26 Oct: Making ‘Under Pressure’

When Queen and David Bowie met in Switzerland to record their iconic collaboration ‘Under Pressure’ on 26th October, 1981, *quite a lot* of drugs and wine were taken – to the extent that nobody can recall exactly how the iconic pop song came to be formed.

What we do know is that Freddie Mercury never performed the monster hit live with Bowie, nor turned up to appear in the video, and that the precise authorship of the instantly recognisable bassline remains hard to establish.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly probe into Bowie’s tax affairs; relate Brian May’s account of Mercury’s vocal-booth improv; and ask why Jedward and Vanilla Ice appear to have stolen a march on this seminal track…

Further Reading:

• ‘Feel Like’ (1981), the demo Queen recorded before Bowie turned up: 

• ‘Under Pressure’ (1981) – David Bowie and Queen, Official Video: 


• ‘Inside David Bowie and Queen’s ‘Tense’ Recording Session for “Under Pressure”’ (Biography, 2020): https://www.biography.com/news/david-bowie-queen-under-pressure-recording-session