CSX Classic Cuts

British rock group Queen in concert, from left to right; Freddie Mercury (Frederick Bulsara, 1946 - 1991), John Deacon, and Brian May. Original Publication: People Disc - HU0463 (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Queen and David Bowie: “Under Pressure”

The Hook: Inspired by listening to classic records, Queen and David Bowie write a classic of their own.

Albums: Greatest Hits (1981) and Hot Space (1982)

Writers: David Bowie, John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor

Stats: Peaked at number-29 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Background: In the late ’70s, many British musicians left the country to escape the very high tax rates for those making lots of money. That’s how Queen and David Bowie found themselves neighbors. Queen drummer Roger Taylor explains how that proximity played a big role in the writing of “Under Pressure.”

Queen drummer Roger Taylor on how the band and David Bowie came to write and perform “Under Pressure” together. OC:…we did. :25

“Bowie used to live in Switzerland and we actually bought a studio there. So we became quite close friends, especially Freddie and I, with David. And then David used to drop by the studio, it’s as simple as that. And one day we were playing old songs – ‘The Last Time’ and some old Cream things – and we were just having a good nice time in the studio quite late at night and all of a sudden said, ‘Well, why don’t we write our own?’ And so we did.”