Brian May and Roger Taylor: More David Bowie-Queen Recordings

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According to May, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury “locked horns” in the studio

The 1981 studio session that produced the collaboration between two of Britain’s all-time classic rock greats, “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, yielded more recordings than just the one single, says Queen’s Roger Taylor.

In an interview for a special edition of Record Collector, the drummer recalls that the sessions produced ““all sorts of old songs… whatever came into our head.”

Taylor was asked if the tape machines were rolling.

“If we look to the archives, yeah, there’s probably stuff,” he said. “We would do the odd thing like covering old Cream songs. I remember we did ‘NSU’ and ‘I Feel Free,’ just for a laugh really, and then we decided, ‘Let’s write one for ourselves.’”

But all wasn’t hunky dory in the studio, Brian May said in an earlier interview, published in June 2017 by Radio X.

The then-34-year-old Bowie and 35-year-old Mercury “locked horns” in the studio. “It wasn’t easy because we were all precocious boys and David was very… forceful, yes. Freddie and David locked horns, without a doubt… like who would arrive last at the studio.

“It was sort of wonderful and terrible. “And not all of what we did in those sessions has ever come to light, so there’s a thought…”

“Under Pressure” was released as a single on October 26, 1981. The song was a huge global hit except, surprisingly, in the U.S. where it peaked at only #29 on the singles chart. It was #1 in the U.K. (Queen’s second; Bowie’s third).

Related: 9 signature rock classics that weren’t U.S. chart hits

Queen will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a special series on their official YouTube channel. From their announcement: From March 19, 2021 and for the next year we will take Queen fans on a unique and remarkable journey – a chance to revisit some of the band’s most iconic moments and discover some aspects of the story you might not know. Presented in chronological order, the series will take you from Queen’s earliest shows at London’s Rainbow and Odeon through vast arenas across the entire world on a journey culminating with the band’s latest record setting achievements with Adam Lambert. Along with spectacular concert footage, sound checks, backstage and rare after-show access we get to explore the stories behind the songs, hits and album tracks, drawn from the extensive footage that exists in the official archive while also uncovering and sharing rare and previously unseen gems.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. luile
    #1 luile 15 March, 2021, 13:02

    Hope someone will release all the recordings that David Bowie and Queen did. The same with the songs that they (or Mercury alone), record with Michael Jackson. And also, the Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin jam sessions…

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