Queen’s Brian May releases first solo single in 20 years, ‘New Horizons’

Shared on New Year's Day from NASA's Control Centre.

Queen guitarist Brian May released his first solo single in 20 years – with ‘New Horizons’ arriving on New Year’s Day from NASA’s Control Centre.

The guitar icon hasn’t released a solo single since ‘Why Don’t We Try Again’ from 1998’s ‘Another World’. Now, the music veteran and astrophysics doctor has dropped the track in tribute to the on-going NASA New Horizons mission – which will achieve the most distant spacecraft flyby in history on New Year’s Day. The track also features words spoken by the late Stephen Hawking. Check it out below.

“This project has energised me in a new way,” said May. ” For me it’s been an exciting challenge to bring two sides of my life together – Astronomy and Music.  It was Alan Stern, the Project Instigator of this amazing NASA Mission, who threw down the glove last May. He asked if I could come up with a theme for Ultima Thule which could be played as the NH probe reached this new destination.”

May continued: “I was inspired by the idea that this is the furthest that the Hand of Man has ever reached – it will be by far the most distant object we have ever seen at close quarters, through the images which the space craft will beam back to Earth.  To me it epitomises the human spirit’s unceasing desire to understand the Universe we inhabit.”

Brian May and Rami Malek

He added: “Everyone who has devoted so much energy to this mission since its launch in January 2006 will be feeling they are actually INSIDE that small but intrepid vehicle – only about the size of a grand piano – as it pulls off another spectacular close encounter. And through the vehicle’s ‘eyes’ we will begin to learn, for the very first time, what a Kuiper Belt Object is made of.  And pick up precious clues about how our solar system was born.”

‘New Horizons’ is out now and available here.

Last month, it was announced that only had Queen’s classic’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ become the most streamed track from the 20th Century, but the 2018 movie of the same name is now the highest-grossing music biopic of all time.

May recently said it would have been “a disaster” if Ali G star Sacha Baron Cohen had played Freddie Mercury in the film as originally intended, instead of Rami Malek.

“[It] was a near-disaster,” said May. “I think we realised just in time what a disaster that was going to be. And it actually wasn’t rocket science to figure that out. But yeah, that’s one of the rocks that we nearly hit. I think we were all nervous in the beginning, when the casting process was going on. Because yes, that’s a real tough thing to contemplate – somebody playing the part of you.”