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Info 101: Musicbits 69: New Queen album will include Freddie Mercury

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"QUEEN FOREVER" coming in 2014.

From 1973-1985, Queen, made up of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, dominated the radio airwaves and concert arenas, scoring hit after hit, playing for crowds that sometimes exceeded 100,000 ecstatic fans. They incorporated all kinds of musical styles into a bombastic, dynamic showcase that awed everyone, including their contemporaries. Freddie Mercury was one of rock's most awesome, awe-inspiring singers and frontmen and his tragic death in 1991 left a hole in rock music--and in the band.

Now, some 23 years later, guitarist May and drummer Taylor, have confirmed that they will be releasing a new album that will include a selection of previously unreleased songs that feature Mercury on vocals. Some of these are rumored to be unfinished tracks which they will complete, incorporating the voice of Mercury much the way the Beatles performed "Real Love" with John Lennon after his death.

Hard-core Queen fans will gratefully scoop up any new Mercury recordings no matter how old. The risk inherent in a project like this is the same faced by the Beatles. "Real Love" wasn't a new Beatles song nor was it a monumental triumph. It was a really cute novelty record. Admittedly, it did help sell a few more copies of the Anthology series abut it was hardly necessary to make that happen. Anything Beatles sells well and, as the second best-selling British band behind them, anything Queen sells well as well.

The saving grace here is that Lennon had recorded his part of real love on inferior equipment in a makeshift studio. Mercury, an infamous perfectionist, recorded a lot of songs in a professional studio with his band-mates and/or studio musicians. Essentially, that means that at least some of these tracks were already ready for release. At worst, only minimal remixing would be necessary. May and Taylor would never do anything to disgrace Freddie's memory or their own legacy. They are well aware of how much this band meant to many people and how offended those people would be if this were a cheap cash grab. Like many, one is anxiously awaiting "Queen Forever" later this year.

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