Karen O & Willie Nelson – “Under Pressure” (Queen & David Bowie Cover)
Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” is one of rock’s greatest duets. My colleague Tom Breihan recently explored its glory at length, and now we all get to hear the latest reinterpretation of that glory by a pair of music legends.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and stoner country icon Willie Nelson have teamed up on a new cover of “Under Pressure.” This makes Karen the second Meet Me In The Bathroom key player to sing the song in recent years after Julian Casablancas performed it with Danielle Haim in concert last year.
In a press statement, Karen O talks about her shock at Nelson agreeing to do a duet with her: “At this point my mind was melting but I had to focus and pull a song out of the ether that was worthy of a living legend and spoke to the people in troubled times, not an easy assignment.” She continued:
Then like a bolt out of the blue ‘Under Pressure’ came to mind—I’ve heard this song countless times without processing the gravity of what Bowie and Freddie were singing about, maybe because their performances are so exhilarating you get swept away in the high of that duet.
Our cover was meant to be more intimate but just as saturated with the power of love. I can’t listen to this song without tearing up every time Willie comes in, one of the purest voices which of course reflects a pure heart, and I get to sing alongside it. I never knew if it was actually going to happen but you must dare to dream. I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.
Check it out below.