Remembering David Bowie and “Under Pressure”

Being an only child, but having some hip uncles who were more like older brothers, I got exposed to a lot of great musical artists at a very early age. One of those musicians was David Bowie. Not unlike Prince after him, Bowie was one of those performers who were so diverse, it was nearly impossible to like everything he did (You can’t please all of the people all of the time), but when he hit the mark, he hit it hard.

Being a Queen fan as well, I was intrigued when I saw that the new track on the band’s Greatest Hits album, “Under Pressure,” was a duet with Bowie. Even at a young age, I found that pairing to be a bit odd, but man, did it work. The song started as a rather ordinary Queen demo, but whatever Bowie and the late Freddie Mercury added to the track when they reworked the vocals made it one of the most memorable songs in either artist’s catalog. The killer bass line from John Deacon didn’t hurt either. Here’s a look at the song sans any music whatsoever. Both singers’ vocals are remarkable to say the least. Not to be outdone, Roger Taylor sneaks in a killer background vocal toward the end of the track that isn’t always readily apparent in the fully produced version.

David Bowie pushed the musical envelope right until the very end. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

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