Queen

Under Pressure

Song Review by

Memorably (for some) reinterpreted after ten years after the fact as Vanilla Ice's breakout single "Ice Ice Baby," "Under Pressure" found two contemporaries -- David Bowie and Queen -- collaborating for the first and only time on a great one-off single. Bowie himself feels more like the guest on the song, understandable given that it's Queen providing the musical backing, mixing the Chic-reminiscent bassline of John Deacon with piano and a lovely Brian May guitar melody. In ways the song is almost a reworking of "Bohemian Rhapsody," with a steady opening followed by a slightly different midsong break and then a final explosive ending, though with less tempo changes and a more focused approach. Freddie Mercury handles the higher vocals in his own inimitable way, delivering some classically bravura moments, while Bowie tackles the lower register to provide the perfect balance. Anthemic, showy and warm-hearted, it's a clear standout for both acts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hot Space 1982 Hollywood 4:06
Greatest Hits III 1999 Hollywood 4:08
Greatest Hits 2004 Island 0:00