Queen & David Bowie "Under Pressure" - Classic or Dud?

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I cannot find a single thread for this song here anywhere.

I was going about my mundane tasks at the grocery store when this song came on and my entire world was transformed. All of a sudden it seemed so striking to me how much of life is boring, mundane, or depressing and then music comes along out of the blue like that to change your world. I guess it's fair to say I appreciated this song before, I remember when it came out and all, but I never bought it or took as much notice of it as I did then. I nearly cried, I was so moved by it. It was very strange.

Bimble, Saturday, 6 October 2007 06:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dud.

The Brainwasher, Saturday, 6 October 2007 06:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dud.

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 October 2007 07:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

Almost classic.

Lostandfound, Saturday, 6 October 2007 08:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

absolutely classic as fuck.

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 6 October 2007 08:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

So classic you become a dud by calling it a dud.

Darin, Saturday, 6 October 2007 08:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dud

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 October 2007 08:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Absurdly classic, for the incisive social commentary that is:

"People on streets - ee da de da de
People on streets - ee da de da de da de da"

Mister Craig, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

Unbelievable classic - superb vocal performances, great interplay, and insanely melodramatic: "it's the terror of knowing what this world is about, watching some good friend screaming let me out!"

ledge, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the lyrics are lame, but the music is so awesome - the bridge is insanely cool, yet so complex and accessable. For God's sake, you "dud" people need to relisten to this one.

Darin, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

S: "It's the terror of knowing what the world is about. Watching some good friends screaming "Let me out."
Because it reminds me of my cat, who is always screaming "meow!" which is sorta the same thing.

"Why can't we give love that one more chance? Why can't we give love give love give love & c."
Sounds like The Who innit?

D:"no man ask for"
"people on ... streets"
"This is our last dance. This is ourselves under pressure."

So overall, kinda a piece of crap with a couple redeeming moments for me.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

No way, the section that ends with "This is our last dance. This is ourselves under pressure" is so good, 80s bowie at his best.

ledge, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

So classic it breaks my heart

Davey D, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dud?

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dud!

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dunno anything about the 80s Bowie canon* but those lines remind me of Bono.

*Give me mid-70s Bowie any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

xp to ledge

kingkongvsgodzilla, Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wonder if there's been a thread on 80s bowie, nothing obvious in the search. Obv it doesn't really compare to his 70s stuff but I'm an 80s kid so it'll always have a place in my heart. Let's Dance, Modern Love, China Girl... and of course Ashes to Ashes is way up there with his best.

ledge, Saturday, 6 October 2007 10:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, Ashes to Ashes all the way. I (incorrectly) lump that in with his late-70s stuff though.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Saturday, 6 October 2007 10:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

queen still rubbish

RJG, Saturday, 6 October 2007 11:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

C: music
D: lyrics - rich rock stars talking about the homeless = super DUD, although "Under Pressure" is not nearly as offensive as Phil Collins' "Another Day In Paradise"

snoball, Saturday, 6 October 2007 11:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is one of the best karaoke songs of all time.

Wonder if there's been a thread on 80s bowie, nothing obvious in the search.

Here I am.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 6 October 2007 12:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

classic

Rock Hardy, Saturday, 6 October 2007 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

absolutely classic. I'm not so sure that "people on streets" = "people who live on the streets," either - I always thought this song was about the general pressure of day-to-day life, which, though this often comes as news to people, is as real for rich people as it is for others. I have as much class rage toward the wealthy as anybody else, and possibly more, being an excitable Catholic-worker sorta dude, but the notion that "rich rock stars" should just shut their yaps about difficulties facing people is just painfully adolescent.

None of which is really the point of course, the point is the melody, and the production, and the performances, all of which are k-classic.

J0hn D., Saturday, 6 October 2007 13:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

If aliens were planning to blow up the Earth and I was only allowed to play one song to defend out existence, I'd play this one.

da croupier, Saturday, 6 October 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anthony, you will probably find it warming to know that I have a friend who repeats that Vanilla Ice quote at every given opportunity, too.

