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#ThrowbackThursday: Another Look At “Bohemian Rhapsody” By Queen

By Craig Clizbe And Sean Smith

Today fans of the legendary Rock band, Queen have a lot to celebrate. First and foremost, Queen lead guitarist, Brian May is celebrating is 71st birthday today! (July 19th) Away from his work with Queen, May has kept busy outside of the music industry. May was awarded a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007 and was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008 to 2013. These skills eventually led to May being a “science team collaborator” with NASA’s New Horizons Pluto mission.

As a part of Queen Brian May had a huge musical impact. He had a hand in writing some of the band’s career defining hits. These compositions include, “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottom Girls,” “Hammer To Fall,” “Save Me”, “Flash,” and “Who Wants To Live Forever,” just to name a few. As a co-founding member of Queen, he was inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in in 2001. In 2005, a poll conducted by UK Classic Rock station, Planet Rock voted May the 7th greatest guitarist of all time. In the United States May was also ranked at number 26 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Recently May continued his contribution to Queen’s legacy as he serves as one of the producers of the 2018 biopic about Queen, Bohemien Rhapsody. Earlier this week, Regency Entertainment/20th Century Fox released the first official trailer (not including the teaser trailer) for the highly anticipated film that focusses on the life of Queen’s iconic late front-man, Freddie Mercury.

Brian May was joined by his band mate, Roger Taylor and longtime manager Jim Beach to help produce the film alongside Robert De Nero, Graham King, and Peter Oberth to help get the story right. It will shows us the band’s formation and follows them through the success, and later the conflict leading up to the band’s historic performance at Live Aid in 1985.

The film directed by Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher (Uncredited) (CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT BRYAN SINGER PARTING WAYS WITH FOX AND “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY)stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, (Queen drummer) Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon, (Queen Bassist) Tom Hollander as Jim Beach (Queen’s Third manager) Allen Leach as Paul Prenter, (Freddie Mercury’s personal manager)  Mike Myers as Ray Foster, (EMI Music Executive) Dermot Murphy as Bob Geldof, (Lead Singer of The Boomtown Rats and Co-Founder of Live Aid ) and  Matthew Houston as Larry Mullen Jr.. (U2 guitarist)


More About Bohemian Rhapsody (2018 Film) 

Courtesy Of 20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.

As the trailer for this film has everyone buzzing about Queen’s impact on the music world, I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane and re-visit a portion of the original #TBT article about the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” written by TBT column founder, Sean Smith from July 2, 2015.

An Excerpt From A TBT Article Written By Sean Smith On July 2, 2015

“Bohemian Rhapsody” served as the lead single for Queen’s fourth studio album A Night at the Opera released in 1975. The song was written by Freddie Mercury, who never gave an outright explanation for the lyrics before his passing. This being the case, rumors have run rampant for years regarding the original source of inspiration for the song’s lyrics; everything from it was born out of Mercury’s journey of discovery in regards to his sexuality to just being random words picked because they fit the song’s arrangement. At the time of its release, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the most expensive single ever recorded. This is in large part due to the complexity and many layers of the song. The rehearsal and recording process spanned nearly two months and was done in four separate studios. The band would record the backing track, and then record a layer on top of that, another on top of that, and so on. In one part of the song there are 180 layers combined to create the final product the listener hears, which is just insane. Queen recorded a video for the single as well, mainly to play on a popular British music show called “Top of the Pops”. It was done so that the band could get press for the song on the show while not having to actually be there. As for the commercial success of the song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” grabbed the number one spot in Queen’s native Britain, where it stayed for nine weeks. In the U.S., the single went as high as the number nine spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in its initial 1975 release. But the song would find a new audience some years later when it was included in the 1992 comedy film Wayne’s World. The song was re-released and faired even better that time around in the U.S. reaching as high as the number two spot on the Hot 100. The more popular song at the time that kept Mercury and company off of the top spot, “Jump” by Kris Kross. In 2004 “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.


Enjoy another listen to this week’s TBT “Bohemian Rhapsody”!



“Bohemian Rhapsody”

From A Night At The Opera

Parlophone/EMI/Elektra Records


“Bohemian Rhapsody” Featured in 1992’s Wayne’s World 
NBC Films/Paramount Pictures