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Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure (1981)

Thirty years? Well, time has not diminished it’s power. Two multi-millionaire icons, Messrs Mercury and Jones at the peak of their fame get together in Queens recording studio located in Montreux Switzerland, jam a bit, John Deacon comes up with one of the most recognizable bass lines in the history of pop music.

Then Mercury starts to scat and bebop all over the shop, Bowie’s croon along with his disarmingly poignant lyrics about the human condition, add an insistent, slightly mournful guitar figure, several endings, hand claps, operatic vocals and an overpowering climax that only the stoniest heart could resist and the result is monumental- excessive and minimalist, sad and yet so hopeful, its bleeding heart cut open, a cry of pain and joy.

I tear up, feel lifted, overwhelmed every time Bowie belts out that beautiful line ‘Love dares you to care for those people on the edge of the night’ as the song reaches for the sky. This is art and technique fused with humanism, humility and transcendence struggling, striving to break free from our limits, our weaknesses and yet “this is ourselves”.

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