Today marks the 73rd birthday of the legendary, and possibly the world’s best rock vocalist, Freddie Mercury. A performance like no other and a personality unmatched, we thought we’d celebrate the Queen singer’s birthday the only way we know how; by basking in the joyous power of his incredible vocal on his “rock opera” ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
Isolating vocal tracks usually wields a great deal of power. After all, removing the cluttering noise of the band allows the singer’s emotions to triumph above all else. But with Freddie Mercury the heavyweight clout of such a vocal performance lands like a boxer’s right hook, dislodging our jaw in sheer amazement. But first, let’s look back at the track.
Cited as Britain’s favourite song of all time, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is largely regarded as a “rock opera” more than a pop song. The song was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute opus, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. It spent nine weeks at the top of the UK charts and sold more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. It really did tick all the boxes and defined the Prog-Rock era, further cementing Queen as one of the most important rock bands in British history.
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Producer on the track and longtime collaborator with Queen (since 1972) Roy Thomas Baker recalled in 1999: “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was totally insane, 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… It started off as a ballad, but the end was heavy”
But back to the reason we’re all here, to marvel at Freddie’s imperious vocal power. His range on the song is undeniable, reaching searing highs and deep lows, consistently changing his tones and providing one of the most impressive vibratos one has ever heard. It’s a scintillating performance and one which truly deserves the isolated track to be played on repeat.
So, take a look below and listen to Freddie Mercury’s incredible isolated vocal on Queen’s classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. We would sing ‘Happy Birthday’ but this is so much kinder to the ears.