On This Day in Music - Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody reached one billion views in 2019

Queen Group Portrait
Queen Group Portrait / Michael Putland/GettyImages

The British rock band Queen is well-known for creating amazing songs which transcend the norms of what some believe a rock song should be. This is most evident in the six-minute suit "Bohemian Rhapsody." On July 24, 2019, the video for this song reached an astonishing one billion views on YouTube.

The band Queen was formed in London in 1970 with band members Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor(drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass). The band was influenced by 60s and 70s British rock bands, The Beatles, The Kinks, Cream, The Who, and many more.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" was written by Mercury and featured an intro, a ballad, an operatic segment, a hard rock jam, and ended with a reflective coda. Mercury called the song a "mock opera," which was created by combining three songs he had written.

Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody video

In 2019 the official video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" would become the first pre-1990s video to reach the milestone of one billion views, and in 2018 the song was named the most Googled song of that year.

The song's operatic segment features distorted Italian phrases, including Scaramouche, the fandango, Galileo, Figaro, and Beelzebub, and shouts of Bismillah! Fans of the song love to play the song at high volumes while they sing along and perform air guitar solos, as seen in the movie Wayne's World starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.

Wayne's World was released in 1992, a few months after Mercury's death. But May stated in a 2017 interview with Guitar World that before his death, Mercury viewed the scene but he thoroughly enjoyed it.

"I took it around to Freddie, who was not in a good state at that time. He was..confined to his bed, but I took it round and played it to him, and he loved it.

Strangely enough, the humor in it was quite close to our own. Because we did that kind of thing in the car, bouncing up and down to our own tracks!"

Brian May

The inclusion of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Wayne World would lead to a resurgence in Queen's popularity in America.

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