Unreleased Freddie Mercury-Michael Jackson tracks could surface

(CBS) In the 1980s, two legendary performers got together to record music. Late singers Freddie Mercury of Queen and Michael Jackson laid down a few tracks together, but the tunes never surfaced. Now, there's a chance those never-before-released tracks could be released.

"There's not a lot," Queen drummer Roger Taylor told CBSNews.com about the leftover Mercury tracks. "There are a couple of songs ... and there are a couple of items with Michael Jackson as well. So they'll probably see the light of day at some point."

This year happens to be a significant one for the British rock group, which recently received the Global Icon honor at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Not only is it Queen's 40th anniversary as a band, but it's also been 20 years since Queen lost lead singer Freddie Mercury. He died of an AIDS-related illness on Nov. 24, 1991.

"We sort of keep the flag flying in a way, and I think that's great," said Taylor, who noted how he's continually amazed that it's been four decades since the four original members of Queen first got together.

"I'm even more amazed that he [Mercury] died 20 years ago," Taylor said. "It just doesn't seem like that. That really is scary. It seems like last year to me."

And that flag Taylor speaks of does continue to fly. This year saw the reissuing of Queen's 15 studio albums in a series of deluxe editions.

On Thursday, after months of auditions, Taylor finally announced the winning line-up for The Queen Extravaganza Tour, a major production featuring hand-picked musicians performing the music of Queen. Taylor and Queen guitarist Brian May will oversee the road show, set to kick off in North America next year.

Now there's even talk of teaming up again with "American Idol" winner Adam Lambert, who performed with Queen at the recent MTV EMAs. "We work very well together," Taylor said, calling Lambert's "exceptional" vocal range "very rare."

Whatever Taylor and May have in store, it definitely sounds as if they're committed to keeping Queen's legacy alive.

"We live on in a way," said Taylor.

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  • by Brandt Hardin Location: Clarksville on Dec 9, 2011 at 06:30 PM
    Freddie touched the entire world with his love-embracing energy and lyrics. 20 years after his death, I paid tribute to him on my artist’s blog with a new portrait at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/killer-queen-portrait-of-freddie.html This new work of art is inspired by the words of many of Queen’s songs.


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