Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Under Pressure live!

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Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Aug 10, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For as much as I absolutely love Freddie as a singer, and I can
hardly think of a male rock singer I like better, I must say I was
never much impressed by his live renditions of Under Pressure; not
because I expected him to reproduce live those soaring high notes,
something I never did, but mainly because he sang this song so roughly
and heavily, without even imparting a hint of the original's delicacy
and tenderness. If this choice made the song sound even better,
then fine, but the studio version, as far as I'm concerned, sounds
far superior, if only for the lovely lightness of his tone and the delicacy of his phrasing.

I guess the word here is frailty. There's a whole lot of it missing in the live versions - they sound heavier and roughier, and in some way it doesn't fit the song all that well.

That his singing could be just incredibly beautiful, colorful and
sweet when he was performing live, I have no doubts about it: Love Of My Life from Rock Montreal, or My Melancholy Blues from the Kopenhagen gig, being great examples of extraordinarily nuanced, colorful and delicate singing, tone-wise. 

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So, what do you guys think about it? And what do you think of some of the covers which have been put out over the years? Most recently, Ben Harper issued a live DVD with his new band and it features a very nice and exciting cover of Under Pressure. He performed it with Eddie Vedder elsewhere too, and it sounded great. 

Personally, I love Bowie's take on the song from the Reality Tour - Gail Ann Dorsey put up a hell of a show, playing the bass nicely and singing Freddie's parts just wonderfully. 

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Kisses!   

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Question for Gregsynth: what do you think is the best live version of Under Pressure?


Yara
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Posted: 24 Aug 10, 11:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

One of the things i love about Queen is that the studio is so different from the live experience.   Under pressure is a classic with bowie.  freddie outshines him. I wouldn't change a thing about the song.......  I also love the live version with roger in place of bowie,  It's heavier, though the studio version is overall better I think.

Gregsynth user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 24 Aug 10, 11:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara wrote: For as much as I absolutely love Freddie as a singer, and I can
hardly think of a male rock singer I like better, I must say I was
never much impressed by his live renditions of Under Pressure; not
because I expected him to reproduce live those soaring high notes,
something I never did, but mainly because he sang this song so roughly
and heavily, without even imparting a hint of the original's delicacy
and tenderness. If this choice made the song sound even better,
then fine, but the studio version, as far as I'm concerned, sounds
far superior, if only for the lovely lightness of his tone and the delicacy of his phrasing.

I guess the word here is frailty. There's a whole lot of it missing in the live versions - they sound heavier and roughier, and in some way it doesn't fit the song all that well.

That his singing could be just incredibly beautiful, colorful and
sweet when he was performing live, I have no doubts about it: Love Of My Life from Rock Montreal, or My Melancholy Blues from the Kopenhagen gig, being great examples of extraordinarily nuanced, colorful and delicate singing, tone-wise. 

----

So, what do you guys think about it? And what do you think of some of the covers which have been put out over the years? Most recently, Ben Harper issued a live DVD with his new band and it features a very nice and exciting cover of Under Pressure. He performed it with Eddie Vedder elsewhere too, and it sounded great. 

Personally, I love Bowie's take on the song from the Reality Tour - Gail Ann Dorsey put up a hell of a show, playing the bass nicely and singing Freddie's parts just wonderfully. 

---

Kisses!   

---

Question for Gregsynth: what do you think is the best live version of Under Pressure?
================

The best version of Under Pressure is the one from 11/24/1981 (NOT the official Montreal one--but the day before). Freddie nails ALL THE FALSETTO lines in the middle of the song!


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
jozef user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Aug 10, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My opinions are the same as Yara said/wrote ...

The Gail Ann Dorsey's with Bowie (or on the contrary) version is wonderful - much better as whatever by Queen, with only one exception - Montreal gigs 11/24-25 1981 ...

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Posted: 25 Aug 10, 00:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Keep in mind, Freddie was so energetic onstage and in a 2 1/2 to 3 hour concert, it was like marathon for him and the band. Being as subtle as he was in the studio, where he wasn't physically draining himself night after night, just wasn't an option much of the time on stage. He pretty much locked into loud+powerful for the songs live.

