Queen's Brian May 'furious' over leaked Jackson/Mercury tracks

Brian May not happy over YouTube Jackson/Mercury clips
Brian May not happy over YouTube Jackson/Mercury clips

Queen guitarist Brian May is reportedly 'furious' after "music thieves" posted clips of songs featuring the late Michael Jackson and Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury on YouTube.

Back in the early '80s, Jackson, who passed away on 25 June, and Mercury had worked together on demos of songs that were never heard by the public - and possibly were never meant to.

Speaking of the songs, May said, "He (Jackson) used to come and see us when we were on tour in the States. He and Freddie became close friends, close enough to record a couple of tracks together at Michael's house, tracks which have never seen the light of day."

Two songs demoed, never released

"The music thieves at work as usual" a 'furious' Brian May speaking out about two Michael Jackson/Freddie Mercury demos on YouTube

Of the songs that are on YouTube, State Of Shock was demoed by Jackson and Mercury, but the final version the the track was recorded by The Jacksons and Mick Jagger and included on The Jacksons' 1984 album Victory.

On the other hand, the ballad There Must Be More To Life Than This was never included on any album, either by Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, The Jacksons or Queen.

Fuming about the clips, May summed up the situation thusly: "The music thieves at work as usual."

What's interesting, however, is the fact that both tracks have been available on YouTube for three years. Why May is choosing now to speak out against them - has he just been made aware of their existence? - remains something of a mystery.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.