Queen and David Bowie were playing covers of Eric Clapton’s band Cream before writing “Under Pressure,” which strongly influenced the creative process of the song.
Roger Taylor told Classic Rock Magazine, “We rarely sat down and wrote songs together as a band, but Under Pressure is one of the few exceptions. We were doing Cream covers for fun, and David [Bowie] sat at the piano and started gong ‘plink plink plink’.
So we went: ‘Let’s do our own song.’ The bulk of it was done in one hectic night in Montreux. But really, David and I finished off most of the rest in New York in The Power Station. Fred arrived very late. Brian never turned up. Neither did John.”
“Under Pressure” is one of the most iconic songs of all time, showcasing a duet between David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, with John Deacon’s bassline being one of the most memorable, and imitated, of all time. The song was released as a single in October 1981, written by all four Queen members and David Bowie. It appeared on Queen’s Greatest Hits collections, and was also later included on Queen’s 1982 album Hot Space. It reached number one on the United Kingdom singles chart.