Song of the Day

January 3, 2014
Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen
A Night At The Opera (1975)

Fucking Bohemian Rhapsody.  Need I say more.  You know this song - everyone knows this fucking song.  It's the UK's third best-selling single, is one of Queen's most famous songs, and tops countless "Best song ever" lists.

And it's weird as fuck.

Who would have thought a song with no chorus, a song with two minutes of wacky, harmonized, operatic nonsense in the middle, a song which strays so far from conventional rock songform that AC/DC probably doesn't even know it exists, would be one of the most famous and beloved rock songs in history?

And yet here we are.

The song was rehearsed for three weeks, and then recorded over the following three weeks at four individual studios.  The song is one of the most elaborate and expensive recordings in history, with as many as 180 overdubs being used in some sections.  The band would sometimes be recording the same vocal parts for 12 straight hours, in order to get all the dubs they needed.  The song changes key more than a dozen times, and in case you're wondering, it's drummer Roger Taylor who sings the really really high vocals at the end of the opera part.  The song is often called a parody or subversion of rock and roll in the 1970s, though interpretations of its lyrics still vary widely.  The song's promotional video became an instant hit, and spawned the practice of record companies using music videos to promote singles (though it wasn't even the first song to have a promotional video).

   

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