Freddie Mercury exhibition opens at Sotheby's
This week’s episode of Queen The Greatest Live looks back at Bohemian Rhapsody’s energetic concert performances.
Since the recording of Freddie Mercury’s masterpiece in 1975, the much-loved rock opera has been on the playlist at every Queen show.
And now the band has put out a special medley video of them performing the track at five different venues over a period of 11 years.
An accompanying caption reads: “Rewind to Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 and an androgynous twenty-something Freddie starts Bohemian Rhapsody unaccompanied at the piano, instantly captivating the audience with that evocative first line (‘Mama, just killed a man…’).
“By 1982, at Seibu Lions Stadium, Tokorozawa, Japan, the singer is topless and slick with sweat, delivering the confessional lyric like a storyteller, with Brian May decorating his vocal with ethereal guitar touches.”
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The caption continued: “At the Milton Keynes Bowl – also in 1982 – the song sounds commanding and fiery, with Freddie’s piano intro flowing into Brian’s aching guitar solo.
“Then comes the big riff at 1985’s Rock In Rio. ‘We thought it was kind of pointless to try to recreate that huge, multi-part operatic section with just the four of us,’ Brian once explained. ‘So the solution we came to was, we would go off stage, change our frocks, and come back and crash into the heavy section.’
“And finally, join the front row at Wembley Stadium in 1986 for the song’s wistful outro (‘Nothing really matters to me…’), with Freddie triumphantly throwing a fist to the heavens as the rock odyssey of Bohemian Rhapsody comes to a close.”
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