Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > The "Original" Bohemian Rhapsody

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Pandy Legend user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 25 May 05, 03:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A question which has been nagging me for some years now and I have yet to find the answer. Please forgive me if this is "common knowledge".

In all the biographies and documentaries about Queen/Bo Rhap they talk about it being 7-8 minutes long prior to its original release, at which point it was cut down to the 5'55 we all know and love.
What happened to the original 7-8 minute long version?
Has anyone ever heard it?
Was it really that long or is it an exaggeration?
Which parts were cut out?


;-P
Fenderek user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 May 05, 04:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's on the box set taht was released in 200... wait...Still not out yet...? I thought they released it few years ago..

Wait for the 30th Anniversary Edition ANATO- later this year. Who knows...?

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Posted: 25 May 05, 10:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's just an exageration. Although there was a version that was cut down from the original that John Deacon did. I think I heard that only once in all the years I've been following the band.

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Posted: 26 May 05, 07:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think Mr Debauchery has the sexiest name on this forum... Huh? Sorry, back on topic. Buggered if I know...

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Posted: 26 May 05, 08:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There are a lot of comments and quotes which are with or against the longer version of Borhap

Brian said "We never wanted to cut it"

This could mean: We never wanted to cut it, so we didn't. Or it could mean We never wanted to cut it, but we had to do it.

Elton John said they were mad for releasing a 7 minute long song.

Roy Thomas Baker said about the opera section "He added some gaillileo's and it just got longer and longer"

Now, the opera section is just 1 minute long. If he didn't add those galileos it would've been 50 seconds. Is 1 minute really longer and longer?


"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



(Genesis 1:1)
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Posted: 26 May 05, 10:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I may have been dreaming/fantasising, but I swear that Mr John S Stuart pretty much confirmed the existence of a longer version of Bo Rhap, and that the longer portion was an extension of the opera section.

And I'm sure I've seen better quotes than the ones Niek provided to support the theory of the longer version.


Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life -- except religion.
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Posted: 26 May 05, 16:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Add them :)


"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



(Genesis 1:1)
John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 May 05, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bohardy: "I swear that Mr John S Stuart pretty much confirmed the existence of a longer version of Bo Rhap, and that the longer portion was an extension of the opera section..."

Thanks for the confidence, and while it is true that the opera section was originally "longer" - does this in itself automatically mean that the "Bo Rhap" we all know and love - was cut?

I am not too sure - because it all depends on if this longer bit was actually part of the final song.

Let me explain, "Bo Rhap" was made up from sections. Now while it is true that the opera section was IN ITSELF longer - that does not mean that the "complete" opera section was meant to be used for the finalised version!

An easier example can be given for "Brighton Rock", where the band used the track "Carousel" as a fairground introduction:

Carousel
Taken from an in-house Elektra album of fairground effects.
Carousel also features on “Madame Magical” (a nine and a half minute epic which uses a longer segment of the same intro) from the 1969 album - “For Fox Sake” (Fontana 6309 007), by “The Fox”.

My point is that there IS a LONGER version of Carousel, but, it was never intended to be part of "Brighton Rock" - it was always intended to be a precursor. In fact it is quite easy to find longer versions of "Carousel" on line - but just "cut 'n pasting" those longer versions to "Brighton Rock" (IMO) would do nothing for the track, likewise, listening to the isolated extended version of "carousel" does nothing either.

So the same could be argued for the opera section in "Bo Rhap". I am now coming to the opinion that instead of releasing a longer version of "Bo Rhap", they may just release a longer - but isolated - opera section.

But who knows what QP will bring out on their "Night At The Opera" anniversary CD!










"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 26 May 05, 17:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Unfortunately I can't be bothered to search for them Niek. But I wasn't trying to criticise your choice of comments, but rather to emphasise that there's further proof on top of what you said.

I pretty much agree with you John.

I don't think that at any point there was a completely finished Bo Rhap which contained a longer opera section, which then at the last minute was edited down to the version we hear today, but instead would imagine that during the writing and recording process the opera section was tinkered with, and certain bits were discarded before Fred settled with the arrangement as we know it.

This hopefully, as you say, might mean that we'll get to hear some of these extra opera portions in isolation on THAT CD.


Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life -- except religion.
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Posted: 26 May 05, 17:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bohardy: "I pretty much agree with you John."

