Roger Taylor is taking a minute to shine a spotlight on his work outside Queen.
The drummer has two collections of his solo work coming. Best, due out Oct. 27, features 18 selected tracks ranging from his 1977 rendition of Parliament‘s “I Wanna Testify” to his 2013 album Fun On Earth, as well as material from his side band The Cross that included guest appearances by Queen mates Freddie Mercury and Brian May. That will be followed on Nov. 11 by The Lot, a boxed set of all of Taylor’s solo material on 12 CDs and one DVD, including a 64-page hardbound book.
Taylor tells Billboard that going solo “wasn’t a case of drummer-itis … it was just that I felt capable of doing stuff on my own and I thought I’d like to do something that was just mine and not always being part of a band.”
With the upcoming packages, Taylor says, “It’s very weird, but it’s very sort of satisfying for me to have all the stuff I’ve done by myself in one sort of neat package. It’s very nice. It feels like I can draw a line and move on.”
He’ll next be moving back into Queen mode. First up is Queen Forever, a compilation coming Nov. 11 that includes three unreleased tracks, including the late Mercury’s duet with Michael Jackson, “There Must Be More to Life Than This.”
“It was really something the record company wanted,” Taylor says, “and we did have these three tracks that have never been heard, so we tried to put together an interesting collection.”
Queen Forever comes in both single- and double-disc editions, and Taylor says there’s another track that Mercury and Jackson recorded together, but Queen hasn’t received permission to release that.
“Obviously with different companies involved, it’s quite complicated,” he notes. “We seemed to resolve something and we have permission to release this one track, but it was not the easiest (negotiations). And I think, what a shame — Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, two great talents, neither of them is with us anymore.”
Queen + Adam Lambert, meanwhile, is gearing up for more work after touring North American and Australia this year. The group kicks off a European tour Jan. 13 in the United Kingdom, which Taylor predicts “will be interesting for Adam because I think he’s more known in the States and places like Australia than he is in Europe.”
“But it’s been fantastic everywhere,” he says about the previous touring. “Every night, every place we went, the reception was tremendous and that was a delightful surprise just to think that after all these years we can still go out and do it. But it was great with Adam, I have to say. He really fitted in beautifully.”
And, Taylor says, he’s hoping for an opportunity to see if that fit extends to the recording studio for some new music together. He says,
“I think it would be a very interesting experiment,” he says. “It would be nice to just go in and see what came out. I don’t know if it would be an album or anything, but I think it’s too good a marriage to jsut let it go at touring. I’m sure we’ll do something. His voice is so extraordinary, and it’s a beautiful instrument. I think it would be nice.”
Taylor adds with a laugh that, “I guess we better come up with some material. We’ve sort of mentioned it, yeah, but not in a serious way. I think we’ll probably get this [European] tour over with and maybe come up while we’re touring, ‘Do you want to go in and try to write something?'”
Taylor adds that the group did film a show in Sydney and also recorded audio every night, which will result in some sort of release “that will be out there at some point,” though no details have been determined.