I have the Hallo Spaceboy CD single from Bowie and it has what I think is his only released  version of "Under Presure" without Queen, since he only started playing it live after the Tribute Concert. It really is a nice alternative to the Queen live versions (I wouldn't say better, just different). Being that it is just as equally a Bowie song, it's great that it lives on with him as well.

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Posted: 25 Aug 10, 03:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I love the live versions of under pressure especially the wembley version that was brilliant

im not a fan of david bowie and his voice ruins the studio version imho

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Posted: 25 Aug 10, 03:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

...the Wembley version UP is absolutely terrible ...:-(

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Posted: 25 Aug 10, 21:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

plumrach wrote: I love the live versions of under pressure especially the wembley version that was brilliant

im not a fan of david bowie and his voice ruins the studio version imho

lol, yea bowie really ruined the studio version.....The fact that the  studio version is one of the biggest hits of all time, and has stood up over decades makes that statement beyond stupid!........freddie and bowie made the perfect duet, and were the main songwriter's of that song.

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Posted: 26 Aug 10, 06:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The song itself is brilliant i just cant listen to it with Db's voice and i prefer live versions

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Posted: 26 Aug 10, 18:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is one of many Queen songs I'm ashamed to say I didn't love, when I was younger. How could I not like this song??? And I was even a Bowie fan, back in the day. I recall hearing it in clubs and liking it, but always skipping in on the tape.
Now, it is one of my absolute favorites, and I actually enjoy it live, though the Wembley version would not be my favorite. My favorite would be the Montreal version, however, I don't know that I've heard the version NOT from the DVD. Going to go snooping around youtube now....


It is all random
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Posted: 26 Aug 10, 18:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree the studio version is better, but I take the live version for what its worth. Its pretty good and obviously Bowie couldn't/wouldn't tour with them.

Besides, I absolutely hate when ANY band plays stuff live EXACTLY like the album version/single version. Some changing things is a good thing....

Gregsynth user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Aug 10, 23:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For everybody's convenience, here's the 11/24/1981 version (not the official Montreal one).



I should shoot Saul Swimmer for the crap he pulled (throwing away audio/video)!


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 Aug 10, 23:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This version is really quite impressive, and not only for Freddie's blistering performance - this rendition sounds overall better than the official version, which is not an unusual thing when it comes to Queen.

As for his singing, it's really great - that careful balance between loudness and delicacy, which is one of Freddie's trademarks, can be easily heard here: the way he sings the line "pray tomorrow, gets me higher" is such a joy to listen to, not to mention the very difficult falsetto lines about the middle of the song which he struggles with quite successfully, to my mind.     

Nice post!


Yara
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Posted: 27 Aug 10, 23:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you for posting the video!
My pc doesn't like youtube, and I gave up looking for it after about half an hour. I haven't heard that version, and it is truly a delight. A pity that isn't the version on the DVD!


It is all random
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Posted: 28 Aug 10, 05:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote: ''For everybody's convenience, here's the 11/24/1981 version (not the official Montreal one). I should shoot Saul Swimmer for the crap he pulled (throwing away audio/video)!''

That would be quite difficult as he's dead! lol

And the audio is still available. Instead of releasing the same soundtrack as the DVD it would have been far more interesting if they had released the complete opposite. So the song's from the 1st night which are on the dvd would be replaced with the 2nd nights versions, and vice versa for the CD.

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Posted: 28 Aug 10, 10:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This Montreal performance is really a special and unique version of the song.  It is so raw (it's one of only two times they played it without a touring keyboardist), and Freddie's voice is just exquisite.

And it seems to have his highest note ever hit live in chest voice.. a high D at 2:34 on "Cant we give ourselves."

I can see why they used the second night for the DVD, as it was musically tighter... at the expense of a bit of the falsetto part.  Thank goodness they didn't go The Song Remains The Same route, mixing & matching vocals and instrument parts from the two nights..


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Gregsynth user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 28 Aug 10, 11:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He also hits a D5 during the 6/2/1982 version of Save Me!


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 28 Aug 10, 18:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just checked it out... nice.  It was more of a screech, but he hit it.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



http://www.queenlive.ca