BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 2 /TMRZoo.com/ — Hollywood Records have announced an October 28th release date for The Cosmos Rocks, the highly-anticipated new album from rock legends Queen + Paul Rodgers. The album, Queen’s first new studio release in nearly a decade and a half, features 13 brand-new songs entirely written, produced and performed by guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and vocalist Paul Rodgers, with Rodgers and May sharing bass duties. The album’s lead single, “C-lebrity,” arrives at radio on September 9th.
Recorded at Taylor’s home studio, The Priory, in Puttenham, England, The Cosmos Rocks recalls the sound and vision of classic 1970s-era Queen. As the band says, “We believe that this is an album in the old sense of the word — something you can put on and listen to all the way through, and it takes you on a journey. The subjects and moods in it are widely spaced, but nevertheless, a challenge to the listener to put his day on hold for an hour or so, be drawn in, make connections, and experience something new.” The album’s dedication to legendary Queen front man Freddie Mercury shows the band still feel his presence strongly enough to dedicate this entirely new work to him, nearly 13 years after Queen’s last studio album.
In the case of Rodgers, who takes control as main vocalist on all thirteen tracks, he can stand assured in the fact that Mercury rated him as one of the best rock voices of his time. Freddie would make a point of dropping into various London venues where Rodgers was performing with his band Free and had often acknowledged Free’s Fire and Water as one of the albums that most influenced Queen.
The Cosmos Rocks was recorded and mixed between November 2007 and August 2008, and co-produced and engineered by Joshua J Macrae, Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson. It marks the first album of newly recorded material from Queen + Paul Rodgers since they first set out on the road in 2005, and the first Queen studio album since 1995.
The lead single from the album is “C-lebrity” (which features guest backing vocals by Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins) and according to Roger Taylor — and in keeping with many tracks on The Cosmos Rocks — is the writer’s skew on the times in which we live: “‘C-lebrity’ is really a comment on the current concept of fame, success and all that goes with it. Getting your face on TV is enough — talent doesn’t really enter into the equation. ‘Celebrity’ is an overused and devalued word today. I think the song shows we have lost none of the humor of Queen.”
Other tracks on The Cosmos Rocks include “Cosmos Rockin’,” “Time To Shine,” “Still Burnin'” (a mission statement of why artists are compelled to create), “Small,” “Warboys,” “We Believe,” “Call Me,” “Voodoo,” “Some Things That Glitter,” “Through The Night,” “Say It’s Not True,” (a new version of the track donated to Nelson Mandela’s 46664 HIV Aids campaign), and “Surf’s Up … School’s Out!”
The album will be released in two physical formats: standard CD and in double gate-fold vinyl. It will also have a special digital release.
“There’s a lot of guitar orchestras and some of our old trademarks, but at the core of it you’ll hear the three of us playing,” says May. “People really, truly playing together in the studio — you don’t get that much these days.”
Queen + Paul Rodgers embark on the first leg of their world tour with a 33-date Europe and Northern Eurasia run beginning mid-September. The tour reaches the UK on October 10 with 11 dates including two at London 02 and the tour’s first leg final date at Wembley Arena on November 8. The tour hits North America in early 2009 — dates and venues to be announced shortly.
This past June, Queen + Paul Rodgers gave thousands of fans a sneak preview of their new songs with an electrifying show-stopping set at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert in London’s Hyde Park.
Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Queen formed in 1971, and over the ensuing 20 years wrote and recorded such multi-platinum albums as News of the World, The Game, A Night at the Opera, A Day At The Races, A Kind of Magic and Live Killers. Their timeless hits include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions” and “Under Pressure.” Queen has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States and bands like Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and My Chemical Romance have all cited Queen as a major musical influence.
Singer Paul Rodgers first burst on the music scene at age 18 with Free’s “All Right Now,” co-written by Rodgers. The song became a #1 hit in 20 countries. In 1973 Rodgers formed Bad Company, and as the main songwriter he wrote and produced six multi-platinum albums with the band. Their hits include “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Rock & Roll Fantasy,” Shooting Star” and “Bad Company.” In the 80s, Rodgers partnered with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in The Firm. They released two hit CDs and had two top-grossing world tours.
May and Taylor joined forces with Rodgers in late 2004 when they performed at the first annual U.K. Music Hall of Fame Awards. In 2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers launched their first tour, which crossed the globe and included 32 sold-out dates across Europe and the U.K., ending with a spectacular show in London’s Hyde Park. They followed this the following spring with a 23-date tour of the U.S. and Canada as well as Asia/Japan. During the tour, the band released a live concert DVD and CD release, Return of the Champions.
Queen + Paul Rodgers dedicate The Cosmos Rocks to legendary Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury, who passed away in 1991.
1. Cosmos Rockin’ (4:10)
2. Time To Shine (4:23)
3. Still Burnin’ (4:04)
4. Small (4:39)
5. Warboys (3:18)
6. We Believe (6:08)
7. Call Me (2:59)
8. Voodoo (4:27)
9. Some Things That Glitter (4:03)
10. C-lebrity (3:38)
11. Through The Night (4:54)
12. Say It’s Not True (4:00)
13. Surf’s Up … School’s Out! (5:38)
14. Small reprise (2:05)
Produced and performed by Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor