Just the basics

Neato!  It’s the isolated vocal track of “Under Pressure” — just the two voices, nothing else.

This song, in its original, familiar form, always gave me hives because it’s like one of those recipes where you combine two fantastic and expensive ingredients, but rather than blending and melding to make something new and great, they just fight with each other.  I love Bowie and I love Freddie Mercury, but I never understood why everyone’s so ga ga about this song.  This stripped down version is a different take on it, anyway, and if it doesn’t exactly make the song work, it’s fascinating to listen to.  Holy cow, what talent.  I forgot how powerful Bowie’s voice is, and how otherworldly Freddie Mercury can sound.

This isolated vocal track of “Under Pressure” is more of a curiosity, but I just found out that there is a stripped down version of The Beatles’ album “Let It Be,” and that is something that really needed doing. (I guess they had brought Phil Spector on board to produce it, and then the main reason they made “Abbey Road” (which was made mostly after “Let It Be,” but released first) was so they could leave the world with one final actual Beatles album, since “Let It Be” kinda wasn’t.)

I grew up listening to a lot of “oldies,” and I like the whole Wall of Sound thing a lot, but setting it up behind The Beatles is like covering the Parthenon in chrome. “The Long and Winding Road,” especially, was just screaming to be left alone, and they had to crap it up with six inches of schmaltz — unforgiveable.  Here is the painful original:

and the stripped-down version, just vocals, guitar, and piano:

Whew!  Much better.


  1. My one and only big concert (except for the Monkees)- was David Bowie (Glass Spider Tour) with Duran Duran opening. I was 16 with my big sister. 3rd row- Except for the guy in front of us in gold lame hitting on my big sis’s sort of boyfriend, it was great!…a few weeks later we saw Michael Card at the Baptist church

  2. Maybe I’m just too used to the Spector version of “The Long and Winding Road”, and *expect* it to be 1970 schmaltzy…but I think I’d prefer something between these two versions.

  3. Whenever I hear about “Wall of Sound” I tend to think of the Greatful Dead first but that was a different concept. Most of the Beatles did not like the overdubing and you can see it from the post Beatles solo material. I think that Spectors brand of WoS tends to cloud the imagination a bit anyway by droning away anything artistic and replacing it with cookie cutter pop sounds.

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