BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Freddie Mercury

QUEEN                                                                   1976                                                                   Elektra Records

The lead single from the album A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. Chart: #9. Time - 5:55. Flip Side: "I'm in Love with My Car". Released in U.S.A. October 31, 1975.

The song was one of the few to hit Billboard's Top 10 in two different years, hitting #2 in 1992. This was for two reason's, the song was featured in the movie 'Wayne's World,' and Freddy Mercury had just died a few months before on November 24, 1991

Recorded in 5 studio's, at Rockfield Studio 1, Roundhouse, Sarm East Studios, Scorpio Sound, and Wessex Sound Studios, England.
Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen. Engineered by Mike Stone and Gary Lyons.

Freddy Mercury was ambiguous about this and all of his songs. Saying very little about it during his lifetime, it wasn't until after his death that his partner of many years discussed it. He confided with him several times about it's meaning. The song was written over the course of many years, beginning as far back as 1968, while attending London’s Ealing Art College, with a lyric “Mama, just killed a man”. It had an early working title of “The Cowboy Song.” The record company was pushing Queen to release “You’re My Best Friend” as the single. It was DJ Kenny Everett who played an unauthorized version over the radio 14 times over 2 days, launching callers into the radio station and record stores requesting the song. It's fate was sealed as the albums first single. - Larry -

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Personnel

   Freddie Mercury - lead vocals
   Brian May - backing vocals, guitar
   John Deacon - bass
   Roger Taylor - backing vocals, drums






BRIAN MAY

"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."

Freddy Mercury

"It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them. "Bohemian Rhapsody" didn't just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?"

Roy Thomas Baker

"'Bohemian Rhapsody' was totally insane, but we enjoyed every minute of it. It was basically a joke, but a successful joke. [Laughs]. We had to record it in three separate units. We did the whole beginning bit, then the whole middle bit and then the whole end. It was complete madness. The middle part started off being just a couple of seconds, but Freddie kept coming in with more "Galileos" and we kept on adding to the opera section, and it just got bigger and bigger. We never stopped laughing. That was at a time when rock bands were so intent on being heavy. This was not exactly a cool idea. It was very left of center."

Brian May - 1982:The Record

"We always were keen on that kind of thing (vocal harmonies in the song). That was something which we wanted to do from the beginning. We wanted to be a group that could do the heaviness of hard rock, but also have harmonies swooping around all over the place. We thought there was some real power and emotion in that combination. ..... No (the first solo wasn't very difficult), that was pretty much off the cuff, except I think I had plenty of time to think about that one. I remember playing along with it in the studio for a while when other things were being done. I knew what kind of melody I wanted to play."

John Deacon - 1977

"When we finished the album, the Night at the Opera album, that was the track on it that we thought we were gonna release as a single in England first. And when we released it in England we didn't necessarily think it'd be released in America, cause we know even over here, you know, the AM tastes are even more (hesitates) stricter. Anyway we did have thoughts about even in England, perhaps editing it down at all, but we listened to it over and over again and there was no way we could edit it. We tried a few ideas, but if you edited it, you always lost some part of the song, so we had to leave it all in. And luckily it took off anyway."

Freddy Mercury

"just about relationships (with) a bit of nonsense in the middle"

Jim Hutton (Mercury's partner) - c1992

"Freddie was never going to admit it publicly, of course, because he always had to carry on the charade about being straight, for his family. But we did discuss it on numerous occasions. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ WAS Freddie’s confessional. It was about how different his life could have been, and how much happier he might have been, had he just been able to be himself, the whole of his life. The world heard this song as a masterpiece of imagination, a great command of musical styles. It was this remarkable tapestry. It was so intricate and had so many layers, but the message, if hidden, was simple. Just as the management, the band, all of us in his life, never admitted that Freddie was even ill, not until the day before he died – because it was his business – he felt the same about this song.