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 October 2007 13:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Overrated dud.

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 6 October 2007 15:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

classic in dud's clothing.

nerve_pylon, Saturday, 6 October 2007 15:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, not exactly sure what this song is about (like a lot of other queen songs in that regard), but marginal classic. nobody involved was releasing full out classics by 1981

Dominique, Saturday, 6 October 2007 15:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Reagan angst: "Under Pressure" vs. "Pressure"

Eazy, Saturday, 6 October 2007 15:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Or anxiety more than angst, I guess.

Eazy, Saturday, 6 October 2007 15:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

C

mookieproof, Saturday, 6 October 2007 16:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

This song is the G.O.A.T.

Alex in Baltimore, Saturday, 6 October 2007 16:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

Darin OTM.

will, Saturday, 6 October 2007 17:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

it woulda/shoulda been a classic, had mercury kept his ineptly-scatting mouth shut.

Lawrence the Looter, Saturday, 6 October 2007 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Queen and David Bowie have both made a whole lot of marvellous and fantastic music.

Thus, when compared to the quality of what have usually been doing, this song is obviously dud. Even though it is even way more dud when it's called "Ice Ice Baby".

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 6 October 2007 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

This song is perfect.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Saturday, 6 October 2007 18:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

Geir your claim to love melody is now an empty farce in light of your comments regarding this song

J0hn D., Saturday, 6 October 2007 18:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

an empty farce I say

J0hn D., Saturday, 6 October 2007 18:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Under Pressure" isn't particularly melodic. Mainly built and partly improvised around a riff. That is not the way a good melody is created.

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

This argumet isn't particularly argumentative. Mainly built around shifting defintions of the term "melody." That is not the way a good argument is created.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

umm Alfred do you have a pretext for that? the melody = the sung line in a hefty percentage of pop, as here, I'm pretty sure Geir and I agree about what a melody is. Really can you give me two different definitions of melody that you've determined people hold based on this thread?

J0hn D., Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

I wasn't looking for an argument -- I was just amazed that Geir thinks this song is "obviously dud" because UP isn't "particularly" melodic.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

thinking about it I suspect that Geir means "the rhythm section overshadows/competes with the melodic line" which is his beef with lots of music. I'm just contesting his "not particularly melodic" complaint; the descending-in-verses/ascending-in-bridges nature of the U.P. melody seems like Bowie at his best to me, formal in character but very natural in feel (cf. "Fantastic Voyage")

J0hn D., Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, the ascending/descending thing has always been in his best songs ("Strangers When We Meet" was the most recent time it worked beautifully).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 6 October 2007 22:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is one of the best karaoke songs of all time.

Totally wrong, because you think "Ooh, Ice Ice Baby" and then you go "Oh, no, fuck, this is an indie crowd and I have to hear fucking Under Pressure. Great." DUD.

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 6 October 2007 23:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Seriously, how can "People on street" compete with such as "Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly" and "killin' your brain like a poisonous mushroom"?

kingkongvsgodzilla, Sunday, 7 October 2007 00:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

just a fucking piece of genius.

pisces, Sunday, 7 October 2007 00:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Considering the lack of Freddie Mercury in this, I'm surprised this is as good as it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNGQor3dED8

Though it does make me crave the Freddie version.

Bimble, Sunday, 7 October 2007 04:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

And then this one is the polar Freddie opposite of that one (though you might have to forward ahead through his lengthy vocal exercises at the beginning, at your leisure):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faUuwRDRrqA

Bimble, Sunday, 7 October 2007 05:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

classic

Herman G. Neuname, Sunday, 7 October 2007 11:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Doctor Casino you mean you think indie crowds're more likely to play this than Vanilla Ice? Weird.

Anyway it's perfect. Enough hooks and bits for about 3 songs.

President Evil, Sunday, 7 October 2007 12:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

CLASSIC!

Like someone else said, great blending and interplay between the two, and just a great song. Among the best things both artists accomplished.

