Not all so called songs in the world are songs, some are pure perfection, some belittle all expectations. Some are harmonies, some are cacophonies, some are grand, some simple and ripped down. Some songs tell stories, some describe people, some talk of emotions, while some talk about events. The plethora of songs in uncountably infinite and we have seen many a huge song being released. But right from the time of Tin Pan Alley really few songs have had the grandness, greatness, the uniqueness associated with them as this epic from Queen had. By all regards Bohemian Rhapsody is an epic, this is the 3rd most selling single of all time in UK.
The song has a lot of interesting trivia and a lot of records that it made. It is often considered the first Video song, although many artists including Queen had recorded videos before it, but it was only after this one that the trend started. It was also the first music video in the sense that it was shot on video instead of film.But the most important part of the song is the 6 well defined musical sections that the song is divided into. There were a lot of innovations and a lot of overdubbbing in the song. Thanks to this track, A Night At The Opera was the most expensive album ever made at the time.
1. Intro (0:00-0:48)
The intro part which begins with a harmony is as name suggest introducing you to the song. The writer is asking questions like“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?. Later on the narrator introduces himself as a poor boy who needs no sympathy.
2. Ballad (0:48-2:35)
AS the intro gets over, the the vocals change from the harmony in the first part to a solo part by Mercury. Supported by not much but a bass guitar at times, some drumming ocassionally along with a piano at times, this is Mercury part of the song. You can do nothing but listen to one of the most celebrated voices in the history of Rock music.
Lyrically, the song is progressing by now. The narrator tells his mother that he
just killed a man
Put a gun against his head .
The narrator is tired and has given up by now, he has accepted his acts and is now finally ready for the unavoidable, though he still fears death but he has no option but to carry on and wish that he was never born at all
I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
3. Guitar solo (2:36–3:03)
Guitar solos are seen in majority of rock songs, so no special point talking about this part. The guitar solo in the song serves the purpose of connecting two different parts akin to what Beatles did in A Day in Life
4. Opera (3:03–4:07)
Longest, most important and technically most spectacular part of the song. All the complex recodrings in the song, the overdubbings. All the famous words of the song viz Scaramouche, the fandango, Galileo Galilei, Figaro and “Bismillah”, Mamma mia all fall in this part. The most interesting effect in this part is the wide vocal range produced by making Taylor(high ranges), Mercury (medium range) and May (low range) sing together. The band wanted to have a Wall of Sound, which would start low down and go all the way up.
Using the 24-track technology available at the time, the “opera” section took about three weeks to finish. Producer Roy Thomas Baker said “Every time Freddie came up with another ‘Galileo’, I would add another piece of tape to the reel. Baker recalls that they kept wearing out the tape, which meant having to do transfers.
PS: Freddie added the Galileo just for the sake of May, who was a huge astronomy buff.
5. Hard rock (4:07–4:55)
The operatic section leads into an aggressive hard rock musical interlude with a guitar riff written by Mercury. And as soon as you go from the Opera section to this one, you will find an observable change in everything about the song. From the instruments to the lyrics to Mercury’s voice. The vocals are angry as well as the lyrics, typifying the Hard Rock scenario in this section.
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
6. Outro (4:55–5:55)
Second longest part of the song. The sounds go very low down towards the end of the previous section. Guitar sounds are gone and its just a piano playing in the background from where they are picked up in this one, courtesy the haunting voice of Mercury. In tempo and form, this seems almost similar to the begininng Intro part of the song.
The waveform for the song, showing 6 diff parts
PS : And no this song is not about AIDS or anything, just the song about a guy who Just Killed A Man.