Welcome to Musical Appreciation. I might be stating the obvious by saying that Queen is one of the best rock bands of all time, but it’s not a lie. Their music has transcended time again and again, moving stadiums and arenas. They were the epitome of arena rock before arena rock became a thing. Everyone recognizes at least three of Queen’s songs, that’s how iconic they are. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that a lot of their music has aged exceptionally well. For this Musical Appreciation, I could’ve covered any of their songs, but I decided to cover one of their most iconic. This is Bohemian Rhapsody.
Words alone cannot express how much I love this record. It’s sounds beautiful and the arrangement and composition is excellent. Bohemian Rhapsody is not a traditionally-structured radio single; it clocks in at nearly six minutes long and it has no chorus, opting for several segments instead; an intro, a ballad segment, a guitar solo, an opera segment, a hard rock segment, and an outro. In spite of its run-time, the song never drags or gets boring, each moment is engaging and holds your attention. The transitions between each segment is fluid and seamless, nothing sounds out of place or pointless. This is basically prog-rock at its best. Because the record was so complex, it took three weeks to record the entire thing and it became the most expensive record to make at its time. Given to some amateur or someone with less talent, this record would have been a huge clusterfuck, but thanks to the genius that is Freddie Mercury and Queen, that outcome has been averted.
Now for the instrumentation. Unsurprisingly, it’s A-notch. I love how the instruments blend together well to build this amazing sound. The piano is excellent all around, especially on both the ballad and the opera sections. Brian May kicks ass on the guitar, the bass does a good job holding the record together, and the drums are awesome. Freddie Mercury as a singer is unlike anyone else. His pipes have a lot of range and can blend in with any musical style, as evident by this record. He is the captain of this ship and he does a damn good job running it. His writing is also pretty impressive as well, though if you look deep into them, they’re very gloomy.
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.
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.
I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me.
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this monstrosity.
Yeah, not exactly cheerful. If you can ignore the bleakness of the lyrics, the song is a blast to listen to, especially if you’re with a bunch of people. This is definitely a song to listen to and sing with your friends, especially on the opera section, which references the fandango, Galileo, and Figaro (which are nice little details). And it builds up to one of the best climaxes in rock music. Bohemian Rhapsody as a whole is the epitome of a rock opera epic. Thank you, Wayne’s World, for boosting this awesomeness’ popularity in the U.S. One last thing, if you haven’t listened to Night At The Opera yet, check it out. It’s pretty awesome.
This has been Musical Appreciation. Next time, we talk about Songs In The Key Of Life.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
In Your Eyes-Peter Gabriel
Nothing From Nothing-Billy Preston
Airplanes-B.o.B ft Hayley Williams
Once In A Lifetime-Talking Heads