Hear David Bowie's Isolated Vocals on "Under Pressure"

How many great songs were written and recorded in a single day in a burst of creativity? David Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure" is one of those songs, according to this excellent Open Culture article.

Back in 1981, David Bowie was visiting Queen in the studio to sing background vocals on a song called "Cool Cat." But then they got inspired playing around with some ideas that would turn into "Under Pressure" (including the iconic bass line that would later be famously sampled by you-know-who). So inspired they finished the song that same night. 

What a great pairing these two singers were. They were both theatrical and wildly creative artists, musically inventive and lyrically ambitious.

The track features their inspired vocal scatting, with the two of them trading lines back and forth. Sounds like these were their original creative ideas, maybe even just rough placeholders before they had lyrics. But then it sounded so good, they left it as-is.

Click on the video to hear a vocals-only version of the song. And keep in mind this was before Autotune, before pitch correction and other studio enhancements. Just the real deal.

Sad to think both of these great artists are now gone. RIP David Bowie.

Related resources:

The Making of Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure"

"Under Pressure" on Wikipedia

"Under Pressure" on Songfacts

50 Years of Changing David Bowie Hairstyles in One Animated GIF

David Bowie RIP Sings Changes in Last Live Performance 2006

1 comment

  • Don
    Don Gpt MS
    So awesome , what a great performer

    So awesome , what a great performer

Add comment