Karen O and Willie Nelson released their cover version of Bowie and Queen‘s 1981 classic, “Under Pressure,” on Wednesday (October 28), a couple of days after the songs 39th anniversary.
Karen said she first told her friend Johnny Knoxville about wanting to do a song with Nelson.
“Willie’s daughter Amy very supportively said, ‘Have her send him the song and he’ll sing on it!'” recalled Karen.
“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 said. “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,” Karen added. “I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.”
Dave Sitek produced the acoustic “Under Pressure” cover, that features Nick Zinner, Imaad Wasif and Johnny Hanson playing guitars, and Priscilla Ahn providing backing vocals.
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