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Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
June 7, 2013 5:55 PM   Subscribe

There's still nobody who can make "dee da deedadet" sound as sexy as Freddie Mercury did. Under Pressure, vocals only.
posted by killThisKid (54 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
For some reason, this made me really happy after a long, crappy day. Thanks!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:04 PM on June 7, 2013


ROCKAPELLA!
posted by hal9k at 6:09 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the comments on that post, a fabulous site that collects isolated multi tracks: Queen. Van Halen. Stevie Wonder. A whole lot more.
posted by jamaro at 6:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Whoa, I heard this on WMVY today.
posted by vrakatar at 6:15 PM on June 7, 2013


I coincidentally re-watched Queen's Live Aid performance 2 nights ago. It really is a stunning 20 minutes. Mercury just owns the entire stadium.
posted by davebush at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


This is what happens when you don't collaborate and listen.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


I haven't heard this in a while, and listening to Freddie in any configuration always results in copious joy, but it's especially amazing to hear his voice without anything obscuring it. God I miss Freddie.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:21 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Freddie Mercury was a god stranded amongst lesser men.
posted by elizardbits at 6:23 PM on June 7, 2013 [32 favorites]


Wow, listen to him roll those Rs on "Brighton Rock." I normally can't hear that even on my fancy-pants turntable.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:24 PM on June 7, 2013


I heard this last night on KALW. It's awesome!
posted by trip and a half at 6:32 PM on June 7, 2013


I love Bowie on this track, too. The whole "'CAUSE LOVE'S SUCH AN OLD FASHIONED WORD..." section is maybe my favorite thing he's ever done.
posted by mokin at 6:36 PM on June 7, 2013 [19 favorites]


Feddie's vocals are great, but it's the bassline that makes that song.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a perfect instrument he had. There's nothing he couldn't have sung.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:57 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love Bowie on this track, too. The whole "'CAUSE LOVE'S SUCH AN OLD FASHIONED WORD..." section is maybe my favorite thing he's ever done.

That part gave me actual chills.
posted by antinomia at 7:11 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


This throws me off a bit because there's no Mercury overdub on "let me out", which is my favourite part of the song. Excellent listening still.
posted by solarion at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was amazing! Now do Bowie and Crosby's Little Drummer Boy!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:24 PM on June 7, 2013


No Drummer Boy, but hearing Bowie's vocals only on Golden Years is a dreamland. Listen to what he does with his voice at the repeat of "golden years" at the 1:30 mark, again at 2:48. Jesus.

Golden Years

Between that and the part with Freddie, it almost makes me think cocaine can do anything, and I don't usually think that way.

If there were enough vocal-isolated Bowie to fill a CD, that's all you'd hear from my car for oh, the next ten or twenty years. LOUD.
posted by vers at 7:37 PM on June 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


My cat finds it disturbing when Freddy Mercury soars into his upper register. Of course, my cat--like most cats--is an idiot with questionable tastes.
posted by drlith at 7:39 PM on June 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Video no longer appears to be available.
posted by curious nu at 7:43 PM on June 7, 2013


curious nu and others, try this link to the source page and scroll down to the acapella track -- this was the origin.

Under Pressure

posted by vers at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2013


What I love about these vocals only tracks is that I can hear those tiny imperfections that finally makes the song seem human. Yes, they're rockstars and spiders from Mars and Bohemian rhapsodies. Yadda yadda yadda. It's two men in a room singing, and it's wonderful.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:55 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Found via vers' link to Golden Years: a very thin, jittery, and awkward David "Boo-wee" answering audience questions on Soul Train before lip-synching Golden Years and Fame. Fabulous. Really.
posted by maudlin at 8:02 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not into these things. They sound so silly and awful. Makes you realize why trained singers are so amazing. And don't get it twisted. Under Pressure is one of my favorite songs.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:08 PM on June 7, 2013


From jamaro's link: isolated keyboard and vocals from Killing Joke's Requiem. WOW. I had no idea how drenched in delay the vocals were.
posted by googly at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feddie's vocals are great, but it's the bassline that makes that song.

Never thought I'd disagree with you on music, but you're wrong. It's the two chord piano response that makes the song.
posted by eriko at 8:20 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feddie's vocals are great, but it's the bassline that makes that song.
You mean the one they stole from Vanilla Ice?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:29 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


jamaro: "From the comments on that post, a fabulous site that collects isolated multi tracks: Queen. Van Halen. Stevie Wonder. A whole lot more."

Jesus Christ, there goes my *month*.
posted by notsnot at 8:41 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is kind of coincidental for me. My 17 year old son (a bass-ish baritone) and his friend (a great tenor) wanted to do the Rajaton version of this (they attended a Rajaton workshop earlier this year). The fact that there were only two of them to sing six parts didn't dissuade them. My son transcribed the parts, fiddled a bit with the arrangement since neither young man is a soprano, and they did a multi-track recording of four voices, including videos of each part being sung. They sang the other two parts live, with the audio and video playing along with their live performance for their high school graduation banquet last week, and the high school awards night this week. They threw the whole thing together in 5 days. I know I can't link to the recording here because self-link, but even though I'm Mum and Extremely Biased, I thought it was really good. The song itself seemed particularly apropos to graduation ceremonies.
posted by angiep at 8:51 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


angiep, you can totally link to something like that in a comment--you just can't put in one of your own posts. SO DO IT I MUST HEAR IT
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:54 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Angiep, self-linking is totally ok in the comments, just not in a front page post. This, I gotta hear.
posted by notsnot at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2013


I'm actually hetero, but there's a short list of dudes I'd really, legitimately consider all out man on man sex with. It's pretty much Bowie, Freddie and Morrissey.

(Don't you love how straight guys say things like that? I mean I may as well say I'm going to fuck Katy Perry.)
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


OK then! This was (unfortunately) recorded on my husband's iPhone at the grad banquet, so the recording quality is suck-y for public consumption. Shenanigans to start the video, actual song begins at 1:29 into the video.
posted by angiep at 9:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]



curious nu and others, try this link to the source page and scroll down to the acapella track -- this was the origin.

Under Pressure
posted by vers at 19:49 on June 7 [+] [!]


This looks like the same not-available video. =/ Unless I'm completely blind and there's another, different link.
posted by curious nu at 9:20 PM on June 7, 2013


Holy cow, that is magnificent.

"This is what happens when you don't collaborate and listen"

Didn't they, though?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:24 PM on June 7, 2013


Hmm, it's working now. Who knows!
posted by curious nu at 9:30 PM on June 7, 2013


Holy moly. This was disarming and moving to a degree I did not expect. The passion and the flawless, soaring expression of that very passion, all through the voice alone. Wow.
posted by treepour at 9:55 PM on June 7, 2013


vers - No Drummer Boy, but hearing Bowie's vocals only on Golden Years is a dreamland. Listen to what he does with his voice at the repeat of "golden years" at the 1:30 mark, again at 2:48. Jesus.

Oh man, that same YouTube account has the bass/guitar/drum/backing vocals tracks for "Golden Years", too - also for sooo many more songs. brb gotta listen to the "London Calling" tracks all night long...
posted by jason_steakums at 9:59 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I thought the "collaborate and listen" comment upthread referred to this stunning track from the Kleptones' Night at the Hip-Hopera called Sniff.
posted by treepour at 10:00 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Freddie Mercury's vocal range.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:03 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Are these leaked studio tracks, or is there some software now that can extract these from existing recordings?
posted by straight at 10:07 PM on June 7, 2013


Jesus that was breathtaking.
posted by dry white toast at 10:09 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are these leaked studio tracks, or is there some software now that can extract these from existing recordings?


You can extract vocals if you have the original song and the instrumental and they're the exact same length, but this is off the original multitrack tape, I'm almost positive.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:11 PM on June 7, 2013


When record companies put out remasters, the engineers go back to these original tapes (if they still exist), and that's how stuff like this leaks out. Someone had this in ProTools somewhere and just bounced it to disk because it's cool.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Part of the power of it is that while Bowie and Mercury are both chameleonic, gender-bending rock stars, they go about it a very different way. Mercury is such a big, outsize performer, always playing to the cheap seats, almost like a glam rock Judy Garland or something (that's not meant as a knock,) while Bowie is famously remote and chilly. Bowie's voice can be tremendously moving, but even at his most vulnerable he's still somehow an alien being. When his heart is really breaking, you feel like you're getting a peek through a crack in his facade (he's showing you he's real) and that can feel amazingly powerful. With Mercury, it's like his heart is on the outside of his body, he has no defenses and is giving you everything he's got, all the time. So when their voices come together on this song, you get the most amazing contrast, with Mercury throwing himself into the thing and never letting up, and Bowie arising from the depths of his cosmic weariness to join in.

