07 Jun

Under Pressure – Vocals Only

It was 1981 when Queen were recording their album ‘Hot Space’ in Switzerland and David Bowie was recording music for the movie Cat People that the great song ‘Under Pressure’ came about. Bowie stopped by to visit Queen with the intention of adding vocals to the song Cool Cat. Freddie Mercury and Bowie were messing around with some songs when Bowie said, let’s just write a song. 24 hours of wine and cocaine brought on these vocals for Under Pressure. The scene is described in the book “Is This the Real Life?”

“We felt our way through a backing track all together as an ensemble,’ recalled Brian May. ‘When the backing track was done, David said, “Okay, let’s each of us go in the vocal booth and sing how we think the melody should go–just off the top of our heads–and we’ll compile a vocal out of that.” And that’s what we did.’ Some of these improvisations, including Mercury’s memorable introductory scatting vocal, would endure on the finished track. Bowie also insisted that he and Mercury shouldn’t hear what the other had sung, swapping verses blind, which helped give the song its cut-and-paste feel.

Here are the amazing vocals!

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