UPFRONT MUSIC


Legendary band Queen wants to rock you (again) with their first new album in more than a decade.

Hold on to your tiaras, rock fans -- Queen is back. On October 14, the hugely popular English band will release a new studio album, its first since 1995’s Made in Heaven, which the group completed using vocals recorded by lead singer Freddie Mercury prior to his death in 1991. These days Mercury’s role is being performed by former Bad Company front man Paul Rodgers, who began touring with Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in 2005. (Out of respect for Mercury, who the band feels could never be replaced, the act officially bills itself as Queen + Paul Rodgers.) In 2006 the band put out Return of the Champions, a live CD-DVD set featuring songs from Queen’s extensive catalog, but the new disc -- titled, rather optimistically, The Cosmos Rocks -- contains all new material. We tried to get May on the phone to tell us what shape the new stuff is taking, but he and Taylor were too busy helping organize an all-star concert in London’s Hyde Park celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. (And you thought you had a lot going on.) Queen + Paul Rodgers will support The Cosmos Rocks this fall with a European tour that kicks off September 15 in Moscow. Expect American dates next spring.