List of Bohemian Rhapsody cover versions

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The song "Bohemian Rhapsody", written by Freddie Mercury and originally recorded by rock band Queen for their album A Night at the Opera, has been subsequently covered by many different artists.

List[edit]

Year Artist Notes
1987 Fuzzbox[1] on their 1987 single "What's The Point"[2]
1987 Bad News This spoof rock band (created for the UK Channel 4 TV series The Comic Strip Presents...) also released "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a single. It reached number 44 in the UK Singles Chart. It featured on the album Bad News. The cover version was produced by Brian May.[citation needed] A 12inch version was released as well ending completely different, when during the last guitar brake a false chord was played and the song stops whilst being shouted 'fuck basterds, I played the wrong chord'. The 12inch version then continues with some studio chatter and a 'bad news version' of Pretty Woman.
1988 Paige, Elaine[1] The Queen album
1990 Cud[1] On the anti-poll tax compilation album Alvin Lives (In Leeds).
1992 Queen + Elton John and Axl Rose Elton John and Axl Rose performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" in The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. This version showed John playing the first verse of the ballad section in keyboards, and later singing in the front stage accompanied by Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor (Spike Edney plays the rest of the vamp until the operatic section). After the taped Opera section, Axl Rose appeared using a microphone similar that Mercury used in his live concerts; the Outro section was played in duet showing Rose's appreciation to John.
1993 Yankovic, "Weird Al" a polka cover named "Bohemian Polka" on his album, Alapalooza.
1993 Comic Relief a parody of the original video by celebrities from major UK TV networks on the BBC telethon
1995 Dream Theater The album A Change of Seasons features the live track "The Big Medley", a cover song medley that includes a segment of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
1996 Harris, Rolf[1] This version reached the British charts for one week at #50
1998 The Braids High School High soundtrack album. The San Francisco Bay Area duo recorded an R&B version of this song for the soundtrack to the Jon Lovitz movie High School High. It was produced by Third Eye Blind's lead singer Stephan Jenkins and was also released as a single in the fall of 1996. It peaked #21 in UK and #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, while staying on the charts for 17 weeks.
1996 Magic Affair[3] Released as a single and as part of the "Queen Dance Traxx I" compilation.
1997 Montserrat Caballé with Bruce Dickinson On album Friends For Life
1998 Molotov As "Rap, Soda y Bohemia", on the album Molomix
1998 Reality (band) Roots Reggae version on the album Movin On
1998 Faye Wong Performed the song on her concert - Faye Wong Scenic Tour 1998-99.[4]
2001 Ours (band) Released as a limited edition CD single
2001 Paul de Leeuw Dutch singer and TV personality, performed the song during his live shows in Ahoy Stadium in Rotterdam in 2000, released on single and album (zingen terwijl u wacht). The performance however was rather poor and falsely sung.
2005 DeLisle, Grey album Iron Flowers. A shortened rendition, covering only the ballad portion of the song to a much slower melody.
2005 Flaming Lips, The album Killer Queen. The cover was also performed live.
2005 Constantine Maroulis album Killer Queen. With the cast of We Will Rock You.
2005 Edgar Cruz DVD Arranging for Solo Guitar / The Queen Titles.
2005 G4 First performed on first series of The X-Factor, released as a single which became #9 in the UK charts. It was included on their self-titled album
2005 McNeil, Suzie On the CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS
2005 Children in Need a selection of BBC News presenters perform the song on the BBC telethon
2007 CollegeHumor A parody entitled, "Brohemian Rhapsody", set in a fraternity house[5]
2007 Moymoy Palaboy A lip-syncing rendition of the song.[6]
2007 Newton Faulkner A acoustic cover of the song. YouTube.[7]
2008 Autumn, Emilie recorded on the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & Bohemian Rhapsody Double Feature EP and frequently performed live in concert.
2008 Rajaton recorded on the Rajaton sings Queen with Lahti Symphony Orchestra and on several occasions performed live in concert.
2009 Muppets, The see section
2009 Pink Funhouse Tour, and subsequent DVD release
2010 Prince Poppycock On Americas Got Talent
2010 Jonathan Groff in Glee Featured on the TV show in the episode "Journey", and released on the EP Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals
2010 Never Shout Never From the album Punk Goes Classic Rock
2010 Hayseed Dixie From the album Killer Grass
2010 Jake Shimabukuro A ukulele instrumental version from the album Peace Love Ukulele
2010 Batesmotelpro A Turkish lottery advertisement by Youtube phenomenon group Batesmotelpro.[8]
2011 William Shatner From the album Seeking Major Tom
2011 Pato Fu From the album Música de Brinquedo Ao Vivo
2012 Robert Wilkinson A video featuring drunk man Robert Wilkinson [9] (after being arrested for drunk driving by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) singing Bohemian Rhapsody in the police car during the ride to the police station, titled "Arrested Drunk Guy sings Bohemian Rhapsody," became famous on YouTube [10][11][12]
2012 Jessica Sanchez On the American Idol season 11 Top 6 performance show
2012 Dalagita X Factor Indonesia Audition
2012 The Protomen From the album Present: A Night of Queen
2012 Between The Buried And Me As part of an encore of their 2012 European tour with Periphery and The Safety Fire; the band played after the tapped operatic section to the end before playing "Mordecai"
2013 Puscifer From the EP "Donkey Punch the Night"
2013 Florent Mothe From the album "Rock in Chair"
2013 A Capella Science (Tim Blais) A parody of Bohemian Rhapsody, titled "Bohemian Gravity", was released on YouTube. The parody describes string theory and was created by Tim Blais, performing under the name A Capella Science.[13]
2014 The Forest Rangers feat. The White Buffalo, Billy Valentine & Franky Perez A cover for the premiere episode of Season 7 of Sons of Anarchy, plays when the protagonist, Jax Teller tortures and kills an innocent man whom he believes is the murderer of his wife.[14]

