After Michael Jackson's death in 2009, Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor took steps to secure all three Mercury/Jackson duets, with a view to releasing them in 2012. However, Taylor likened dealing with the Michael Jackson Estate to "wading through glue". Eventually, the parties agreed for 'There Must Be More to Life Than This' alone to be released. "I was very pleased we had three new tracks to put on [Queen Forever]," said Taylor. "As well as the Michael Jackson track 'There Must Be More to Life than This', there is another song Freddie did with him, called 'State of Shock', with a massive rock sound. But we could only have one track with Michael, which is a great shame."
The version on Queen Forever was produced and mixed by William Orbit, containing the original backing track from the Hot Space sessions with May on guitar, Taylor on drums and John Deacon on bass. An alternative mix by May was rejected in favour of Orbit's.