In 1981, Queen was recording their tenth album, titled Hot Space, in a studio in Montreux, Switzerland. David Bowie was recording a song in the same studio at the time and made his way over to Queen’s space to record backup vocals on a track. He ended up jamming with the band all night, resulting in the birth of “Under Pressure.”
It was a complicated process. In a 2008 interview with Mojo magazine, Queen’s Brian May said of the recording, "It was hard because you had four very precocious boys and David, who was precocious enough for all of us.” From fire, steel is forged, and we have one of the most legendary songs in the history of rock and roll to show for it. Today, we present you with the isolated vocal tracks for “Under Pressure” to give you a new look at this old favorite.
It’s a showcase of the differences between Bowie’s and Mercury’s distinct vocal stylings, and the beautiful way they mesh together over the course of the song’s run time. You know the “Under Pressure,” whether you’re a fan of the original or simply discovered it through Vanilla Ice. Now rediscover it with this new angle on the classic.