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Brian May Says Recording ‘Under Pressure’ With David Bowie Was Tense

January 10, 2020

There was a lot going on between David Bowie and Queen when the two legends got together to record 'Under Pressure'. 

Back in the day, Queen purchased a recording studio in Montreux, Switzerland; little did they know that David Bowie purchased a home just north of there. In 2016 Brian May told Mirror that David just popped in one day. 

“Since we already knew him a little, he popped in to say hello one day while we were recording. We all very quickly decided that the best way to get to know each other was to play together.”

According to Peter Hince who was part of Queen's road crew at the time said, the musicians just started playing new songs and covers and recording them. 

“They performed some original songs they did together and also covers. They were just jamming in the studio and it all got recorded – ‘All the Young Dudes’, ‘All the Way from Memphis’ and various rock classics.”

Though everyone brought something different to the table, it was John Deacon's interesting guitar riff that got everyone excited, especially Bowie.

“This was a funny moment because I can just see DB going over and putting his hand on John’s fretting hand and stopping him. It was also a tense moment because it could have gone either way.”

May says at one point while recording 'Under Pressure' David took full control of the track and everyone let him.

“David was in there first and told us he wanted to take the track over because he knew what he wanted it to be about. We all backed off and David put down a lyric which now focused on the ‘Under Pressure’ part of the existing lyric.”

The Queen guitarist did confirm at the time that there are unreleased tracks from their time with David Bowie. 

“Not all of what we did in those sessions has ever come to light, so there's a thought.”

Via: Biography