.... but you’d have to say that he was a bit bored by the relentless interest in it. He didn’t ‘reveal’ what it was all about because he couldn’t be bothered. He had said all that he was ever going to say about it – which wasn’t very much. Others have stated over the years that it was better for the song’s true meaning never to be made public, because it would last much longer if its aura of mystique were maintained. I disagree. I don’t think that matters. The song has proved itself over and over. It has stood the test of time. It isn’t going anywhere. Freddie will be known throughout the world forever because of it."

Freddy Mercury

"‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was three songs I wrote that I combined and it became what it is. It’s had its day in headlines. ..... It’s a hit, but it had critics. People aren’t always going to understand; neither do we. We thought it was the right single to choose at the time. It was a risk. ..... I don’t even know what I was thinking when I wrote the song, but I remember writing it and thinking it was quite good. We didn’t need to take ourselves too seriously. It was all fun."

Freddy Mercury -1976:Sounds

""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. There was a time when the others wanted to chop it around a bit, but I refused. If it was going to be released, it would be in its entirety. We knew it was very risky, but we had so much confidence in that song - I did anyway. I felt, underneath it all, that if it was successful it would earn a lot of respect. People were all going, You're joking, they'll never play it, you'll only hear the first few bars and then they'll fade it out. We had numerous rows. EMI were shocked - A six-minute single? You must be joking! The same in America - Oh, you just got away with it in Britain."

Brian May - 2001

"The same applies to A Night At the Opera. We didn't set out to write a history-changing song (Bohemian Rhapsody) but we did have one eye on the bigger picture because you work on a lot of levels - you want to write a good song and then you think a bit about everything else as well. But you see this funny thing had happened because we'd made three albums, the last of which was Sheer Heart Attack and we had a hit single and touring success but we were totally in debt because we had managers that were crooks, basically. That's only part of the story and perhaps it's an over simplification but anyway, when we went in to make A Night At the Opera we had nothing to lose. We couldn't get any more into debt, it wasn't possible so it became a sort of make or break thing. I'm pretty sure that if A Night At the Opera hadn't been the success it was then we'd have split up and gone our separate ways. Anyway, by then John Reed had taken the management burden off us and he just said 'right guys, don't worry about anything, just go in there and make the best album you've ever made' and with the joy of having that sort of yoke taken off us that we just went in and loved every minute of it. That applies to both those albums - A Day At The Races too. We just thought 'how far can we go'? We were big fans of the Beatles and they had taken advantage of the studio as it was in those days but all kinds of new toys had come in by the time we were in there so we though that we'd use every colour in the pallet and create something that had never been created before."

YOU TUBE STUDIO TRACK OFFICIAL VIDEO YOU TUBE LYRIC VIDEO YOU TUBE LIVE 1977, Houston, Texas YOU TUBE LIVE 1985, at Live Aid Is this the real life Is this just fantasy Caught in a landslide No escape from reality Open your eyes Look up to the skies and see I'm just a poor boy,I need no sympathy Because I'm easy come, easy go, A little high, little low, Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, To me Mama, just killed a man, Put a gun against his head, Pulled my trigger, now he's dead, Mama, life had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all away Mama ooo, Didn't mean to make you cry If I'm not back again this time tomorrow Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters Too late,my time has come, Sends shivers down my spine Body's aching all the time, Goodbye everybody - I've got to go Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth Mama ooo- (any way the wind blows) I don't want to die, I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche,scaramouche will you do the Fandango Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo figaro-Magnifico But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me He's just a poor boy from a poor family Spare him his life from this monstrosity Easy come easy go-, will you let me go Bismillah! No-, we will not let you go-let him go Bismillah! We will not let you go-let him go Bismillah! We will not let you go-let me go Will not let you go-let me go Will not let you go let me go No, no, no, no, no, no, no Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye So you think you can love me and leave me to die Oh baby-Can't do this to me baby Just gotta get out-just gotta get right outta here Nothing really matters, Anyone can see, Nothing really matters-, nothing really matters to me, Any way the wind blows....