The King of Pop insisted his pet sit in on the recording sessions
Ed Keeble

09:40 11th November 2014

Freddie Mercury quit the much discussed Michael Jackson collaboration due to the Kind Of Pop insisting his pet ape was present at all the recording sessions. 

The two legends of music originally came together to work on 'There Must Be More To Life Than This', an uncompleted track that was confined to the vaults. It has now been ressurected for release this week on Queen Forever, compiled by Brian May and Roger Taylor, who enlisted the help of William Orbit on production. 

In an extract from his new book, close friend and showbiz writer David Wigg has detailed why the collaboration never previously saw the light of day. 

''Freddie got very angry because Michael made Bubbles sit between them and would turn to the chimp between takes and ask, 'Don't you think that was lovely?' Or, 'Do you think we should do that again?' After a few days of this, Freddie just exploded ... 'I'm not performing with a f***ing chimp sitting next to me each night.'

''He phoned his manager and told him to 'Get me out of this zoo." Freddie then flew back to London, leaving the track musically unfinished.''

  • 13. 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love': Proof that the band could try their hand at anything and make it rock, this is the sound of Mercury taking the classic country sound and giving it his own inimitable swagger.

  • 12. 'Bicycle Race': The batshit mental intro that Muse may dream of writing, and probably the greatest song about a bicycle you'll ever hear - not least for Freddie's brilliantly witty: "Jaws was never my scene and I don't like Star Wars!"

  • 11. 'Innuendo': A doom-mongering space-rock Odyssey, with May and Mercury duelling at their most artful and operatic. It sounds like the universe at war, and it's utterly beautiful.

  • 10. 'Fat Bottomed Girls': The perfect encapsulation of Queen's decadence and cheek, one of their many moments on the official soundtrack to a real good time.

  • 9. 'Under Pressure': Later to be made a mockery of by Vanilla Ice and Jedward, but who can blame them? A moment of genius for so many reasons: one hell of a chorus, a brilliant groove courtesy of master bassist John Deacon, the fact that it's drenched in the personality of Mercury and David Bowie and that eternal refrain: 'Can't we give love one more chance?'

  • 8. 'Radio Ga Ga': Crisp drums, shimmering synths, a smouldering Merury vocal and a reminder that when you strip away all of the sensationalism, you're left with the message that music is all that matters.

  • 7. 'The Show Must Go On': A towering wall of sound of Queen at their most larger than life, and a testament to their mantra of battling through the heartache to make the world sing.

  • 6. 'Somebody To Love': Come on, we've all been there - and nobody says it better than Queen.

  • 5. 'Another One Bites The Dust': One of the most memorable basslines in rock history and arguably Deacon's finest moment, as well as a call to arms at their electrifying live show: 'Are you ready, are you ready for this? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?'

  • 4. 'Flash': AAA-AAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  • 3. 'Seven Seas Of Rhye': An underrated but beautiful portrait of the band's early promise and insanity-driven energy.

  • 2. 'Bohemian Rhapsody': Far beyond a karaoke classic, it's the song that sent the band racing out into the stratosphere, stapling together the pages of rock n' roll history. We struggle to think of another band's breakthrough hit that's as ambitious, meandering and cosmic as this.

  • 1. 'Who Wants To Live Forever': A chillingly prophetic, tender lament on the fragility of life. Queen may often be revered for all of the pomp and bombast, but their finest moment is a swooning and subtle reminder that though one can't escape death, love lives on.

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