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Bowie cover of the week: Hurricane covers “Under Pressure”

Hurricane is one of those bands that has existed for a long time in various manifestations and has gone through a variety of lineups but is still around. I wasn’t previously familiar with Hurricane, which, despite this fairly faithful rendition of “Under Pressure,” has its origins as a heavy metal band, going back to 1983. The band had a hit, “I’m On To You,” in 1988. “Under Pressure” is from a new album, Reconnected.

This video was my easy choice for cover of the week, in part because it’s a good version of the song. Interestingly, the song is not performed as a duet— I think the lead and only singer is Chad Cancino. Cancino has been the lead singer for Hurricane since 2019 and looks to be too young to have had anything to do with the band back in the 80s. He seems to be performing with the energy of someone who is looking to make an impression rather than someone who is running on fumes. Though I don’t know for sure, I’m guessing a new, young lead singer is keeping the band fresh.

Anyway, this is a real, well-produced video. The band uses images from contemporary news as well as superimposed words to reinvigorate the song with its original purpose of drawing attention to societal ills. At one point Bowie and Queen considered calling the song, “People on the Streets,” which is a line from the song. I think the ultimate title, combined with Freddie Mercury’s scat singing and some of the more random lyrics deliberately moved the song toward being more generic, and perhaps therefor more accessible. Today it pops up in all kinds of circumstances, including moments before an NFL kicker makes a field goal attempt. Nobody is thinking about homeless people at such moments.

I considered a few other covers this week including, “Look Back in Anger,” by the Finnish band, Waltari. I liked the performance and I especially like that it was a less-covered and slightly more obscure song than, “Under Pressure.” But the video is really just audio— the image is static, so I passed it over. The other contender was a bootleg video of Nile Rogers and Chic (which is what the band formally known as Chic is going by these days) performing “Let’s Dance” live. The audio is good enough, but the shaky video is probably taken from an iPhone and isn’t very good. The performance is solid, but the video wasn’t, so “Under Pressure” is this week’s winner.

Click here for a link to Hurricane’s website.

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