In 1999 Foo Fighters were once again asked to contribute a song for a movie soundtrack, this time the sequel to the hit spy thriller Mission Impossible, starring Tom Cruise. As with the contribution two years earlier to the X-Files soundtrack the band decided not to record a new track, instead electing to re-record an old song, in this case a cover of the Pink Floyd track 'Have A Cigar'.
The band first recorded a version of the song earlier in 1999 during recording sessions for 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose' and that version was subsequently released as a B-side to the first single from the album, 'Learn To Fly'.
Rather than re-recording the track alone they enlisted the help of Queen guitarist Brian May, or rather Taylor Hawkins did. In an interview with BBC Radio 1 May explained just how the collaboration came about. "Taylor rings me up and leaves me a message on my answering machine every week, going 'Brian its gonna be a first, gonna be incredible' and he's totally excitable and um, and he was talking about this for ages. You know - 'We wanna do this thing, and you've heard the B-side. Let's do another version. We want you to be on it and its gonna be incredible".
The track was recorded at Allerton Hill Studio, the home recording studio located on the second floor of May's private home in Surrey, United Kingdom. The band were in Europe to play a handful of promotional shows including one at the Scala nightclub in London on March 4th 2000 and it's believed they headed to May's studio in the few days following that show.
"They came down my house, which was great, I have my studio down there. Normally its fairly quiet down there but they came down and invaded" May explained. "We had a brilliant weekend just kicking stuff round and doing this track which was really no effort whatsoever, it just happened" he added.
As with the original Foo Fighters recording of the song Grohl and Hawkins switched roles with Hawkins taking lead vocals and Grohl recording the drum track, something that greatly pleased Brian. "I got to have Dave Grohl playing drums in my studio, which was big thrill for me I have to tell you, you know there's two way traffic here. I've recorded Cozy [Powell, drummer for various bands including the Brian May Band and Whitesnake] in there and I've recorded Roger [Taylor, Queen drummer] and a few damn good drummers, but God, the guy's unbelievable" he recalled enthusiastically.
May had equally high praise for Hawkins vocal work on the track. "He is a very good singer, isn't he? Yeah. Aw - damned good as far as I'm concerned" he remarked.
The track was produced collaboratively by the five recording artists as well as long time Queen producer Justin Shirley-Smith who also recorded the session.
May was happy with the final output of the song stating that "It didn't get the corners knocked off it, It didn't get over-produced, and actually what you hear is what we did". He went on to speak of his guitar work on the song - "The solo that I play I wasn't too sure about - and Taylor thought it was just fine as it was, so we didn't screw around with it at all so it's pretty much, you know, real, in the studio, which I like".
Chris Shiflett gave a very brief comment on recording the track with Brian in an interview with Kerrang! magazine, stating that it was like "living in a comic book, 'cos you always think of those people as super-heroes when you're a little kid". The track was first released on the soundtrack CD to the Mission Impossible 2 movie in May 2000 as well as getting radio airtime.
The track was re-released on a Foo Fighters only release in 2011, included on the compilation album 'Medium Rare' along with several other cover recordings.