Friday Fave: Pressure Trending

7 Jun

From its inimitable scat singing opening, we know immediately what song we’re in for. Trending this week was the recent reveal of the isolated vocal track of David Bowie and Queen’s Freddie Mercury recording, Under Pressure. The story of how the song even got recorded by these icons of rock is equally noteworthy. Issued October 26, 1981 and featured on Queen’s 1982 album Hot Space, it is now a classic. Why? Is it that remarkable confluence of great artists, great lyrics, and great music?

Mm ba ba de, Um bum ba de, Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two, Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be, Um ba ba be, De day da
Ee day da – that’s okay.

How does such a song endure? The story behind it doesn’t hurt its legendary status – the history of the song’s life after its creation is as notable. Played by Queen at concerts, featured on live recordings, greatest hits compilations, sampled by Vanilla Ice in Ice Ice Baby (followed by a lawsuit between Vanilla Ice and Queen that culminated in lots of money and Vanilla Ice buying the song!), performed by David Bowie and Annie Lennox at the 1992 Concert For Life tribute to Freddie Mercury, featured in movies, covered by maBowie&Lennox.UnderPressureny modern artists, and its music video which doesn’t include any of its musicians. Well, it’s certainly a recipe that would be hard pressed to serve as a template for promoting a hit song, much less a classic.

And now that we hear the only-vocal track, we appreciate how remarkable a recording it is. Once heard, it is haunting, making it indelible. Tell me, is there a more compelling plea than Mercury and Bowie singing, pleading: Why can’t we give love???

Source:
David Bowie and Annie Lennox pic: eurythmics.me.uk

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: