The Queen Hit Inspired By Cream

Although Queen has been influencing hundreds of music acts all around the world, they were also inspired by several British music acts. One of them was Cream, consisting of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker. During their pastime, Queen members liked coming up with their own renditions of Cream songs in the studio. As it turns out, one of these sessions inspired Queen to write one of their hits.

David Bowie joined Queen in the studio to provide backing vocals to ‘Cool Cat,’ but he didn’t like the outcome. So, he and Queen started playing Cream songs for fun. As they were enjoying their time in the studio, the session led to the creation of ‘Under Pressure,’ which later appeared in Queen’s 1982 ‘Hot Space’ album. While the song was credited as co-written by the five musicians, it wasn’t clear who was the primary lyricist.

John Deacon argued it was Freddie Mercury, while Brian May said David Bowie dominated the song with his lyrics. In the end, the song was released under Queen & David Bowie. It’s still unclear who contributed the most to the song, but Roger Taylor came up with his own version of the story in a 2021 interview with Loudersound. According to the musician, he and Bowie finished off the song as Freddie arrived late, and Brian May and John Deacon never turned up.

“We rarely sat down and wrote songs together as a band, but ‘Under Pressure’ is one of the few exceptions,” said Roger Taylor. He then noted, “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.’”

He continued, “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.”

So, Roger Taylor argued that ‘Under Pressure’ was a special song as it was an effort they sat down and wrote together as a band. As Taylor said, David Bowie started it all by sitting at the piano, and most of the song was done in Montreux. However, he and Bowie finished the remaining work in New York at the Power Station. This was because Freddie arrived at the sessions late, and May and Deacon weren’t present at all. In the end, Cream unwittingly helped Queen and David Bowie to come up with a timeless hit.