The Muppets[edit]

"Bohemian Rhapsody (Muppets Version)"
Single by Queen + The Muppets
Released November 23, 2009
Format Music video
Digital download
Recorded 2009
Genre Rock, comedy rock
Length 4:46
Label Walt Disney
Writer(s) Freddie Mercury
Producer(s) Roy Thomas Baker, Queen
Queen singles chronology
"C-lebrity"
(2008, as Queen + Paul Rodgers)
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
(2009)

The song was performed by The Muppets characters in 2009. A music video was posted on YouTube on November 23, 2009 before the release of the track, and features Muppets characters singing partially modified lyrics of the original song.[15] It garnered over seven million hits within its first week of release. Unlike other cover versions, the Muppets' single features the final master of Queen's original 1975 recording.[16]

The video and song is an official production of The Muppets Studio. The success of the video caused Walt Disney Records to release the cover as a single on December 13, 2009, where it peaked at #32 on the UK Singles Chart.

Video[edit]

The Muppets' version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was directed by Kirk Thatcher, who has been involved with several other Muppets videos.[17] According to studio manager Lylle Breier, the idea of the Muppets singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" had long been an idea that they wanted to do, but only was able to bring the project together within a short time before the video's release.[18] Thatcher noted they had a long list of possible songs they wanted to do with a large group of Muppets, including Don McLean's "American Pie", but "Bohemian Rhapsody" was their ultimate selection.[17] Filming was completed within a day by 20 staffers; Thatcher considered the task to be "epic in scale" considering they normally only use half a dozen Muppets for a single scene.[17] Breier stated that this and other videos that The Muppets Studio released to YouTube are part of a promotional push for the Muppets; Breier likened outlets on the Internet like YouTube to the variety shows of the 1970s, and felt that the Muppets easily fitted into that culture.[19]

The video is a montage by about 70 different Muppets characters singing their part of the lyrics against a black screen, in the same style used by Queen for portions of their promotion video[20] of the song as well as mimicking the four-person layout used for the cover of Queen's second album. After completing the song, which ends up with mosaic of all the characters singing, it is revealed that this was one side of a computer video conference with Kermit the Frog, who laments his decision for that type of meeting to Scooter.

