Queen will release a limited-edition 12-inch vinyl version of their epic 1975 smash “Bohemian Rhapsody” on November 27 in celebration of the song’s 40th anniversary and in conjunction with the 2015 Record Store Day Black Friday campaign in the U.S. The disc will also feature the single’s original B-side, “I’m in Love with My Car.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was released in the U.K. on October 31, 1975, and became the band’s first #1 hit in its home country, where it held the top spot for an impressive nine weeks. In the U.S., the single was released in 1976, and peaked that year at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. After it was reissued in 1992 thanks to its appearance in the comedy film Wayne’s World, “Bohemian Rhapsody” made it to #2 on the same chart.
Queen singer Freddie Mercury wrote the campy mini opera by himself, including its complex harmonies. At the time of its release, the song was one of the most expensive ever recorded, taking dozens of hours to complete and featuring about 120 layered vocal tracks.
Guitarist Brian May says of the experience recording the song, “The biggest thrill for us was actually creating the music in the first place. I remember Freddie coming in with loads of bits of paper from his dad’s work, like Post-It notes, and pounding on the piano. He played the piano like most people play the drums. And this song he had was full of gaps where he explained that something operatic would happen here and so on. He’d worked out the harmonies in his head.”
Queen’s record company initially was apprehensive about releasing “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single since it ran five minutes and 55 seconds, but went ahead with it because of public demand to hear the full-length version of the song on the radio.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” also appears on Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera, which reached #4 on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S.
Also as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen will be releasing the previously announced concert video and album, A Night at the Odeon Hammersmith 1975, on November 20.
A Night at the Odeon, which documents the band’s historic Christmas Eve concert in London shortly after the song was released, will be available as a CD, a two-LP vinyl package, a DVD, an SD Blu-ray disc, a Super Deluxe box set and a digital download.