Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie

Legbamel Not-Pop

I’m going out on the not-pop limb today, posting a song that was once wildly popular. Despite Vanilla Ice’s abuse of the song, Under Pressure still stands out as a well-done collaboration between two mega-stars, the sort of thing that often turns out very badly. With two voices (and personalities) as strong and distinctive as those of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, the song could have been a mess had either considered himself a diva (sorry, Mr. Bowie). What Queen and Bowie created, however, stood as a model for other performers. They took the epic tendencies from Queen and the more esoteric sensibilities of David Bowie and made this complex tribute to love being able to change the world.

You have to listen to the whole song to get that message. Like Queen’s other blockbuster hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, Under Pressure tells a story albeit with less drama and incarceration. The layered sound, the well-crafted lyrics, the terrific voices, and that world-famous bass line combine to make this a classic that deserves the title. For a beautiful spring Friday, what could be more appropriate? (It came to my attention that I forgot to post this one. Sorry for the delayed reaction.)

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