There Must Be More To Life Than This

Album: Queen Forever (2014)
  • songfacts ®
  • This duet between Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson began as a song written by the Queen frontman during sessions for the band's 1981 album, Hot Space. The group recorded a backing track, but the tune was never completed. Two years later Mercury visited Michael Jackson at his home studio in Los Angeles where they recorded some demos, including this song. A solo version by Mercury appeared on his debut album Mr. Bad Guy in 1985.

    A version featuring Mercury talking about the song and Jackson singing solo to a piano accompaniment leaked on the net in 2002. Another demo version surfaced online in 2011 and briefly featured in The Great Pretender, a BBC documentary about the life of Freddie Mercury which aired the following year.
  • Madonna producer, William Orbit, mastered a new version of the song for the Queen Forever album, which was given its first play on Chris Evans's BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on September 19, 2014. This new production combines Queen's original backing track and Mercury and Jackson's vocals. Speaking of his involvement, Orbit said: "When I first played it in my studio, I opened a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians. Hearing Michael Jackson's vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie's vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level."

    "The musicianship of all four members of Queen is phenomenal," he added. "Roger (Taylor), an extraordinarily multi talented man I've always admired. John Deacon's original bass part with its lyrical fluidity that made it easy for me to know where to put the odd reinforcement. Freddie's original piano carried most of the song's musical DNA. Brian (May), one take for the solo, a blur of fingers, and the spirits of MJ and FM fully present, in the moment, sending shivers down the spine."
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