Joe, Sunday, 7 October 2007 13:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Under Pressure" isn't particularly melodic.

(head spinning)

Joe, Sunday, 7 October 2007 13:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well it isn't. It's mainly built around a bass theme, with very ostinato based harmonics. The melody is sort of a slave of the arrangement and the riff, while I prefer the opposite.

In addition, it also lacks all those wonderful vocal harmonies that make Queen so great. But then, this was around "The Game", one of Queen's worst ever albums, which was also largely devoid of those.

Geir Hongro, Sunday, 7 October 2007 13:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is the only Queen song I can handle.

I know, right?, Sunday, 7 October 2007 14:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hahahaha...what, another Bohemian Rhapsody hater in the world besides me?

Bimble, Sunday, 7 October 2007 14:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

sounded a bit forced at the time, now forever overshadowed by Vanilla Ice

gershy, Sunday, 7 October 2007 14:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

in itself, it's okay. but for providing the bassline for "ice ice baby", (one of the greatest records ever made) classic.

max r, Sunday, 7 October 2007 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

People who prefer "Ice Ice Baby" to "Under Pressure" need serious help.

Darin, Monday, 8 October 2007 07:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, people who don't do.

I know, right?, Monday, 8 October 2007 08:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, people who do, don't!

Mark G, Monday, 8 October 2007 08:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm fine. You two must be the nuts.

I know, right?, Monday, 8 October 2007 08:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

People who prefer "Ice Ice Baby" to "Under Pressure" need serious help.

People who prefer "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" to "Diamonds Are Forever" need serious help.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 8 October 2007 11:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Classic.

Songs with finger-clicking always are.

PhilK, Monday, 8 October 2007 12:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

People who prefer "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" to "Diamonds Are Forever" need serious help.

Amen.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 8 October 2007 15:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Under Pressure" = one of the most classic songs ever by anyone.

People who prefer "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" to "Diamonds Are Forever" need serious help.
I might be able to buy that if Jay-Z's verse wasn't so fucking good on the "Sierra Leone" remix.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 8 October 2007 16:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's mainly built around a bass theme, with very ostinato based harmonics. The melody is sort of a slave of the arrangement and the riff, while I prefer the opposite.

this is only true of the first 16 bars. then the bass starts moving around with the rest of the arrangement, it goes all over the place after that

gff, Monday, 8 October 2007 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh why in fuck am i bothering

anyway, this is classic.

gff, Monday, 8 October 2007 17:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

the youtube version with gail ann dorsey is pretty great, in its own way

gff, Monday, 8 October 2007 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

'cause love's such an old fashioned
word and love dares you to care for
the people on the
edge of the night and love dares you
to change our way of
caring about ourselves; this is our
last dance
this is
our last dance
this is ourselves, under
pressure

^^^ these are great lyrics

gff, Monday, 8 October 2007 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think the main problem about this is that Queen were in the middle of a really fruitless period. After all, they released their two worst ever albums just before and just after this single.

And Bowie - in spite of "Let's Dance" and some "Tonight" tracks being quite good - was about to lose it artistically too, as evident by later work.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 8 October 2007 21:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

he never did anything worse than Peace On Earth

blueski, Monday, 8 October 2007 21:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

TS: Tin Machine Vs. "Never Let Me Down" Vs. "Peace On Earth" Vs. "The Laughing Gnome"? ;)

Geir Hongro, Monday, 8 October 2007 21:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Classic for people in bars who start accidentally singing "Ice Ice Baby" along to it and the people who mock them.
Dud for everyone who lives in the East Village and/or LES and doesn't just party there on the weekends.

Andi Mags, Monday, 8 October 2007 22:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

Classic for inspiring this thread.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 8 October 2007 22:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

nine years pass...

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jul/13/david-bowie-recorded-songs-with-queen-that-never-got-released
Would love to hear them tear through "All The Young Dudes" and "All The Way From Memphis", let alone the original material..

willem, Monday, 17 July 2017 11:05 (two months ago) Permalink


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