Brian May Shares Story Of Power Struggle During Making Of ‘Under Pressure’

According To May, David Bowie Eventually Won Overall Control

September 3, 2019
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Ron Elkman

In 1981, two of music’s most powerful voices, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, came together for an epic collaboration, but according to Brian May, it wasn’t as easy as it may have seemed. In a new interview, May claims there was a power struggle when Bowie and Queen met, and Bowie eventually won overall control. While it may have upset the members of Queen at the time, it created ‘Under Pressure,’ which is plenty to be happy about.

When Queen and David Bowie first met in 1981, all five musicians came together without an idea of what was to come. However, each of them had strong feelings about where their contributions should go in the song, and it led to a power struggle. ““I remember David Bowie reaching over to John and saying, ‘No, don’t do it like that,’ and John going, ‘Excuse me? I’m the bass player, right? This is how I do it!’” said Brian May, remembering the experience.

Eventually, the members of Queen, including Freddie Mercury, started following David Bowie’s lead. According to May, “Somebody has to decide what you actually use. And really, to be honest, that person was David, because he just went, ‘I’m doing it, I’m doing it,’ being David Bowie. And we went, ‘Ooh, okay…’” While Freddie Mercury, and the rest of Queen, may not have loved the arrangement at first, it worked out, and ‘Under Pressure’ was delivered to the world.

Via Ultimate Classic Rock