The works of David Bowie and Queen are examples of ’80s music that, today, don’t so much evoke era-based nostalgia, but rather time-transcending awe. “Under Pressure,” the 1981 track they recorded together, is an example of that — Vanilla Ice would likely agree. But it seems, based on a report in The Guardian, that Queen and Bowie actually recorded a number of songs together, which have never been released. This new revelation likewise goes beyond “Cool Cat” — another song Bowie originally contributed backing vocals to, though they were removed from the track at Bowie’s request before Queen’s Hot Space was released.
The information comes from Peter Hince, a former Queen roadie who served as head of their road crew at the time that “Under Pressure” was made; Hince’s assertions are getting published within David Bowie: I Was There, an upcoming book on Bowie by music historian Neil Cossar. And if this were coming from a single source, it could seem dubious, but the Guardian also notes that Queen guitarist Brian May recently all but corroborated the fact that there were additional recordings, telling Mojo that Bowie and Freddie Mercury “locked horns” while recording “Under Pressure” (and apparently these other tracks) in their Montreux, Switzerland studio, but that “sparks fly and that’s why it turned out so great…not all of what [they] did in those sessions has ever come to light, so there’s a thought.”
Hince claims that “somewhere there’s an archive” full of this stuff — which consists of “some original songs they did together and also covers. They were just jamming in the studio and it all got recorded – All the Young Dudes, All the Way from Memphis and various rock classics. There’s stuff with Freddie and David singing together – proper full-length rock’n’roll tracks … Raw, but good.”
He tells the Guardian that — at least per his recollection — some of the tracks were complete, albeit unmixed. Of course, if they’re being held by an estate that firmly doesn’t want them released, it might be optimistic to think we’d be hearing them any time soon. But there’s always this: