Greatest Rock Vocalists #4, Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Never mind the image of the Muppets and Gonzo up there, that’s just some funny picture I found, this post is dedicated to the golden pipes of the late great Freddie Mercury, the fourth greatest vocalist in rock and roll history.  Possessing the voice of a fallen angel, rocking vociferously as he descends to the center of the Earth, Freddie was one in a billion.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” was Freddie’s unqualified masterpiece of rock.  Influenced heavily by opera and “A Day in the Life,” the lyrics were crafted out of ambiguity, and their personal meaning remained a personally guarded secret by Freddie.  The guitarist Brian May speculated that the words alluded to Freddie’s numerous personal traumas.  The song was one of the most complex and expensive recordings in rock and roll history.  Another interesting note is that the opening harmonies, though shown to be sung by the whole group, was actually all Freddie.  Like many, I love the way the song vamps along between balladry, operatic chamber rock, and hard rock nirvana, before giving way to a sweet surrender, highlighted by Brian May’s double tracked guitar line, one of the most bittersweet guitar melodies of all time.  The song became a massive hit again in the early 90s thanks to “Wayne’s World,” and because of its humongous double exposure, it became a bit rote in recent years.  However, I was at a Korean Karaoke last Spring, queued this song up, and reveled in the unlimited fun this song provides, remembering fully why it’s so powerful and great.  The thing about the top 5 rock vocalists is anyone of them could be #1, and Freddie is no exception.  He was a talented genius if there ever was one, and this is his shining monument of glory.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I continue to amp up intensity with an even greater rocker….Who could it be?

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