Late last year Queen released a previously unheard track from the archive. Recorded in 1983, ‘Let Me In Your Heart Again’ is a beautiful, if delightfully cheesy, ballad written by Brian May. Quite a few Queen demos have leaked online, but — save for a 1988 version with Anita Dobson on vocals — this track was genuinely unheard outside of the Queen organisation. In the video above Brian May describes the background to the recording, which is fascinating if you’re a Queen geek like me.
He isn’t exaggerating when he says the sound quality on the original tapes is clear and crisp. It’s also good to know that it’s an amalgamation of two or more takes of all four of them (plus Fred Mandel on piano) playing live in the studio.
And kudos to Brian for the mix. A William Orbit version was released as a single but it’s pretty rubbish (as is his mix of the Queen-Michael Jackson duet ‘There Must Be More To Life Than This’). There’s no one better at mixing Queen tracks than Brian. Freddie’s vocal is always upfront − unlike in Orbit’s two efforts. Brian’s mix is available on iTunes.
From what I understand there were only ever a few unheard full songs (or ideas that could be fleshed out into full songs) in the Queen archive, and we’ve heard them all now across 1995’s Made In Heaven, the 2011 album remaster deluxe editions and now on Queen Forever.
Certainly latterly, the group tended to abandon ideas which they didn’t feel they wanted to take through to completion, rather than writing and recording a whole bunch of full songs then deciding which ones to use on the album. There are maybe one or two early tracks which are still unheard: a studio version of ‘Hangman’ has long been rumoured to exist. A Queen version of ‘I Dream Of Christmas’ from 1984 is said to exist, but it’s uncertain as to whether it has Freddie singing or if it’s just an early demo with Brian on vocals. Otherwise, I’m not aware of anything else. (Though I’d love to hear The Miracle-period jam track ‘Dog With A Bone’ get given the remix treatment.)