David Bowie

USA Today

Queen's "Under Pressure" Isn't the Only David Bowie Collaboration


June 21, 2017

Rock and roll has always provided some memorable, exciting, sometimes odd pairings of performers. The results have been sometimes awful and many times incredible and wonderful.

The 1981 collaboration between QUEEN and DAVID BOWIE, which yielded the hit song, “Under Pressure,” easily (IMO) fits into the latter category. Reaching the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart, it became QUEEN’s second #1 song in their home country.  (“Under Pressure” peaked in the U.S. at #29 on The Billboard Hot 100.)

“Under Pressure” also became a staple of QUEEN’s live performances, and it was played at every QUEEN concert between 1981 and the time that the band stopped touring in 1986. Additionally, there are live versions of the song on the albums Queen Rocks Montreal and Live at Wembley ’86. Now, after years of QUEEN reissues, collections, box sets, etc., a QUEEN fan would think that there probably aren’t any more surprises from the QUEEN catalog of music.

But recently, BRIAN MAY has hinted that there might still be more—specifically, more of the sessions with DAVID BOWIE that yielded “Under Pressure!” Currently on a promotional tour in support of his new Queen in 3-D picture book, the guitarist let slip that there might be more of that collaboration to share in the future! BRIAN MAY remembers that while the meeting between the 2 English superstars was fraught with some ‘personality conflicts,’ he did acknowledge that the sessions with BOWIE were “more entertaining than fruitful.” 

The big question of course is, will the other QUEEN/BOWIE studio collaborations ever be released? It’s a thought that has been entertained by BRIAN MAY, and while he remained non-committal about any future release plans, we’ll just have to wait and see! Rock on!