During this year’s Royal Jubilee Concert in London, England, Queen icons Brian May and Roger Taylor revealed the existence of a “lost” song from the band, which featured the vocals of the late Freddie Mercury.
Now, that track, titled Face It Alone, has finally arrived, bringing back with it Mercury’s once-in-a-lifetime, mountain-moving vocals and May’s own electric guitar excellence.
With lashings of reverb and an ominously minor progression, it’s quite apt that the track first lets Mercury’s vocals stake center stage, with May initially busying himself with some rumbling, back-of-the-mix leads.
The 1:40 mark ushers in the guitar icon’s main solo contribution, though, which can only be described as quintessential May – a descending fretboard slide, uber-compressed bends, colorful chromatics and a litter of selective licks tinged with delay.
Face It Alone was first recorded in 1988 during Queen’s sessions for their 1989 album, The Miracle. At the time, it didn’t make the cut and was eventually forgotten.
However, the track was recently unearthed by Queen’s production and archive team, who found themselves sifting through the ‘88 sessions as they worked to put together an upcoming reissue of The Miracle.
As such, it’s the first time in eight years that a Queen track featuring Mercury has been uncovered and released. It follows 2014’s Queen Forever, which featured three previously unheard tracks: Let Me In Your Heart Again, Love Kills and There Must Be More To Life Than This.
Of Face It Alone, May commented, “I’m happy that our team were able to find this track. After all these years, it’s great to hear all four of us – yes, [John Deacon] is there too – working in the studio on a great song idea which never quite got completed ... until now.”
“We’d kind of forgotten about this track,” added Roger Taylor, “but there it was, this little gem. It’s wonderful, a real discovery. It’s a very passionate piece.”
Face It Alone precedes The Miracle reissue, which will be available in a The Miracle Collector’s Edition format – an eight-disc box set that also includes the original cut of the ‘89 album, fly-on-the-wall audio of the band at work and The Miracles Sessions CD, featuring original takes, demos and six previously unheard tracks.
The reissue, which will arrive November 18, is available to preorder now.