When the opening chords of Bohemian Rhapsody start there are not many people that don’t immediately know what is about to happen. A classic song in every sense of the word this 1975 classic dominated the Christmas music charts today!
The song was written and developed over a decade in the head of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. The meaning behind the song has always been in question. Freddie stated that the song was merely about relationships. Brain May, Queen’s guitarist, believes that it all comes from Freddie’s life as he was as complex as the song. May felt that “Freddie was a very complex person: flippant and funny on the surface, but he concealed insecurities and problems in squaring up his life with his childhood. He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song.”
Roger Taylor, the drummer for Queen, believes the song is “fairly self-explanatory with just a bit of nonsense in the middle”. It still raises a lot of questions to this day. It’s use of opera, ballad, and hard rock takes the listener on a journey from start to finish.
The song took three weeks to record with over 180 different tracks laid over each other and resampled and recorded again. Brian May once told reporters that they worked the tape so hard you could hold it up to the light and see through it. May also wrote the guitar solo that has become so iconic, and it was recorded and laid into the track in one take to keep the rawness of the intrusive guitar into this opera.
An iconic song that has rocked many parties and made its way into major motion pictures. It is also the last legacy for a band and a singer-songwriter who helped change rock’n’roll for generations.
Do you remember the first time you heard Bohemian Rhapsody? What is your favourite Queen songs?