I had to grab the chance to review a new Queen single on its release day, as the chance may never arrive again. When I say “Queen,” I mean the band with all four of its original members, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury. As a fan, the band lost everything when Freddie died and then John retired. I still wish everything well, but it is great to return to the real deal.
All bands have a certain amount of material that lies on the cutting room floor, and during the session work for “The Miracle,” there were around 30 tracks that were started on, some never heard of again, “Face it Alone” was one of those. For fans, the name was known, it was elusive, and with “Dog with a Bone,” “Guess we’re falling out” and “A New Life is Born,” it stayed in the vault. A couple of others, “Chinese Torture” and “Hang On in There,” surfaced as bonus material on some of the CD releases, and “My Life Has Been Saved” surfaced on “Made in Heaven.”
Which brings us forward to 2022, and the still working members of Queen are looking toward a November 18th release of “The Miracle” box set that includes The Miracle Sessions: an hour-plus disc of further previously unreleased recordings, including six unpublished songs. The audio includes the band’s candid spoken exchanges on the studio floor in London and Montreux, giving the most revealing window yet into the four members’ creative processes and the joy, in-jokes and banter on their return to working together.
The problem with discarded tracks is that they were often discarded because they were not really up to the grade. You sometimes listen to them and realise why they were lying on the floor in the first place. Undiscovered gems and classics rarely surface, I find.
However, this is not the case here. I am so happy this has been released and we can listen to it. It is a piece of engineering triumph (if the original state of the song is to be believed).
It belongs on any album after “Hot Space,” and it’s better than a couple of tracks on “The Miracle” that I can think of. It is an uplifting piece, with Freddie’s vocals being very prominent and the melody driven by the distinctive guitar riff from May. As a precursor for anything else appearing in the November release, I am really excited. It is late Queen, and it sounds like a Freddie composition with some input from Brian, wistful and positive. It is also very fresh and modern, and as a fan I celebrate this release and can only say I’m so glad it got the love and attention that shines it up for us. It will do really well and deserves the recognition.
By Benny (the Ball) Benson