Sometimes two powerhouse performers get together on a duet and it makes you scratch your head, asking yourself “what the heck were they thinking when they recorded this?” For example, did anyone ever really believe that Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney would be fighting over the same girl in “The Girl Is Mine”? or that David Bowie lived down the street from Bing Crosby, and that they’d get all nostalgic about a Drummer Boy? How about the pairing up of Lou Reed and Metallica. Need I go on?
If you’re curious as to what a duet between Michael Jackson and Queen sounds like, then today’s your lucky day. Back in the early ’80s, Jackson got together with Freddie Mercury to record the following track “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” as well as two other tunes, “Victory” and “State of Shock” (“State of Shock” was later re-recorded by Jacko and Mick Jagger for inclusion on The Jacksons’ Victory album.
Mercury went on to re-record “There Must Be More to Life Than This” for his own solo album, Mr. Bad Guy.
As reported in an article in Rolling Stone the reason the songs didn’t see the light of day, nor a full album get recorded was due to time constraints:
“They were great songs, but the problem was time – as we were both very busy at that period,” Mercury said in an excerpt from Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury.
In 2011 Queens’ Brian May announced that they were working to fine-tune the recordings made with Jackson with the hopes to release them at a later date. That date keeps getting pushed back, but now that this track has going viral it’s my guess that an EP of some sort is somewhere close on the horizon.