Queen electric guitar hero Brian May has revealed that a remix and reissue of Star Fleet Project, the legendary mini-album he recorded in 1983 with Eddie Van Halen – among other top-tier musicians – is in the works.
Speaking to Variety, May said that the mini-album will be the next project of his to be given the remastered reissue treatment, following the expanded re-release of May's two other non-soundtrack solo efforts – 1992's Back to the Light and 1998's Another World – in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
“I’m working on the Star Fleet box set, which is number 3 in the Brian May Gold Series, and probably to be released halfway into next year,” May said.
A low-key project inspired by a puppet sci-fi show enjoyed by his children, and recorded during downtime from May and Van Halen's respective bands, Star Fleet Project has become a cult favorite, due to its rarity and the high profile of its participants. Even cassette copies of the mini-album can go for as much as $30 online.
"I’m very excited about it as I’ve opened up these tapes where I’m jamming with Eddie Van Halen and [bassist] Phil Chen," May told Variety. "It is highly emotional, again, as Ed’s not around. Neither is Phil. And I’ve been talking to Alex (Van Halen) and started thinking about how I wish I had stayed closer to Ed. I have a huge regret about that.
"He was a wonderful soul – a Peter Pan who never grew up, never wanted to grow up and never should have grown up," the guitar legend continued. "He should still be with us. Listening to him and me, I felt completely outclassed by him in the studio. But in a very pleasant way – what joy for me to be around a guy who could do all that. Such a privilege.
"So, you’ll hear us in the studio, trading licks. I was never fond of the original mix of 'Star Fleet,' the single, so we cleaned that up. Now, EVH’s sound is larger than life. You’ll hear the development of Eddie’s solo, which I always thought was one of the greatest things he did… a real immortal classic of Ed Van Halen pieces."
May also said that the box set would be fully comprehensive, leaving no stone (or recording) from the two days of Star Fleet sessions unturned.
"We are going to give you everything," May said. "Every take of every song. The things gone wrong, the laughing, the finding new things to do."
Those are all the details we have for now on the Star Fleet Project reissue, but be sure to keep your eyes on brianmay.com in the coming months for more info on the project as it becomes available.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.