With Queen's massive 1982 world tour coming to a close, the individual band members looked forward to an extended period of rest and relaxation. Unsurprisingly, within a few months of being off the road, three of the four were hard at work on their own projects (only John seemed to know what "rest and relaxation" should entail!), pausing briefly that August to work on Queen's next album.
What's generally not known is that Strange Frontier, Roger's sophomore solo album, was the result of a second series of recording sessions, after the first had been rejected for lacking direction; songs recorded but ultimately left unreleased were Celebration, I Can't Get You Out Of My Head, Keep On Running, I Can Take You, and I Want To Take You Higher.
Sessions continued throughout most of 1983 and into the first months of 1984, by which time Roger decided he'd had enough material and started to assemble the material into a finished product. Surprisingly, Roger is credited solely to five of the ten tracks: covers of Racing In The Street by Bruce Springsteen, and Dylan's Masters Of War were welcome inclusions, while Abandonfire and I Cry For You (love, hope and confusion) were cowrites with David Richards. (Roger and David had started up a production team around this time, in an attempt to receive more work during especially quiet Queen periods.) It's An Illusion was written with Status Quo's Rick Parfitt, with whom Roger and his assistant, Crystal Taylor, had become chummy during recording sessions.
Considering he was in no position to record a solo album, John was asked by Roger to remix one of the songs (I Cry For You (love, hope and confusion)) for the single release market, though it only ended up as the B-side to the title track. Otherwise, Queen members stayed mostly out of the way, though rumor has circulated for years that Freddie contributed backing vocals on Killing Time. This is highly unlikely, though remotely possible, considering both were recording albums simultaneously at the same studios. However, no mention to the contribution has been made in intervening years, so a conclusive answer is still out of reach.
If there's a theme to Strange Frontier, it's the appreciation for life while worrying about the future, a topic that most rock stars were addressing in the early 1980s. This had much to do with the very real threat of nuclear war and the rising awareness of the issue through music. Consequently, much of Roger's album sounds like the British equivalent of Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA, though it should be remembered that that landmark album was released three weeks before Roger's, so the resemblance is entirely coincidental. Nevertheless, in promotion for the album, Roger spoke about the growing concern over the state of affairs in the world; while Queen were generally reserved about their political beliefs, Roger remained the one member who would be outspoken in that matter.
Strange Frontier was released to largely mixed reviews in June 1984, three weeks after the first single, Man On Fire, failed to ignite the charts, peaking at #66 in the UK. The album fared little better, reaching #30 in the UK and not charting at all in the US, while the follow-up, Strange Frontier, stalled at #98. If Roger was concerned, he didn't let on, and seemed more than happy to put aside his solo career to start working with Queen once again.