SCT 2018, and finally...our Headliner is...Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody!

Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?

The first time I heard Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody I was only a little girl and even then I knew it was genius. With the multiple passages, intricate layering and the soaring voice of Freddie Mercury, I loved it at first listen and can't help but to sing along every time it comes on the radio. 

To do this colorway justice, I took my time to try different color schemes and I even developed a new technique involving multiple layers of dye per stripe. It takes WAY more time to produce than the average skein but I hope you will agree that the effect is stunning. Bohemian will be available as a dye to order for the rest of the summer along with the four coordinating tonals (available on half skeins). 

Because I love the history behind the music here are a couple of excerpts from Wikipedia

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a balladsegment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. The song is a more accessible take on the 1970s progressive rock genre. It was reportedly the most expensive single ever made at the time of its release, although the exact cost of production cannot be determined.

When it was released as a single, "Bohemian Rhapsody" became a commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. It reached number one again in 1991 for another five weeks when the same version was re-released following Mercury's death, eventually becoming the UK's third-best-selling single of all time. It is also the only song to be the UK Christmas number one twice by the same artist. It topped the charts in several other markets as well, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and The Netherlands, later becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time selling over 6 million copies worldwide. In the United States, the song originally peaked at number nine in 1976. It returned to the chart at number two in 1992, behind Kris Kross's "Jump", and also appeared in the film Wayne's World, which contributed to the revival of its American popularity.

Although critical reaction was initially mixed, "Bohemian Rhapsody" remains one of Queen's most popular songs and is frequently placed on modern lists of the greatest songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking. Rolling Stone stated that its influence "cannot be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on the air." The Guardian ranked the music video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" number 31 on their list of the 50 key events in rock music history, adding it ensured "videos would henceforth be a mandatory tool in the marketing of music".

In 2004, "Bohemian Rhapsody" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2012, the song topped the list on an ITVnationwide poll in the UK to find "The Nation's Favourite Number One" over 60 years of music, while Mercury's vocal performance was chosen as the greatest in rock history by readers of Rolling Stone.

And this part is just fascinating:

History and recording

Freddie Mercury wrote "Bohemian Rhapsody" at his home in London. The song's producer, Roy Thomas Baker, related how Mercury once played the opening ballad section on the piano for him: "He played the beginning on the piano, then stopped and said, 'And this is where the opera section comes in!' Then we went out to eat dinner." Guitarist Brian May says the band thought that Mercury's blueprint for the song was "intriguing and original, and worthy of work". According to May, much of Queen's material was written in the studio, but this song "was all in Freddie's mind" before they started.

Music scholar Sheila Whiteley suggests that "the title draws strongly on contemporary rock ideology, the individualism of the bohemian artists' world, with rhapsody affirming the romantic ideals of art rock". Commenting on bohemianism, Judith Peraino said "Mercury intended ... [this song] to be a 'mock opera', something outside the norm of rock songs, and it does follow a certain operatic logic: choruses of multi-tracked voices alternate with aria-like solos, the emotions are excessive, the plot confusing."

According to Mercury's friend Chris Smith (a keyboard player in Smile), Mercury first started developing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the late 1960s; Mercury used to play parts of songs he was writing at the piano, and one of his pieces, known simply as "The Cowboy Song", contained lyrics that ended up in the completed version produced years later, in 1975, specifically, "Mama ... just killed a man." This echoes the opener of a 1962 b-side called Mama by Roy Orbison, which is also on Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits (1962).

Recording began on 24 August 1975 at Rockfield Studio 1 near Monmouth, South Wales, after a three-week rehearsal at Penrhos Court, near Kington, Herefordshire. During the making of the track, four additional studios (Roundhouse, Sarm East Studios, Scorpion, and Wessex Sound Studios) were used. According to some band members, Mercury mentally prepared the song beforehand and directed the band throughout. Mercury used a Bechstein "concert grand" piano, which he played in the promotional video and the UK tour. Due to the elaborate nature of the song, it was recorded in various sections.

May, Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day. The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs. Since the studios of the time only offered 24-track analog tape, it was necessary for the three to overdub themselves many times and "bounce" these down to successive sub-mixes. In the end, eighth-generation tapes were used. The various sections of tape containing the desired sub-mixes had to be spliced (cut and assembled in the correct sequence). May recalled placing a tape in front of the light and being able to see through it, as the tape had been used so many times.

Producer Baker recalls that May's solo was done on only one track, rather than recording multiple tracks. May stated that he wanted to compose "a little tune that would be a counterpart to the main melody; I didn't just want to play the melody". The guitarist said that his better material stems from this way of working: in which he thought of the tune before playing it: "the fingers tend to be predictable unless being led by the brain." 

July 01, 2018 by Stacie Dawson