May and Taylor, who performed this past weekend at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee concert, mentioned in a recent interview with BBC Radio 2 that the track comes from sessions for the band’s 1989 album, The Miracle.
“We did find a little gem from Freddie, that we’d kind of forgotten about,” Taylor said (via Stereogum). “And it was. It’s wonderful. Actually, it was a real discovery.”
The last new music featuring Mercury came out eight years ago, when May and Taylor included the Michael Jackson duet “There Must Be More to Life Than This” on the 2014 compilation album, Queen Forever. (The track also appeared on Mercury’s 1985 solo debut, Mr. Bad Guy.) Two other duets with Jackson sprung from these sessions: “State of Shock,” which was later reworked with Mick Jagger for a version released by the Jacksons, and “Victory,” which remains unreleased.
As for “Face It Alone,” May explained that they didn’t originally consider the recording to be salvageable until engineers set to work.
“It was kind of hiding in plain sight,” May noted. “We looked at it many times and thought, Oh, no, we can’t really rescue that. But in fact, we went in there again and our wonderful engineering team went, OK, we can do this and this. It’s like kind of stitching bits together. … But it’s beautiful, it’s touching.”
No release date has been set yet for “Face It Alone.”
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