the drawer,” May says. “But there is not a whole album’s worth and the rest of it will be things that we have kind of collected together that are representative of our growth rather than the big hits.”
Both May and Taylor, who are wrapping up a world tour with Adam Lambert this week in New Zealand, have said they hope to have something released by the end of the year. Fellow founding Queen member John Deacon participated in Made in Heaven, but has since retired.