Cheers - finally a man of taste hits the 'zone!

"I don't think that at any point there was a completely finished Bo Rhap which contained a longer opera section, which then at the last minute was edited down to the version we hear today"

This is where the confusion starts... I have heard "insiders" say that "Bo Rhap" was originally about 12 mins long, and for years stuck to that dogma.

However, recent wisdom suggests that a 12 minute track does NOT exist - rather, we have c12 minutes of components - which if played one after the other - would indeed last the duration, but that would NOT be as one extended song, but a collection of 4 or 5 "mini" tracks.

Again, if these bits were released (or even edited as such) then perhaps they may well work as an extended version. After all, isn't that how a 12" extended version is created? But for an actual "longer" version being in the vaults - I find that more and more difficult to believe.






"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
Pandy Legend user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 May 05, 06:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Some quotes I have read, which seem to suggest that the 7 minute long version was more than just a "sum of parts".

"The original album version was over 7 minutes long. It was cut down to 5:55 for release as a single, which the record company leaked to a London radio station in order to build anticipation for the album. This helped the single jump to #1 in the UK shortly after it was released."
From songfacts.com

"I got a call in '75, I was living in a beautiful honey-coloured Cotswold stone pub, from Freddie Mercury, who said 'Ken, I don't know what I've done. I was in the studio the other day and I finished off this single and its about 8 minutes long, and I don't know whether it's going to be a hit'. And I said 'Oh, bring it over. We'll stick it on the, one of my tape machines in the studio here and give it a listen. I doubt anyone'll ever play it, that length, 'cos you know, people are frightened of long records. "
Kenny Everett

"The song utilized every mixing desk trick available to layer instruments and voices and to create an audacious barrage of sound in a quasi-symphonic piece which even included bits of real opera. And there was little to prepare the public for either the single, or the album it came from . . . The track was seven minutes long and EMI were reluctant to release it until a tape was 'leaked' to London DJ Kenny Everett who played it several times in its entirety."
NostalgiaCentral.com

"Producer Roy Thomas Baker recalls, "I phoned up the record company to tell them we had the
first single ready to go. They said, 'Oh great-what's it called?' We said 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' and they said, 'Oh, how lovely.' Then we told them that the song was about seven and a half minutes long, and they said, 'Forget it-we can't have a single that long!' We said they hadn't even heard it yet, and they said, 'It doesn't matter. It won't get airplay because the radio will refuse to play it-it's just too long.'" "
The Life of Brian

"On October 31st 1975, after endless discussions with EMI as to whether to release it or not, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is released. 5 minutes and 55 seconds (cut from 7!)"
BrianMay.com


;-P
Fenderek user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 May 05, 06:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

E We can just hope that we'll find out this year :)

Pandy Legend user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 May 05, 06:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I guess.


;-P
Fenderek user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 May 05, 06:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We can also ask Greg... Yeah, right... ;)

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Posted: 27 May 05, 09:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr Debauchery: I accept your point - and it is well made, but, do you think that these statements (re: c7 mins) were meant to be taken as scientifically precise, or, do you think they may just well estimations or over-exaggerations?

I think it depends on whether you interpret these statements as either literal truths or broad generalisations. I suspect the latter because the disc sent to Kenny Everett - was exactly that - a disc, and even the acetates (I have seen) of Bo Rhap are of the "traditional" variety.

That does not mean that someone is right at the expense of another - but it does meant that we can not take such statements beyond face value.

As suggested by another poster (Sebastian), Roy Thomas Baker has always insisted on adding more - rather than cutting away.

But I agree, it will be very interesting to see what eventually (if anything) is released later in the year.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 27 May 05, 09:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We're not gonna get anything.


Wo ist das kamerahhhhhhhhhhh!!!



NJ!!!























Fenderek user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 May 05, 10:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lisser wrote:

We're not gonna get anything.

Wow- an optimist :)

The King Of Rhye user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 28 May 05, 06:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

incidentally, this reminded me of something.....really a minor thing, though.....it bugged me so much.....I cant remember what TV show it was, but I remember watching some show, and a radio DJ wanted to take a long break, and he said something like, "We're gonna play Bohemian Rhapsody...the LONG version!" lol


I'll take you to the Seven Seas of Rhye