205. Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (1975)

“Will you do the fandango?”

Taken from the album A Night At The Opera

UK #1, AUS #1, US #2

I probably don’t ever need to hear this song ever again, due to sheer heart attack overexposure, but Queen’s six minute magnum opus never lost it’s power. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is possibly the most famous song of all time, topping both critical and commercial lists since it’s release in 1975. The signature Queen song, the song that defines the seventies, the rock opera to end all others, and all that crap – at the heart of it ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is just an extremely well-written song.

I don’t need to tell you about the way this song is structed but I will anyone – there is the ballad section, the batshit crazy section and the headbanging section. The first is the most vocally impressive, melodic and emotional – if this section was the whole song it’d still be on this list.

Batshit crazy doesn’t really begin to describe the operatic part, full of yelling and exaggerated ridiculousness, from the shouts of “GALILEO!” to the call and response between Freddie and a bunch of Freddies, to “thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening” – it’s all just nuts. If you were to hear it for the first time again you’d be shocked by how strange it all is. If this section was the whole song it’d still be on this list.

The headbanging section is so called because of Wayne’s World, but if you’ve ever had the chance to actually sit in a car and headbang to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (or ‘Bo Rhap’, as it is referred to by idiots), it is a wonderful feeling. It segues back into the ballad section for a rousing finale, and if this section was the whole song… well, you know.

Bringing together the three main elements of Queen – balladeers, mental patients, rockstars – ‘Bo Rhap’ becomes a summary of everything that made them such legends. I may only listen to it once in a blue moon but it’s never less than an experience every time.

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