Brian May Admits He 'Never Liked' The Final Mix Of This Queen Classic

By Katrina Nattress

February 14, 2024

Queen Receive The Heritage Awards - Photocall
Photo: Getty Images Europe

"Under Pressure" is one of Queen's biggest hits, but during a new interview Brian May admitted that he "never liked" the final mix of the 1981 David Bowie collaboration.

The guitarist revealed that the track “sounded massively chord-driven" but the “heavy guitar was lost” after Bowie gave his input. May recalled the song's origins, saying he was "beaming" over the guitar work in the initial cut because it reminded him of The Who. But when he noted the comparison to the Thin White Duke, he said “‘it’s not going to sound like The Who by the time I’ve finished with it.’”

“[Bowie] didn’t want it to be that way,” May added.

“Basically it was Freddie and David fighting it out in the studio with the mix,” he explained, “and what happened in the mix was that most of that heavy guitar was lost.”

“It’s probably the only time in my career I bowed out, because I knew it was going to be a fight," May continued. “David was an awesome creative force, but you can’t have too many awesome creative forces in the same room. It starts to get very difficult.”

“I do recognize that it works. It’s a point of view, and it’s done very well,” he noted. “People love it.” However, personally May divulged that he "never liked it, to be honest."

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