Bohemian Rhapsody (5:55)

Cover of A Night at the Opera

From A Night at the Opera and 171 other releases

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song written by Freddie Mercury and originally recorded by the band Queen for their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.

The song is in the style of a stream-of-consciousness nightmare, and has unusual musical structure for popular music (it has no chorus, instead consisting of seemingly disjointed sections including operatic segments, an and a hard rock part) which works beyond the range of this reviewer. Despite this, it was released as a single and became a huge commercial success.

Bohemian Rhapsody is widely hailed as Queen’s “magnum opus”, and it marked a decisive point in the band’s career and set them on the way to become one of the world’s most popular music groups. The single was accompanied by a groundbreaking music video (then termed a “promotional video”) which helped establish the visual language of the modern music video.

A truncated version of the song was included in all Queen’s subsequent live concert performances (as the band could not recreate the middle section live, because of the many overdubbed voices) and still enjoys great popularity around the world.

In January 1976, Freddie Mercury was interviewed by Sounds regarding the writing process of the song.:

“I’m going to shatter some illusions, it was just one of those pieces I wrote for the album: just writing my batch of songs. In its early stages I almost rejected it, but then it grew. We started deciding on a single about halfway through. There were a few contenders - we were thinking of ‘The Prophet’s Song’ at one point - but then ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ seemed the one.

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