Home Music Michael Jackson-Queen Duet Is Just One Song: The Real Story

Reports today from London about a clutch of recordings made in 1983 between Michael Jackson Queen’s Freddie Mercury. Let’s straighten this out fast. There were just two recordings. One was a demo of “State of Shock,” which Michael later recorded and released with Mick Jagger. The other is a ballad, written by Mercury, called (approximately) “Is There More to Life?” According to the Jackson estate, the surviving members of Queen asked if they could fix it up for release. The estate says officially: “We are aware that Queen is working on the track. But no decision has been made about releasing it. We’ll consider it after we hear it.” As for “State of Shock,” that will never– so says the estate– come out from Queen. If it’s used as a rarity or an extra track on album of unreleased materials, it would come from Sony as a Michael Jackson release authorized by the estate. Anyway, one of the classic singles of all time is Queen with David Bowie on “Under Pressure.” Maybe the Michael collaboration will be cool, too. We’ll have to wait and see how they do, if the Jackson estate approves it.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
7 replies to this post
  1. There are actually 3 versions of “There Must be More To Life Than This”:
    1) Solo Michael, Freddie playing piano – available in fan bootlegs.
    2) Duet Michael with Freddie – available in fan bootlegs.
    3) Solo Freddie – officially released on Freddie’s album Mr. Bad Guy.

    In addition to this there was song “Victory” recorded by Freddie and Michael and never released. So, including “State of Shock” there are 3 duets, 2 of them leaked.

  2. Vanilla Ice certainly agrees that Under Pressure is a classic! That was some sample, right? Under Pressure didn’t even make the top 25 in the USA; number 1 in every other country in the world

  3. Oh, yeah, of course you would approve of that Queen duet – as it was released before Freddie announced he was gay – bad career move in backwards, hillbilly infested america. Anything after he announced he was gay was rubbish, right?

  4. WOW considering the great taste of the Estate regarding releases this is a breathtaking development. For sure. Maybe John McClain wants to add some strings to State of Shock?

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