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Queen Tabs William Orbit to Produce New Album

Michael Loccisano/Stuart Wilson, Getty Images

Queen is working with William Orbit on a new album featuring previously unreleased vocals by the late Freddie Mercury. The in-demand producer, who has previously worked with MadonnaBritney Spears and Blur, confirmed the news via Twitter.

The record, to be called ‘Queen Forever,’ is is the second posthumous Mercury-related project put together by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, and will include some long-discussed early ’80s-era duets between Mercury and Michael Jackson. According to NME, ‘Queen Forever’ is expected to be released around Christmas.

Mercury and Jackson collaborated on a trio of unreleased songs during the sessions for 1982’s ‘Thriller,’ but none of the original demos was ever completed. ‘Victory’ and ‘State of Shock‘ were subsequently recorded, the latter with Mick Jagger, for a 1984 album by the Jacksons. ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This’ was redone by Mercury for his 1985 solo disc ‘Mr. Bad Guy.’

Unreleased Mercury vocals were also used to produce the 1995 release ‘Made in Heaven,’ the last Queen album to feature original bassist John Deacon. Mercury died in 1991 from complications related to the AIDS virus. Queen has since released an album with Paul Rodgers, 2008’s ‘The Cosmos Rocks,’ and is touring now with ‘American Idol’ finalist Adam Lambert. May earlier hinted that new material with Lambert might also find its way onto this forthcoming release.

Listen to the Mercury/Jackson Demo of ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This’

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