Searching for last month’s David Bowie Bootie Samples, it was inevitable that we come across Bowie’s collaboration Under Pressure with Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. It’s such a magnetic vocal collaboration that even after listening to the song decades later, people are still drawn to the undeniable vocal power of the tune. That is why this month’s edition of Bootie Samples is dedicated to the enigmatic Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Freddie Mercury died in 1991 of AIDS in a time when the public knowledge of the disease was misguided and volatile at best. No matter how flawless and poignant his voice was in every performance, his legacy was never fully realized because of a tainted stigma the illness added to his name. Years after his passing, people finally began to realize what a talent was lost in his death.
Rated 18th in Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Singers of all time, Freddie Mercury is what vocalists strive to be and live performers struggle to emulate. If you like to attend a lot of electronic events, and we wager that you do, vocal samples from Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You have no doubt made their way into a DJ set or two. LT3 has chosen some of the best uses of Queen’s work made in the last five years and you can hear them all below and they’re (mostly) free to download.
1. Queen feat. David Bowie – Under Pressure
Included on Queen’s 1982 album Hot Space, Under Pressure became one of the biggest hits for both David Bowie and Queen. For years, Vanilla Ice’s classic Ice Ice Baby was caught in the crossfire of controversy for using unauthorized samples of the song’s bassline. Vanilla Ice later confessed to using elements of the original which resulted in Queen and Bowie receiving songwriting credits on Ice Ice Baby.
2015 | Nu disco | Queen – Under Pressure (Touch Tone Remix) [Free Download]
Using most of the original’s vocals, Touch Tone then crafts a piano-and-synth-led rhythm around the melodies, complete with hand claps for extra effect. He layers Mercury and Bowie’s lyrics against each other and showcases Mercury’s full vocal range by including the singer’s unparalleled high notes throughout. Download it for free here.
2015 | Indie / Beats | Queen – Under Pressure (Mr Saccardo Remix) [Free Download]
Mr Saccardo takes his rendition in a future bass direction and uses echoed vocal clips for embellishment rather than the central driving force. Mercury’s intro hummed notes have been prolonged and used as another melodic layer against rising synths and simple percussion. Grab it for free here.
2014 | House | Queen – Under Pressure (David Manso & Jose Hdez Remix) [Free Download]
David Manso & Jose Hdez re-craft the chords of the original, opting for a lo-fi direction paired with hand claps and a 4/4 beat. In a cheeky move, they reference Vanilla Ice with quick “ice ice baby” samples that have been placed throughout their rendition. Their remix is also available as a free download here.
2012 | Techno | Queen – Under Pressure (Maverickz Bootleg) [Free Download]
France-based producer Maverickz creates an entirely new, driving techno groundwork for his version, retaining very few original elements past reverbed vocal cuts and some small chord grabs for ornamentation. It’s a good use of samples to give the audience just a taste of Queen’s original work. Download your copy for free here.
2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
2013 | Indie / Beats | Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (TJR Remix) [Free Download]
No Queen list is complete without a Bohemian Rhapsody reference and TJR’s bootleg is a funky tribute to the original. TJR uses his own synth-heavy production rather than Queen’s original chords and opts to use just Mercury’s vocals, which have been distorted to sound wind-tossed. An upbeat interlude gives the track an added dose of funk that will have you dancing in a snap. Download it for free here.
3. Queen – Another One Bites The Dust
Released in 1980, Another One Bites The Dust is one of those songs that is instantly recognizable once the first notes ring out. A powerful guitar bassline whips forward at the intro before Mercury’s vocals follow suite with a similarly snappy attitude.
2015 | House | Queen – Another One Bites The Dust (Michael Rosa Re-Smash) [Free Download]
Desert Hearts’ Michael Rosa speeds up the tempo just bit and adds in a percussive house backbeat. He’s chopped up the vocals alongside a string of quirky effects to give Queen’s original just a slightly modern touch for the dancefloor. Grab your free download here.
2014 | Deep House | Queen – Another One Bites The Dust (Vijay & Sofia Remix)
Belgium’s Vijay & Sofia have capitalized on the original’s cavernous bassline to create the deep foundation for their rendition. Mercury’s vocal hook is repeated throughout and even layered against itself at moments to retain a certain level of swagger. Hear more from Vijay & Sofia here.