When “Bohemian Rhapsody” was first released in 1975, the reviews were far from glorious. A review from Record Mirror, a former British music newspaper, stated that the tune has “no immediate selling point whatsoever: among its many parts. There’s scarcely a shred of a tune and certainly no one line to latch onto,” and that wasn’t the first of many poor reviews.
If the song was so highly unfavorable from critics, why has it now become one of the most iconic and influential songs in rock music history?
The answer? The song was ahead of its time.
The song seemed to fade into obscurity for many, especially in the United States. However, in 1992, that changed. “Wayne’s World” was released that year, and the opening scene included the two main characters blasting the song in their car. One year after frontman Freddie Mercury’s death, Queen was back on the radar.
However, even that didn’t last. Sure, everyone knows the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody” (for the most part, at least), and songs like “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” might sound familiar, you might have not known those were all by Queen.
Since late last year, the popularity of Queen has skyrocketed. This time, it’s also because of a movie, but a very different one.
On Nov. 2, 2018, the Queen biopic, named after their epic 1975 song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released. 48 years after the band’s formation in London, they finally received a movie documenting their history as a band.
Although the movie doesn’t fully encapsulate every aspect of the band’s lengthy career, it was more than enough to bring by a new generation of young Queen fans, myself included. As a child I was left out of the world of classic rock due to my parents not being fans. Neither of my parents let alone grandparents have any interest in Queen, and through watching “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I was able to learn a bit about the band and the songs they have that aren’t so famous.
After the release of the movie, which grossed roughly $860 million in the box office as of Feb. 2018, Queen announced a lengthy North American tour featuring American Idol winner Adam Lambert as their vocalist, which they had done in the past for older tours.
It’s safe to say that this upward trend in Queen’s recent popularity could potentially be the largest one yet, re-propelling the legendary British rock band into a newfound era of stardom.