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Bohemian Rhapsody Turns 40

The world of rock music changed with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody on Oct. 30, 1975.

queenLittle did the British rock band Queen know they had an iconic hit on their hands, as it quickly topped the charts in the U.K. However, like other British rock bands such as “The Beatles”, it took Queen some time until they hit the charts in the U.S. What’s remarkable about this British hit is that it only took one person to master the art of writing lyrics to an almost six minute song. In the music industry today it’s not unlikely for it to take more than one lyricist to mold a number one hit. So props to you Freddie Mercury, for molding a truly unique and memorable song for all ages that is still to this day a crowd favorite. It’s been forty years, and according to BBC one of the original band members Brian May still enjoys Bohemian Rhapsody from time to time. In an interview he stated, “I’m not sick of it…I still enjoy hearing it. If it comes on the radio, I’ll turn it up and listen. But no air guitar. I’m too old for air guitar now.”

In honor of the 40th anniversary of this iconic hit, let’s look into some facts that may be unknown to many, that PBS has brought to our attention.

  • While listening to the song you may not realize it, but not every band member can be heard. It lacks the vocals of lead bassists John Deacon.
  • Everybody from Kanye West to The Muppets have performed their own renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody.

  • The song was rereleased in the United States in 1992, the same time the song appeared in the film Wayne’s World. As a result, the song quickly landed a number two spot on the charts stateside. Coincidentally though the first choice of artist for the movie wasn’t in fact Queen, but Guns N’ Roses.


  • For a limited time to commemorate the anniversary there will be a collector’s vinyl record sold.