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Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson Demos Almost Ready for Release

Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Three decades after they were originally recorded, songs that Michael Jackson wrote and demoed with Queen frontman Freddie Mercury are finally close to seeing the light of day.

The duo met up at Jackson’s California mansion in 1983, setting aside a six-hour session that produced three songs: ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This,’ ‘State of Shock’ and ‘Victory.’ All three songs eventually surfaced in other forms, but the Jackson/Mercury demos were never completed. It wasn’t until 2011, after both artists had passed away, that Jackson’s estate cleared the tracks for release. Now, Mercury’s surviving bandmates are in the studio with producer William Orbit, adding what the Daily Mail refers to as “new guitar solos from [Brian] May along with Queen-style vocal harmonies.”

May teased the new sessions in a blog post earlier this year, telling fans that “there are a few items in progress. We will have something for folks to hear in a couple of months’ time, hopefully.” He recently described further work on the songs as “exciting, challenging, emotionally taxing. But cool.”

“They were great songs, but the problem was time — as we were both very busy at that period,” Mercury recalled of the 1983 session. “We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely. Michael even called me to ask if I could complete [‘State of Shock’], but I couldn’t because I had commitments with Queen. Mick Jagger took over instead. It was a shame, but ultimately a song is a song. As long as the friendship is there, that’s what matters.”

Unfortunately, Mercury and Jackson eventually stopped trying to reschedule. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Mercury subsequently fell out with Jackson because the U.S. star objected to Mercury taking too much cocaine in his living room.”

Next: Top 10 Queen Albums

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