Added on 30-Apr-2009
I don't know how it happened, but the same selection of '80s songs appears on every party playlist: "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey, "Jesse's Girl" by some '80s guy and a few Bruce Springsteen songs that are constantly used and reused in car commercials. Those songs can rally a faceless crowd of drunk kids, but they don't move me like "Under Pressure." Every time I hear Queen and David Bowie's magnificent collaboration, I just get carried away. That bass riff, the angelic chiming of keys, the hand claps and finger snaps, Freddie Mercury's breathy, whimpering falsetto, all those white dudes jazz scatting; it's like the gods of glam rock have united to offer their testicles to a higher being.
The lyrics are affecting, but I purposely only know about 55 percent of them because I get so much enjoyment out of slurring and shrieking nonsense in their place. I'm convinced nobody knows all the words, but that it's meant to be sung by those who don't normally sing. I include myself in that group, fully aware that my shrieking and slurring probably makes it seem like I'm neither aurally sensitive nor a native English speaker. Fine by me! If I could, I'd enact a law prohibiting bands from performing covers and provide tax breaks for the everyman who karaokes with his buddies.
When Mercury belts out, "Can't we give ourselves one more chance?" he rips my irony off like a pair of tear-away track pants; it's the ultimate release. I promise, that singular moment of musical euphoria will make you want to ski-jump off a fire escape, pick up a child on the sidewalk and spin him around, donate your weed money to charity, toss a bouquet of flowers into an unsuspecting crowd of ladies, hug a moving biker, throw your contact lenses into the wind, rhythmically dry hump a librarian as you cry, and forgive everyone for everything. It'll make you a believer.