Sorry, that paragraph kind of got away from me. But Under Pressure is that kind of song.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:01 AM on June 8, 2013 [59 favorites]


WOW. I've heard that song a million times and I never before realized just how incredible the vocals are.

That part where Freddie slides up the scale .... so smooth. He makes it sound like nothing.
posted by bunderful at 5:38 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering what would happen if labels put all their multitrack masters online under a CC non-profit licence. There's a cultural imperative, along the lines of national museums and art galleries.
posted by Devonian at 5:58 AM on June 8, 2013


while Bowie is famously remote and chilly.

Perhaps, and maybe it's that juxtaposition of the "typical" Bowie ... but I think it bears repeating that these are his lines that is giving everybody the chills:
Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:35 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just want to emphasize that "A Night at the Hip-Hopera" is awesome.
posted by wintermind at 6:37 AM on June 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, there goes my *month*.

Oh yeah. Looking over the Studio Multitracks site, I came up with few things for my wishlist: each of the 12 guitar tracks for "Born to Run", and the guitar tracks for "Layla". Plus each of the guitar tracks for the Layla album. In fact, I would love to hear everything Duane Allman has ever done, isolated.
posted by ogooglebar at 8:03 AM on June 8, 2013


Freddie's unfinished duet on Michael Jackson's "State of Shock." Jackson replaced Mercury with Mick Jagger because of a scheduling conflict. He was reportedly horrified by Mick's ragged vocal style, gasping, "He can't sing!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:42 AM on June 8, 2013


Ursula Hitler, that comment is flawless. That. Exactly.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 12:50 PM on June 8, 2013


Oh, yeah, Ursula Hitler. I favored your comment as well.

I followed Queen since about their second album, so it's been a wonderful pleasure to see them get more respect. Rolling Stone's critics seemed to hate Queen with a passion (Dave Marsh called them fascists in his "Jazz" review for singing "We Will Rock You." Sure, Dave, whatever.)
posted by Bill Peschel at 4:06 PM on June 8, 2013


With Mercury, it's like his heart is on the outside of his body, he has no defenses and is giving you everything he's got, all the time

Yeah, exactly this. I've always been a Queen fan for that. Without Mercury they're a different band. The incongruity for me has been how to understand that Queen is heavy and powerful, and indeed (sometimes) very angry, in a way that, say, Slayer is as well.
And for as light as Mercury's singing voice is - in contrast to Ian Gillan, say or Bruce Dickinson/Rob Halford (where the falsetto tends to get into a scream) - he carries perhaps the most voltage and power of any rock singer.

Which is interesting in hindsight.
From what I understand (IANAM) he was a baritone or tenor in his natural speaking voice (apart from the accent). But he sang in the higher register mostly, and even so, it's amazing to hear him hit those high notes. But again, if his natural voice was lower, and I mean it's hard for tenors to hit high C (again, I can't carry a tune myself, but I enjoy opera as a layman), it sounds merely like an amazing performance from an amazing performer.

Essentially, Wayne Gretzky scores 200 points - again.

But if Mercury was singing beyond his natural range, going from that low then putting that kind of juice that high, with that kind of sustain, in long concerts....as good as we thought he was, he was actually better.

Anyway, "Deh da deh! ... um hoo ... ba-da-da-bum bump" is my new ring tone.

Freddie Mercury was a god stranded amongst lesser men.

Or straddled amongst Sith and Kryptonians.
I'll just leave this here .
posted by Smedleyman at 7:23 PM on June 10, 2013


Just listened to this and it gave me full-body chills *and* made me cry a little. Amazing. Thank you.
posted by rtha at 9:51 AM on June 14, 2013


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