Listen to Freddie Mercury’s Wondrous Piano and Vocal Tracks for “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)

bohemian rhapsodyMaybe you liked hear­ing Fred­die Mer­cury and David Bowie belt out the vocal track for the 1981 hit, ‘Under Pres­sure.’ Well, here’s anoth­er one for you: Fred­die Mer­cury’s piano and vocal tracks for the Queen clas­sic, “Bohemi­an Rhap­sody.” Although the song was released on the 1975 album A Night at the Opera, Fred­die Mer­cury first began work­ing on the epic song dur­ing the late 1960s, often using his piano at home.

Accord­ing to the 2011 doc­u­men­tary Queen: The Days of Our Lives (watch it here), Mer­cury took ideas for three songs and knit­ted them into one com­plex oper­at­ic bal­lad. It was long enough (almost six min­utes) that it seemed unlike­ly to get any radio play. The music execs begged Mer­cury to sim­pli­fy things, to pare things down, but he did­n’t relent. It was all or noth­ing. And the record­ing process equaled the com­plex­i­ty of the song. Six dif­fer­ent stu­dios were used along the way, with Mer­cury try­ing to help the band record the sprawl­ing song he had mapped out in his mind.

The first video above fea­tures Mer­cury’s piano track that forms the back­bone of “Bohemi­an Rhap­sody.” On it, Mer­cury plays a Bech­stein con­cert grand piano, which oth­er­wise appears in the famous video that pro­mot­ed the song. The sec­ond video above fea­tures the iso­lat­ed vocal parts. Dur­ing the gru­el­ing record­ing ses­sions, Mer­cury, Bri­an May and Roger Tay­lor spent 10–12 hours each day work­ing on the vocals. And final­ly, for good mea­sure, we’ve added below a fresh reminder of what a beau­ti­ful thing Queen cre­at­ed almost 40 years ago. Filmed just last week, the clip fea­tures a crowd of 60,000 singing along to “Bohemi­an Rhap­sody” before the start of a Green Day con­cert in Lon­don. I’ll just leave it with that.

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Comments (7)
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  • Crystal says:

    And if you hit play on both at the same time it’s pret­ty amaz­ing :)

  • John says:

    Sad­ly the sec­ond one with the vocals is blocked in my coun­try (Mex­i­co), due to copy­right issues.

  • steve says:

    Hey John,

    try hide­myass prox­y­ser­vice.

    Best steve

  • hi John says:

    You can try ProxMate..also free just add it to your always kicks in when this sil­ly mes­sage shows

  • Marcel says:

    We can’t watch the sec­ond video in the UK due to EMI restric­tions :(

  • Margaux says:

    We can’t see the 2nd video in France. :( nI’m real­ly hap­py because I’m learn­ing to play it and I was look­ing for a video with only the piano. I found it!nAnd the 3rd is…incredible!

  • Patrick Brooks says:

    I often won­der what John’s doing while the oth­er three are spend­ing 10–12 hours a day on vocal work. Is he in the stu­dio as an observ­er and offer­ing up moral sup­port, or work­ing on his own mate­r­i­al.

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