After 30 years, music fans hoping to hear the long-awaited duets of Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson will finally get their chance. The 1983 sessions between the two singers are set for release this fall.
According to U.K. paper The Daily Mail, the recordings are being worked on by Mercury’s Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor, who promise fans will have “something for folks to hear” in two months.
Mercury and Jackson recorded three songs during six hours spent at Jackson’s home studio in Encino, California. Though the recordings were never released, May was given permission by the Jackson estate in 2011 to work on the tracks with Taylor, along with producer William Orbit, who has previously worked with Madonna and Blur.
The revamped tracks are believed to include new guitar solos from May along with Queen-style vocal harmonies. No official release date has been announced for the duets.
The two artists originally planned on doing more recording together, but according to an interview with Mercury’s longtime manager, Jim “Miami” Beach published in The London Times (via Consequence of Sound), the collaboration was put to a halt after Mercury complained about a llama being in the studio. Yes, Michael Jackson didn’t just have a pet monkey, he had a llama too.
“They got on well except for the fact that I suddenly got a call from Freddie, saying, ‘Miami, dear, can you get on over here… You’ve got to get me out of here. I’m recording with a llama… I’ve had enough and I want to get out,” Beach explained.
Mercury passed away from an AIDS-related illness in 1991, while Jackson died in 2009 after suffering cardiac arrest.
– Shannon Carlin, Radio.com