Queen Releases Newly Discovered Song With Vocals From Freddie Mercury
Once believed to be lost, the track comes from a 1988 recording session
In 1988, the band Queen recorded 30 songs for its album The Miracle. But when the album came out the following year, it featured only 14 of them. “Face It Alone” is among the tracks that were never released—and until recently, the band believed the song to be lost.
But amid preparations for the reissue of The Miracle later this year, Queen’s production and archival team rediscovered “Face It Alone,” says guitarist Brian May in a statement. And now, the world finally gets to listen to it. Last week, Queen released the song, which features vocals from lead singer Freddie Mercury.
“Face It Alone” is the first new track Queen has released in the last eight years featuring all four original band members: Mercury, May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, per USA Today’s Elise Brisco.
“It was kind of hiding in plain sight,” Taylor told BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball earlier this year.
May initially thought that salvaging the recording wouldn’t be possible, but the band’s engineering team was able to make something of the archival audio. “It’s like kind of stitching bits together ... but it’s beautiful, it’s touching,” May told BBC Radio 2.
“Face It Alone” is a four-minute track about “inevitable, existential loneliness, set to slow, bare-bones arpeggios and funereal drum thuds,” as the New York Times’ Jon Pareles writes.
Your life is your own
You’re in charge of yourself
Master of your home
In the end, in the end
You have to face it all alone.
Mercury died in 1991, at age 45, due to complications from AIDS. In 2014, Queen released three songs featuring the singer on the compilation album Queen Forever. A new version of the singer’s solo single “Time” followed a few years later. When Mercury originally recorded the track in 1985, producer and musician Dave Clark asked him to do one take accompanied only by piano. In 2019, that version of the track was released under a new name, “Time Waits for No One.”
“[It] gave me goosebumps,” Clark told USA Today’s Patrick Ryan in 2019. “… But I didn’t think about what we had originally done until a decade or so later, when I thought, ‘I’ve never felt that sort of goosebumps feeling that I got on that original run-through … with just Freddie and piano.”
The expanded, eight-disc version of The Miracle will include another six previously unreleased songs. It will also provide fans with a peek into the band’s creative process through audio of the group’s conversations in the recording studio.