Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The ShortListen: Queen (no. 189)

Who? Queen

What’s the story: So, happy 40th birthday to Bohemian Rhapsody. We all know it, we've all heard it a million times, we even might think we're a bit bored of it. But take this opportunity to press play on the video above and remind yourself that, objectively speaking, it's probably the greatest song ever written. Why? Here's a list: one millisecond in, you know what it is; the vocal layering and harmonies (no autotune here guys); the use of the stereo field; the dynamics; the lyrics. And that's just the first 55 seconds. After that? The stark beauty of the ballad section, Brian May's elegiac solo which follows, the utter, utter inventive craziness of the opera section, the Wayne's World-making hard rock section and the beautiful coda. How the hell did one man write this song? How on earth did they record it? Well, it took three weeks, in four different studios, with some sections having 180 overdubs. Any one of its six sections could have been a hit in its own right. Quite simply, this is the work of a genius, performed by four incredible musicians. And people said it would never be a hit as it was too long. Don't take it for granted: put it on, be reminded of its brilliance and raise a toast to Freddie and the boys.

For fans of: Pretty much every style of music

In three words: Probably the greatest

Click here for more ShortListens

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist



The ShortListen: Coasts (no. 188)


The ShortListen: St. Lucia (no. 187)


The ShortListen: Prose (no. 186)


The ShortListen: Royce Wood Junior (no. 185)


The ShortListen: Adele (no. 184)


The ShortListen: Kiiara (no. 183)



The first Glastonbury headliner has been announced

And it's an old favourite

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

A conversation with Slaves about anger

Ahead of our first gig in association with Lynx, we sat down with Laurie & Isaac

19 Oct 2016

Phil Collins is coming back & this is why you should be very excited

Ignore the naysayers: Collins is a genius

by Dave Fawbert
17 Oct 2016

Here's how to get tickets to watch Slaves this Thursday

ShortList 48HoursTo music series with Lynx returns

14 Oct 2016

50 Pieces of wisdom from Bob Dylan lyrics

13 Oct 2016

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Something is happening here

13 Oct 2016

The ShortList 48 Hours Live Music Series Returns

Our series of free gigs in association with Lynx are back. And you won’t want to miss out on a single one

12 Oct 2016

Check out this exclusive new Courteeners video

Manchester indie heroes unveil new promo

by Dave Fawbert
07 Oct 2016

We've lost the most important man in music you've never heard of

How an unassuming man from Cleethorpes rewrote pop history

by Dave Fawbert
05 Oct 2016

Why British men never got over Oasis

Supersonic reminds us of a bygone era of masculinity

by Tom Fordy
05 Oct 2016