Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / Radio Ga Ga(1975)

Written by on 20 March 2021

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. The song is a six-minute suite, notable for its lack of a refraining chorus and consisting of several sections: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of the few songs to emerge from the 1970s progressive rock movement to achieve widespread commercial success and appeal to a mainstream audience.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” topped the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and had sold more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. In 1991, after Mercury’s death, it topped the charts for another five weeks, eventually becoming the UK’s third best-selling single of all time. It is also the only song to reach the UK Christmas number one twice by the same artist. It also topped the charts in countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the Netherlands, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time with over six million copies sold worldwide. In the United States, the song peaked at number nine in 1976 but reached a new peak of number two on the Billboard Hot 100 after being used in the film Wayne’s World (1992). In 2018, the release of Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody brought the song renewed popularity and chart success worldwide.

Although critical reaction was initially mixed, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has since become Queen’s most popular song and is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a groundbreaking promotional video. Rolling Stone stated that its influence “cannot be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on the air.” The Guardian named its music video one of the 50 key events in rock music history, helping make videos a critical tool in music marketing.

In 2004, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It has appeared in numerous polls of the greatest songs in popular music, and Mercury’s vocal performance was chosen as the greatest in rock history by readers of Rolling Stone. In December 2018, it became the most streamed song from the 20th century, and it has been downloaded or streamed over 1.6 billion times.

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