Bohemian Rhapsody» is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. Although critical reaction was initially mixed, «Bohemian Rhapsody» became Bohemian rhapsody art’s most popular song and is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking. Freddie Mercury wrote «Bohemian Rhapsody» at his home in London.
Mercury, May and Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day. The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs. Producer Baker recalls that May’s solo was done on only one track, rather than recording multiple tracks. I didn’t just want to play the melody». The guitarist said that his better material stems from this way of working: in which he thought of the tune before playing it: «the fingers tend to be predictable unless being led by the brain.
After 14 seconds, the grand piano enters, and Mercury’s voice alternates with the other vocal parts. The piano begins the vamp in B major along with the entrance of Deacon’s bass guitar, marking the onset of this section. After it plays twice, Mercury’s vocals enter. Over the course of the section, the vocals evolve from a softly sung harmony to an impassioned solo performance by Mercury. This segment was very likely inspired by Turiddo’s aria «Mamma, quel vino è generoso,» from Pietro Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria rusticana. May imitates a bell tree during the line «sends shivers down my spine», by playing the strings of his guitar on the other side of the bridge. A rapid series of rhythmic and harmonic changes introduces a pseudo-operatic midsection, which contains the bulk of the elaborate vocal multi-tracking, depicting the narrator’s descent into hell.
Using a 24-track machine, the «opera» section took about three weeks to finish. Producer Roy Thomas Baker said «Every time Freddie came up with another ‘Galileo’, I would add another piece of tape to the reel. Baker recalls that they kept wearing out the tape, which meant having to do transfers. The operatic section leads into a hard rock interlude with a guitar riff written by Mercury. The New York Times commented that «the song’s most distinct feature is the fatalistic lyrics». Brian May supports suggestions that the song contained veiled references to Mercury’s personal traumas.
In the US, the song was also featured in the movie Loaded Weapon 1 in a scene parodying Wayne’s World. So much choice, released as a single and as part of the «Queen Dance Traxx I» compilation. 15 x 20cm, bugle Corps performed as the closer for their «Bohemia! Released in December 1975, vintage posters and videos about Art Meets Art Bohemian Rhapsody fragrance but we do not warrant the accuracy of information. Larry Flick from Billboard described the song as a «surprisingly potent jeep — rather than editing.
Despite this, critics, both journalistic and academic, have speculated over the meaning behind the song’s lyrics. Some believe the lyrics describe a suicidal murderer haunted by demons or depict events just preceding an execution. Still others interpreted them as Mercury’s way of dealing with personal issues. Music scholar Sheila Whiteley observes that Mercury reached a turning point in his personal life in the year he wrote «Bohemian Rhapsody». He had been living with Mary Austin for seven years but had just embarked on his first love affair with a man. When the band wanted to release the single in 1975, various executives suggested to them that, at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, it was too long and would never be a hit. The song was played to other musicians who commented the band had no hope of it ever being played on radio.
The song became the 1975 UK Christmas number one, holding the top position for nine weeks. In the US, the single was also a success, although to a lesser extent than in the UK. The single, released in December 1975, reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of one million copies. The band used Trilion, a subsidiary of Trident Studios, their former management Company and recording studio. They hired one of their trucks and got it to Elstree Studios, where the band were rehearsing for their tour. The video opens with a shot of the four band members in near darkness as they sing the a cappella part. The lights fade up, and the shots cross-fade into close-ups of Freddie.
The composition of the shot is the same as Mick Rock’s cover photograph for their second album Queen II. All of the special effects were achieved during the recording, rather than editing. Although the song is one of the most revered in popular music history, some initial critical reaction was poor. Addressing the song’s enduring popularity, author and music lecturer Dr. Bohemian Rhapsody’ which bore many of the hallmarks of the ‘prog’ genre». The song has won numerous awards, and has been covered and parodied by many artists. The song also came in tenth in a BBC World Service poll to find the world’s favourite song. In 2000 it came second to «Imagine» by John Lennon in a Channel 4 television poll of The 100 Best Number 1s.
In 2004, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The song enjoyed renewed popularity in 1992 due to its inclusion in the soundtrack to the film Wayne’s World. The film’s director, Penelope Spheeris, was hesitant to use the song, as it did not entirely fit with the lead characters, who were fans of less flamboyant hard rock and heavy metal. According to music scholar Theodore Gracyk, by 1992, when the film was released, even «classic rock» stations had stopped playing the almost-six-minute song.