Anniversary of a Queen's Classic Bohemian Rhapsody

08/24/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1975, Queen started recording "Bohemian Rhapsody" at Rockfield studio's in Monmouth, Wales the song was recorded over three weeks). Freddie Mercury had mentally prepared the song beforehand and directed the band throughout the sessions. Brian May, Mercury and Roger Taylor sang their vocal parts continually for 10 to 12 hours a day, resulting in 180 separate overdubs. Gibson looks back:

Roy Thomas Baker must have thought Freddie Mercury was completely mad when he brought him the song that would eventually be the single for Queen's 1975 album, A Night at the Opera. Baker told the BBC that Mercury sat down at the piano and played him the gorgeous, tragic opening and then stopped abruptly and said, "And this is where the opera section comes in!" And indeed, the "opera section" helped make "Bohemian Rhapsody" unlike anything ever recorded. When the band convened (on this date in 1975), they were given a song in three basic movements: an opening ballad, a comic-tragic operatic middle and a thunderous rock ending.

"'Bohemian Rhapsody' was totally insane," Baker later told MIX, "But we enjoyed every minute of it. It was basically a joke, but a successful joke. [Laughs] We had to record it in three separate units. We did the whole beginning bit, then the whole middle bit and then the whole end. It was complete madness. The middle part started off being just a couple of seconds, but Freddie kept coming in with more 'Galileos' and we kept on adding to the opera section, and it just got bigger and bigger. We never stopped laughing." more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for the Day in Rock.

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