Added on 12-Nov-2004
Information on the upcoming documentary.Nearly 30 Years On – BBC TV Presents The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody. Narrated by Richard E Grant and featuring exclusive access to Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor.Transmission BBC3 on Saturday, December 4 at 9pm. 60 mins.
It’s nearly thirty years since Queen released the single Bohemian Rhapsody. For the first time ever, here is the full story behind the song that transformed Queen into a global act and secured their place in rock music’s elite. It became the band’s benchmark and went to number one twice where it stayed for a total of 14 weeks.But it was a song that broke all the rules. It was six minutes long – and it had an opera section which took an incredible three weeks to record.
Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day, resulting in 180 separate overdubs. The video has been widely hailed as the first true pop promo, launching the MTV age and the song is still picking up awards today. In 1977 it was voted the best single of the last 25 years and in 1991 it embraced a new generation of fans when it was featured on the hit movie Wayne’s World.
On Saturday, December 4, BBC3 will broadcast and special one-hour documentary on the story behind the country’s favourite song. Narrated by Queen fan Richard E Grant The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody features exclusive access to surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. For the first time in nearly 30 years they return to the legendary Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, South Wales where the band recorded the song and the rest of their album A Night at The Opera. They re-live their memories of the studios, provide detailed interviews about the song, it’s composer the late Freddie Mercury and re-play and re-record the drum and guitar parts for the song.
The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody is a journey of discovery and includes exclusive video and audio clips that have never been seen or heard before. There’s previously unheard recordings of Freddie Mercury rehearsing the song at Rockfield and exclusive footage of Queen’s first ever TV performance.
The documentary then heads to Los Angeles where the producer of the song Roy Thomas Baker unpicks the mix of one of the most elaborate recordings in history. He strips back the layers of vocal harmonies and rebuilds the song at LA’s famous Capitol Records – giving viewers a detailed account of how the song was put together. Then he plays stripped down sections of the track’s opera section which have never been heard before.
The documentary team tracked down the original director, cameraman and floor manager who recreate the making of the video – showing viewers exactly how they achieved the look of the video which was hailed as the first real pop promo.
Then the some of the most brilliant literary minds in the country – professors of English from Oxford University - unravel the meaning behind the lyrics which Freddie Mercury never divulged.
Crammed with interviews from Queen contemporaries – including Bjorn Ulvaeus (Abba) and Noddy Holder (Slade) – and the kids who became rock stars after being turned on to music by Bohemian Rhapsody – Slash (ex Guns n Roses) and Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) – The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody is the definitive account of the song which is regularly voted the ‘most loved, most played and most inspirational song of all time.