The final version of the song was later laid down by five musicians at Bowie’s studio in Switzerland. The song is characterized by John Deacon’s bass line. According to Deacon, Bowie created the riff, but everyone else including Bowie credits Deacon as the originator. Although Roger Taylor wrote the original, Queen members credit Freddie Mercury with the arrangement – all five musicians are credited with writing the song.
Since neither Bowie nor Queen were available for video shoots due to touring, director David Mallet strung together a variety of footage including scenes from several classic silent movies. Recently, Google utilized “Under Pressure” for its “Google+ Hangout” feature. The video also featured the talents of the Muppets with Beeker as David Bowie and Kermit as Freddie Mercury.
While the song was a number one hit in the UK and The Netherlands, this 1981 release just barely cracked the Top 30 in the US. The song peaked at 29.
The original studio outtakes of the song which evolved into “Under Pressure.”