Brian May "bowed out" in a disagreement over 'Under Pressure' with David Bowie.

The Queen guitarist has recalled how the “heavy guitar was lost” because the late 'Starman' hitmaker didn't want the 1981 song to sound like The Who.

The 76-year-old guitar hero prefers the version with his heavy riff, but he settled for playing the acoustic guitar instead, to avoid getting involved with Bowie and late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's creative battle.

In an interview with Total Guitar magazine, May claimed Bowie said: “‘It’s not going to sound like The Who by the time I’ve finished with it.’”

He continued: “[Bowie] didn’t want it to be that way.”

The 'Bohemian Rhapsody' hitmaker went on to claim that “we all had different ideas of how [‘Under Pressure’] should be mixed."

He went on: “Basically it was Freddie and David fighting it out in the studio with the mix, and what happened in the mix was that most of that heavy guitar was lost.”

The rock legend confessed that he “never liked it, to be honest", but insisted it's personal preference regarding the heavier version.

He said: “I do recognise that it works. It’s a point of view, and it’s done very well.

“People love it.”

The 'Killer Queen' hitmaker plays his favourite version whenever he plays it live now.

He insisted: “It is a lot heavier, and I think it benefits from it."

May says there were "too many awesome creative forces" in the studio, so he thought it was best to back down.

He said: "It’s probably the only time in my career I bowed out, because I knew it was going to be a fight.

“David was an awesome creative force, but you can’t have too many awesome creative forces in the same room. It starts to get very difficult.”

In a 2008 interview with MOJO magazine, May said of the recording sessions in the mountains in Switzerland: “It wasn’t easy because we were all precocious boys and David was very… forceful.

“But those are the things that happen in a studio, that’s when the sparks fly and that’s why it turned out so great.”

'Under Pressure' reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Queen's second number-one hit in their home country and Bowie's third, and also charted in the top 10 in more than 10 countries around the globe.