English rock band Queen have shared an unreleased song recorded more than thirty years ago, one of the last known to feature Freddie Mercury’s vocals. The song is called “Face It Alone” and Queen have released an official lyric video along with the rare track.
“Face It Alone” was recorded in 1989 during studio sessions for their 13th album, The Miracle. This was the first album recorded after Mercury’s HIV diagnosis in 1987 and the penultimate album released before his death in 1991 to AIDS-related causes. The Miracle is now being reissued on November 18th, and it was during the restoration process that the band rediscovered the song.
“We’d kind of forgotten about this track,” drummer Roger Taylor said in a statement. “But there it was, this little gem. It’s wonderful, a real discovery. It’s a very passionate piece.”
Because “Face It Alone” did not make it to official release, the recording was incomplete and required a great deal of archival work to produce a finished song, an effort that was well worth it. 31 years after Mercury’s death, the lyrics took on new meaning for the surviving band members.
“It was kind of hiding in plain sight,” guitarist Brian May told BBC Radio 2. “We looked at it many times and thought, ‘Oh no, we can’t really rescue that.’ But in fact, we went in there again and our wonderful engineering team went, ‘Okay, we can do this and this.’ It’s like kind of stitching bits together. But it’s beautiful. It’s touching.”
Queen formed in 1970, and is responsible for several iconic songs, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “Under Pressure.” After Mercury’s death, Queen released their final studio album, Made in Heaven, in 1995, featuring posthumous vocals from Mercury. Starting in 2004, the band toured as “Queen +” with guest vocalists Paul Rogers and Adam Lambert. Now, this rediscovered track offers a rare opportunity to hear new material from the original band, together again after three decades.
“I’m happy that our team were able to find this track,” May said. “After all these years, it’s great to hear all four of us … working in the studio on a great song idea which never quite got completed … until now!”
The reissue of The Miracle will consist of an 8-disc box set. In addition to “Face It Alone,” the set will include five other unreleased tracks, demos, interviews, and studio talks.