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December 23, 2016

15 Interesting Facts About Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Queen's classic “mock opera” Bohemian Rhapsody was released on October 31, 1975, the song remains one of Queen's most popular songs and is frequently placed on modern lists of the greatest songs of all time.

Bohemian Rhapsody first charted on November 8, 1975. Taken from the ambitious album “A Night At The Opera”, the song was a game changer in rock music, and a song that has gone on to transcend generations. It has inspired an array of cover versions from The Muppets to Weird Al Yankovic1, while its use in the famous Wayne's World scene – one of the most iconic moments in film history – introduced the song to a whole new audience and propelled it to Number 2 on the US Billboard Charts in 1992.

Here, below are 15 interesting facts about Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody...

1. It was originally called 'The Cowboy Song.'

The working title was eventually ditched for "Bohemian Rhapsody." Mercury was working on lines for the song as far back as the late '60s.

2. Freddie Mercury wrote the song in bed.

The double-jointed singer would wake up in the night and reach back to his headboard and play what he'd heard in his dreams.

3. He composed the whole thing on scraps of paper.

The whole song was in Mercury's head, Brian May says, with the frontman carrying around numerous scraps of paper.

4. It was recorded in six different studios.

The band tested contemporary tech to its limits.

5. 180 overdubs were used in the final recording.

The laborious process took weeks and weeks.

6. That riff was actually created by Mercury on the piano.

"Freddie's piano playing was exceptional, although he didn't think so," Brian May told the BBC recently. "In fact, he thought he was a bit of a mediocre piano player and stopped doing it later on in our career."

7. The opera section alone took three weeks - the amount of time most rock albums were completed in.

Producer Roy Thomas Baker recalled the lengthy process in 1995.

8. The band almost wore out the tape it was recorded on.

Queen made so many overdubs the tape was practically transparent.

9. Producers put microphones down metal tubes to get a more 'honky' sound.

John Deacon also used "something like a Tandy Radio Shack speaker with a 3 Watt amplifier" as the band experimented.

10. Roger Taylor locked himself in the tape closet during recordings.

He wanted his song "I'm In Love With My Car" as a B-side. He got his way in the end.

11. Queen's record label said the song was too long to release.

However, DJ Kenny Everett in the UK and Paul Drew in the U.S. began playing it on radio and forced the label's hand on both sides of the Atlantic.

12. One reviewer said it sounded like the 'Balham Amateur Operatic Society performing The Pirates Of Penzance.'

The "Melody Maker" writer would go on to eat their words.

13. Brian May turns the radio up when he hears it.

But he doesn't air drum.

14. The video cost a paltry £4,500 ($6,880) to make.

It was recorded for their appearance on "Top Of The Pops" and was pretty much the first video promo.

16. It's the third-highest selling single of all time in the UK.

It's shifted 2.4 million units. Only "Candle In The Wind" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?" have sold more.

(via Mashable)

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