Queen is considered to one of the greatest and most successful acts in Rock music history. Yet, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and other such acts are often ranked above them. though each of them have a strong case to prove their positions, the greatness of Queen is under a cloud. The greatest band of all were the Beatles without a doubt. what set them apart was their willingness to experiment and try something new. well, Queen did experiment in their music and at times surpassed the Fab Four. their songs show their experimental approach to music. Here is a song which show how Queen pioneered some studio effects which even Lennon & co hadn’t thought of.
The most experimental track in their repertoire, Bohemian Rhapsody is a song that polarized critics and audiences alike. Either you love it or hate it, there is nothing in between the two extremes. The song is a three in one knockout punch. Written by singer Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody opens with an a capella four-part harmony. what many people don’t know is that Mercury sang all those parts in the studio which were then mixed together. The song moves into a ballad where Mercury sings on the piano while the band backs him up. This part is followed by a guitar solo. what follows is history. an operatic section has no business being in a rock song but it is there. a minute long, the opera section features enough overdubs to last a lifetime with the voices of Mercury, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor singing different parts of a harmony. There are so many overdubs that it is nearly impossible to reproduce live without a full vocal choir. The song then moves into a heavy metal/hard rock type section before closing with the ballad part.
This experimentation is reminiscent of the kind done by Lennon and McCartney on ‘A Day in the Life’ where they mixed two different songs to form a new one. Mercury intended to do a single song with three different parts and succeeded in doing so. even today, musicians and critics are dumbfounded when they think about how Queen were able to do it. But they did it It took them three weeks and a wad of cash to do so. Bohemian Rhapsody was, then, the most expensive song ever recorded.
Its success in the years to follow has solidified its status as one of the greatest songs ever written. No wonder, contemporary artists have covered the song but no one can match the appeal or success of Queen’s original version.
Yes, there is no doubt that the Beatles were great experimenters and not afraid of trying anything new but Freddie Mercury and his band took it a step further with Bohemian Rhapsody.