Not many people know this, but Rob Halford has a small guest appearance on Queens of the Stone Age's breakthrough single, "Feel Good Hit Of the Summer." And while the finished track only saw The Metal God in a bit part towards the song's end, former Queens bassist Nick Oliveri recently said that multiple takes of the song were recorded during the sessions for Rated R, the album on which it appeared.
While chatting with SongFacts, Oliveri recollected that "Bands kind of came and went [while we were in the studio]. We weren't there for that long, but maybe the band Fight or Halford was there for the whole time we were there*. I remember being in there and Rob Halford being super cool to us. I'm an old fan of Judas Priest, I just love that stuff. It's good rock and roll. Their early stuff is really, really great.
"One of my favorite memories was when [producer] Chris (Goss) asked Rob if he'd sing on 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer.' He's not really featured in there, but I have mixes of CDs from every day. We recorded all those sessions from Songs for the Deaf and Rated R. I took a CD home every day to see where we were, because whole different words would come for a song, guitar parts, piano, you name it. So I have all these different versions of these songs on CDs in my house in a box somewhere."
Oliveri recalls at least two different versions, one with Halford singing "COCAINE!" in his legendary banshee wail, and another that featured him on the verse in a lower key.
"One of them is with Rob Halford being more featured with 'COCAINE!' – with the Rob Halford-style singing. Josh (Homme) didn't want to put that in there. He wanted what he called 'the more sinister Rob' for the 'Nicotine, valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol' parts. But I liked the 'Cocaine' parts with the high-pitched singing."
Once he finished cutting some tracks, Halford took off. But the farewell was quite memorable, according to Oliveri. "We asked him, "Hey, what do you want to be credited as?' He goes, 'Just put down 'vocals by the Metal God,' and he walked out!"
I think I speak for everyone when I say this: if there's ever to be a Queens of the Stone Age Odds & Sods-type album, it better feature those alternate versions of "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" with Halford on vocals! Here's hoping Oliveri guards those burned discs with care. In the meantime, please enjoy the single version of the song featured on Rated R.