Behind The Rhapsody


Caroline McLoughlin


United States of America- Queen; a band that fully embodied the meaning of eccentric and flamboyant. With Freddie Mercury leading the band to international fame, most of the focus is on him throughout the time of the bands run, but what is the history of the band?


Behind The Making of the Movie

The making of Bohemian Rhapsody was definitely a process. It wasn’t until November 2016 when Rami Malek was confirmed to play Freddie Mercury after the Film’s producers had already gone through many other actors for the potential role. Looking at the other roles, Ben Hardy played Taylor, the bands drummer, Gwilym Lee played May, the lead guitarist, Joseph Mazzello played John Deacon, the bassist, and Lucy Boynton played Mary Austin, Mercury’s lifelong friend.  The cast and crew had a lot of trouble with the film’s original director, Bryan Singer. Singer was reportedly late to set most days and after Thanksgiving of 2017 he started not showing up to set resulting in him being dropped from the film. Singer was replaced with another director Dexter Fletcher who finished the couple weeks of filming and the post production/ reshoot process. As for the music in the movie, the film’s team wanted to use as much Freddie as possible, which resulted in a mix of Malek’s voice and Mercury’s for all of the bio pic’s music.


The History of the Band

According to the movie, the band first got together in when the band drummer, Taylor and guitarist, May, lost the lead singer for their rock group called Smile in 1971. Freddie joined them, shortly after taking over as the lead singer.  John Deacon joined the band just weeks after Mercury had joined and the band played small gigs for about the next few years. In 1973 the band released their debut album “Queen” which received, little to no acclaim. Still, the band went on to release “Queen II” which gained them some popularity with the song “Seven Seas of Rhye”. But, it wasn’t until the release of their third album, “Sheer Heart Attack,” when the band finally gained some real traction. From there, their fame skyrocketed with the release of “A Night at the Opera”and the release of the bands now most renown single, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Quickly becoming their signature song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” took three weeks to record and featured a unique layering of vocals and guitars. Following the “A Night at the Opera” album, Queen released the hit single “Somebody to Love” and then the album “A Day at the Races”. From 1977 through 1981, the band was at their peak releasing hit after hit with songs like, “We are the Champions”, “We Will Rock You”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Bicycle Race”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, and “Under Pressure.” After this, Queen began to lose popularity right up until their 1985, showstopping Live Aid performance. Queen scaled down their performances and activity after Live Aid until 1991, when lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS induced pneumonia.  


The Obsession with Freddie

There is no doubt that Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, had a showstopping, flamboyant quality about him. His voice was unique, not only in its sound but in its nature. Mercury had a four octave range, which for any singer, let alone a male singer, is very rare. Freddie had a stage presence unlike anyone else, he could just wave his hand and the people in the crowd would follow his every move. He was hard not to watch, which made crowds line up at every show. Freddie did, however, keep his personal life pretty private. A fun fact about the legend is that he owned ten cats and even wrote a song about his favorite, named Delilah. Throughout his life Freddie made his name and Queen’s name known, in his own words, “I’m not going to be a pop star, I’m going to be a legend.”