Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates 40 years tomorrow
Guitarist Brian May recalls the song's creation, and why he'll never grow tired of hearing it.
How many songs become so ingrained in popular culture that they get their own nickname? Not many - but Bo Rap is one of them.
A sprawling, six-minute rock opera, it has been Christmas number one twice, soundtracked a pivotal scene in Wayne's World, and sold 2.44 million copies in the UK alone.
Not bad for a song the record company said would never be played on the radio.
Written by frontman Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody was painstakingly pieced together in six studios, pushing 1970s recording technology to its limits. The song's multi-tracked 'bismillahs' and 'scaramouches' were overdubbed so often that the tapes became virtually transparent.
But the band never lost faith in the track. "We all realised it was something wonderful and we should give it our heart and soul," says Brian May.