Sun Spin: Bohemian Rhapsody

IS THIS THE REAL LIFE OR JUST FANTASY?

There are some songs that cut across time, distance, nationality and genre to touch the vast majority of people worldwide. There's no formula to it or artists would pump out such universal numbers like clockwork. But some songs, whenever and wherever they are played, trigger off a kind of happy, focusing mania. And one such uber-tune is Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." The culminating point of 1975's stellar, artistically vigorous A Night At The Opera, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a miniature rock opera, a widescreen tale with electric guitars, boyish choir interludes, and a tear-in-your-beer tale of a life gone wrong. It's the Old West and '30s Gangster films distilled into song form, and it's got a broad enough appeal to be covered by a whole host of folks, while the original continues to ignite the creativity of others, from Wayne's World to children's cartoons. It's the only song we can imagine both The Flaming Lips and Pink will ever share on setlists (though there seems promise in a Pink-i-fied "Do You Realize?" and a Lips smacked "Get The Party Started"…but we digress). For many reasons, what Freddie Mercury penned and brought to vibrant fruition with his bandmates continues to endure. This Sunday we celebrate one of the truly great songs of the 20th century, a number that will still likely be trotted out to great, joyous applause in the 22nd and 23rd centuries.

Our salute to the operatic rock classic begins with a recent interpretation by The Muppets that's been making the rounds recently that was the catalyst for this installment. You're in for a treat!


However, the fuzzy thespians were not the first inanimate objects put into service of what Freddie and the lads have wrought.


This He-Man and the Masters of the Universe mash-up gives us the giggles, and hopefully will tickle y'all, too.


Over time the song has gotten some pretty classed-up polishes, including this rendition by The Ten Tenors from German television.


Speaking of classed-up, the California Guitar Trio remove most of the testosterone but reveal some very pretty bones beneath the familiar skin.


As mentioned at the start, there's probably not another tune that both Pink and The Flaming Lips would tackle. Here's both taking their shot at the prize. And being honest, Pink is one of the few lead vocalists that really gives proper chase to Mercury's legendary vocal. Girl can sing, even if her originals often lack much heft.


We give the final word to Queen and dear departed Freddie. We miss you lots, you mustachioed marvel.

[Published on: 11/29/09]

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