Roger Taylor hates the new Queen Forever compilation: ‘It’s bloody miserable!’

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Roger Taylor is expressing deep reservations about the just-released two-disc Queen Forever compilation, and fellow band co-founder Brian May admits he understands why.

The project notably includes three never-before-heard items, including a Freddie Mercury duet with Michael Jackson. “Apart from that it is a rather odd mixture of our slower stuff,” Taylor tells Classic Rock. “I didn’t want the double-album version they’ve put out. It’s an awful lot for people to take in, and it’s bloody miserable! I wouldn’t call it an album, either. It’s a compilation with three new tracks. It’s more of a record company confection. It’s not a full-blooded Queen album.”

May, typically Queen’s biggest cheerleader, can’t argue. In fact, he essentially blames their label for the whole thing. “I can understand Roger’s reticence,” May replies, laughing. “He’s not really a ballad writer, so this album’s not really representative of Roger Taylor. It actually wasn’t our idea. If it had been down to me it would have been an EP of these new songs, but we’d already promised the record company some kind of compilation.”

Queen Forever is the second album to include leftovers from the late Mercury’s era in the band, after 1995’s Made in Heaven. It’s the 13th Queen compilation, including a trio of greatest-hit packages between 1981-99 and a trio of albums focused on deep cuts that arrived in 2011.

Roger Taylor reserves some praise for the previously unissued songs, though there were issues in completing those, as well.

“I was very pleased we had three new tracks to put on it, which we labored long and hard over,” Taylor says. “As well as the Michael Jackson track ‘There Must Be More To Life Than This,’ there is another song Freddie did with him called ‘State of Shock’ [later recorded with the Jacksons and Mick Jagger], with a massive rock sound. But we could only have one track with Michael, which is a great shame. ‘Let Me In Your Heart Again’ is absolutely typical mid-period Queen. And it was Brian’s idea to revisit ‘Love Kills,’ which I feel works.”

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