The video presents an abridged version of Queen's song with some lyric alterations to retain the appropriateness of the characters for a family audience.[21] For example within the first stanza of the ballad portion of the song, the lyrics where the singer laments to his mother that he "just killed a man" are replaced by Animal calling out repeatedly for "mama".[18] Other aspects of the lyrics are changed for humorous purposes surrounding the Muppets characters. Pepe the King Prawn starts the opera portion of the song stating that he sees "a little silhouetto of a clam". The back-and-forth lyrics, "Bismillah! No! We will not let you go...let him go!", are replaced with Fozzie Bear begging "Let me joke" to Statler and Waldorf, who state "[We] do not like your jokes". The line "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me" is replaced with the remaining Muppets who have not been in the video singing "Does anyone know if there is a part for me?" The first two lines of the hard rock section have been replaced with "So they tell us this video's going to fly, all I know is we're not getting paid tonight!" The song ends with Miss Piggy, lounging on Rowlf the Dog's piano, singing "Nothing really matters but moi!"[21]

The video premiered on YouTube on November 23, 2009. Within a week, the video had accrued over 7 million views,[21] and has nearly 15 million views within the following five months.[22] The video was nominated and won the "Viral Video" category in the 14th Annual Webby Awards.[23] The popularity of the video led to the song being distributed through digital download on iTunes in December by Walt Disney Records[24] and EMI.[25] The song reached #32 on the UK Singles Chart for the week of December 26, 2009.[26] For New Year's Eve at Disneyland, the video was projected onto the Fantasmic! mist screens in-between performances, and in place of an extra midnight performance. The performance also utilized the show's various laser effects and lighting towers working in tandem with the video.

Muppet performers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/covers/bohemianrhapsody.shtml
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C (1999) The Great Alternative & Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
  3. ^ http://archive.org/details/wcd_bohemian-rhapsody_magic-affair_flac_lossless_29267596
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ "Brohemian Rhapsody"
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5zZ2hByA2A Date=2014-09-09
  9. ^ http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/drunk-bohemian-rhapsody-robert-wilkinson-video
  10. ^ http://www.spinner.com/2012/03/29/bohemian-rhapsody-cop-car/
  11. ^ http://mashable.com/2012/03/30/bohemian-rhapsody-drunk-video/
  12. ^ Time. 2012-03-30 http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/30/drunk-guy-sings-flawless-rendition-of-bohemian-rhapsody-in-back-of-cop-car/ |url= missing title (help). 
  13. ^ CTV News Interview
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ YouTube Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody video
  16. ^ Robinson, Joanna (27 February 2014). "Where Does This New Muppets Most Wanted Song Rank in the History of Muppet Musical Numbers?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c Cavna, Michael (2010-02-10). "Meta-Post: The Muppets near another million-view viral success". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  18. ^ a b Allen, Nick (2009-12-03). "Muppets' Bohemian Rhapsody takes YouTube by storm". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  19. ^ "Muppets making a comeback online and off". Associated Press. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  20. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ
  21. ^ a b c Fletcher, Dan (2009-11-30). "'Bohemian Rhapsody,' Muppet-Style". Time. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  22. ^ "The Muppets perform Stand by Me on YouTube". The Telegraph (London). 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  23. ^ "Webby Awards honour Ebert, Twitter, Times". CBC. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  24. ^ Colothan, Scott (2009-12-08). "The Muppets' 'Bohemian Rhapsody' To Battle X Factor Winner For Christmas No.1". Gigwise. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  25. ^ Brew, Simon (2009-12-09). "The Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody to be released as single". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  26. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive". The Official Charts Company. 2009-12-26. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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