Music

The ShortListen: Queen (no. 189)

Posted by
Dave Fawbert
Published

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

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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