25 May, 1983 – Freddie Mercury recorded vocal and piano for ‘I Was Born To Love You’ and ‘There Must Be More To Life Than This’, Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany.
“There Must Be More to Life Than This” is the eighth track on Freddie Mercury’s debut solo album Mr. Bad Guy, released on 29 April 1985 by Columbia Records.
The song was originally written and recorded by Freddie Mercury for Queens 1982’s Hot Space, but failed to make the final version of the album. It was previously recorded as a duet between Mercury and Michael Jackson. The two never finished the duet and Freddie eventually released his own version for his solo debut, Mr. Bad Guy.
According to Queen manager Jim Beach, he received a frantic phone call from Freddie, ‘You have to get me out of the studio because I’m recording with a llama. Michael’s bringing his pet llama into the studio every day and I’m really not used to it and I’ve had enough and I want to get out.’ Another contributing factor may have been Michael becoming a recluse and unwillingness to leave his home. This made it hard to complete the tracks.
“There Must Be More To Life Than This is a song about people who are lonely. It’s basically another love song, but it’s hard to call it that because it encompasses other things too. It’s all to do with why people get themselves into so many problems. It’s mostly that, but I don’t want to dwell on that too much. It’s just one of those songs that I had for a while. Michael Jackson happened to hear it, and liked it, and if it had worked out, diary-wise, we would have done it together. But I wanted it on this album, so I did it without his help. He’s going to cry when he hears it!”
- Freddie Mercury -
After the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, Brian and Roger took the appropriate steps in securing the duet from Jackson’s estate. Freddie and Michael actually planned three duets which they began working on in the early eighties, “There’s More To Life Than This,” “State of Shock” later reworked with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones and The Jacksons, Jagger sang Mercury’s vocal parts. Victory” is the third song which remains unreleased. The estate would only agree to release, “There’s More To Life Than This.” Taylor had said, “State of Shock” had a massive rock sound and was a shame they were only allowed the one song with Michael.
Thirty-three years after Freddie and Michael recorded vocals, was brought to life by producer, William Orbit. He’s known for his work with Madonna’s song, “Ray of Light.” The track would go on their compilation album, Queen Forever, released November 10, 2014.
“When I first played it in my studio, I opened a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians,” said Orbit in a statement. “Hearing Michael Jackson’s vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie’s vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level.” In contrast to Mercury’s solo, stripped-back version, the new Orbit-produced version adds strings, guitars and a lot more bombast.
Freddie’s solo version and the Golden Duet with a Michael Jackson is also attached
https://youtu.be/-LtmvnTK_y4 (Freddie’s version)