In the 1970s The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody

BOHIEMIAN Rhapsody  yep, that song!!!  Has to be one of the most recognized songs ever made. It was way back in October 1975..not that long ago for us old rockers. Anyway, it was 1975 that this epic song was recorded. For those of you who thought it was an original from the film Dumb and Dumber,please move on to the twilight zone channel..you are too damaged to be here.

 Queen (the band) practiced playing for three weeks before getting into  the studio  in Monmouth in the UK. History has ensured that this song will be heard forever, and forever...... but, why was it made? What was it about? And how did Freddie Mecury fool EMI into releasing a six minute song that was neither pop, classical or any genre that could be recognised for top 40 radio?

First the funny title. The name "Bohemian" in the song title seems to refer not to the region in the Czech republic, but to a group of artists and musicians living roughly 100 years ago, known for defying convention and living with disregard for standards. Very much like politicians of today.

A "Rhapsody" is a piece of Classical music with distinct sections that is played as one movement. Rhapsodies often have themes.

Brian May, Mercury, and Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day. We do not know what alcohol yet had to drink, but after 12 hours they must have had enough of the silly song.
The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs were used.  Remember, there was no digital at that time, it was all done on tape. The tapes were physically getting worn out and were becoming transparent.

Bohemian Rhapsody went on to spend 9 LONG LONG weeks at No.1 in the UK and more long, long No. 1 weeks when it was released again in 1991 following Freeddies death. The song became the UKs third biggest seller of all time and is regularly voted the best No.1 single ever.
The rest of the world loved it too. In the U.S. it only made No.9,  SHAME ON YOU, but in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Netherlands it was a big No.1.

The song has received so many awards it would be impossible to list them all. The list included in 2004, when it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame  "Bohemian Rhapsody" received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus and Best Arrangement for Voices. In 1977, only two years after its release, the British Phonographic Industry named "Bohemian Rhapsody" as the best British single of the period 1952–77.[46] It is a regular entry in greatest-songs polls, and it was named by the Guinness Book of Records in 2002 as the top British single of all time.[16] The song is also listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

In other words it is the daddy pop song!!!

As of 2004, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the second most played song on British radio, in clubs and on jukeboxes collectively, after Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale".[51] On 30 September 2007 on the Radio 1 Chart Show, for BBC Radio 1's 40th birthday, it was revealed that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the most played song since Radio 1's launch in 1967... sorry Beatles you were beaten by the Queen..


By the end of January 1976 it had sold one million singles.


But what was the song about??????

For those who   that look hard at all the confusing lyrics, it could mean nothing, devil worship or just a glimpse into the Freddies mind at the time. Or. It could REALLY mean nothing.
Written only by Freddie Mecury himself, the song draws on previous work that mercury did in the 1960s,...THOS IS FREDDIE IN THE 1960S AT SCHOOL... The Cowboy  song BY FREDDIE was one such song, this included the lyrics  MAMA JUST KILLED A MAN.
Mercury refused to explain his composition other than saying it was about relationships; the band is still protective of the song's secret. Brian May supports suggestions that the song contained veiled references to Mercury's personal traumas. He recalls "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."[
Mercury a gay man had a flamboyant lifestyle, and it has to be remembered that AIDS was years away from hitting the news networks,,
 Queen states that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is about a young man who has accidentally killed someone and sold his soul to the devil.  Not a great thing to happen. I will continue....On the night before his execution, he calls for God saying, "Bismillah" (In the name of God in Arabic), and with the help of angels, regains his soul from Shaitan (The devil in Arabic).[32]
Did you guys forget that Freddie was born in Zanzibar and also lived in India before moving to the UK.
Despite this, critics, both journalistic and academic, have speculated over the meaning behind the song's lyrics. Some believe the lyrics describe a suicidal murderer haunted by demons or depict events just preceding an execution. One explanation points to Albert Camus's novel The Stranger, in which a young man confesses to an impulsive murder and has an epiphany before he is executed, as probable inspiration.
It is known that Freddie had read The Stranger in the 1960s.
The book is an existentialist novel. This relates to the first lines and can especially be seen in the line "Nothing really matters to me"
In the first part of the novel, the main character, Meursault, isn't fully conscious of the life around him. He doesn't even cry at his mother's funeral. He just goes through life, living day by day. Until he murders a man. Just as he truly began to live, he was imprisoned. 

"Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun (This line especially emphasizes this)
But now I've gone and thrown it all away"

The second part of the novel covers Mersault's time in prison and in court. Which is the second part of the song, 

", we will not let you go
(Let him go!)
Bismillah! 

At the end of the novel, he is sentenced to death. And again, he goes back to his old way of thinking. NOTHING MATTERS.

Mercury's parents were deeply involved in Zoroastrianism, and these Arabic words do have a meaning in that religion. His family grew up in Zanzibar, but was forced out by government upheaval in 1964 and they moved to England. Some of the lyrics could be about leaving his homeland behind. Guitarist Brian May seemed to suggest this when he said in an interview about the song:

Another explanation is not to do with Mercury's childhood, but his sexuality - it was around this time that he was starting to come to terms with his bisexuality, and his relationship with Mary Austin was falling apart. 


Others believe the lyrics were only written to fit with the music, and have no meaning; UK DJ and friend of Freddie  Kenny Everett quoted Mercury as claiming the lyrics were simply "random rhyming nonsense
Now, to understand what it meant to Freddie Mercury, we should first look into his life at the time he most likely completed the lyrics of the song. The album released on 31st October, 1975. Freddie was in a long term relationship with Mary Austin since the early 1970's. In the mid 1970's, he cheated on her by having an affair with a man who worked for a record company. He must have felt immense amount of inner turmoil and guilt to come clean in front of Mary. But he didn't just have to confess to his girlfriend that he cheated. He also had to confront the possibility of being judged for his bisexuality. The confusion, guilt, anger and fear of society's judgement – these are all emotions Freddie may have felt around that time. (Finally in December 1976, he disclosed Mary his sexuality)


Freddie said

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.
— Freddie Mercury

SO HOW DID IT BECOME A HIT??

Roger Taylor (from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh): "Record companies both sides of the Atlantic tried to cut the song, they said it was too long and wouldn't work. We thought, 'Well we could cut it, but it wouldn't make any sense,' it doesn't make much sense now and it would make even less sense then: you would miss all the different moods of the song. So we said no. It'll either fly or it won't. Freddie had the bare bones of the song, even the composite harmonies, written on telephone books and bits of paper, so it was quite hard to keep track of what was going on

According to producer Roy Thomas Baker, he and the band bypassed this corporate decision by playing the song for Capital Radio DJ Kenny Everett: "we had a reel-to-reel copy, but we told him he could only have it if he promised not to play it. 'I won't play it,' he said, winking..." Their plan worked – Everett teased his listeners by playing only parts of the song. Audience demand intensified when Everett played the full song on his show 14 times in two days.

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