Today would have marked Freddie Mercury's 72nd birthday. While the Queen frontman has been gone since 1991, his powerful voice has hardly been silenced. On October 23, the big-screen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, authorized by his bandmates in Queen, will have its premiere in the United Kingdom - and four days before that, a rarities-packed soundtrack album will arrive from Hollywood Records (U.S.) and Virgin EMI/Universal (U.K.). Bohemian Rhapsody: The Original Soundtrack features 22 career-spanning tracks, including 11 previously unreleased.
The soundtrack was produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, with engineering and co-production by longtime Queen collaborators Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua J Macrae, with mastering by Adam Ayan and Bob Ludwig. It kicks off with May and Taylor's newly-recorded version of composer Alfred Newman's 20th Century Fox fanfare and continues with an array of new, studio, and live tracks. Most notably, the soundtrack will include the first audio appearance of tracks from July 1985's Live Aid all-star charity concert of "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Radio Ga Ga," "Hammer To Fall," and "We Are The Champions," plus Mercury's signature "Ay-Oh!" routine with the crowd.
Other tracks on the album have been derived from different decades and even different continents. The band's previously unissued performance of "Fat Bottomed Girls" hails from the Paris shows of 1979, part of the Jazz world tour. Another new-to-CD track is "Love of My Life" from January 1985's Rock in Rio festival, previously available only on video. "Now I'm Here" was recorded on Christmas Eve, 1975, at London's Hammersmith Odeon and first released in 2011.
There are other surprises on the release. The Movie Mix of "We Will Rock You" starts out as the studio version, then segues into a live performance with audience participation recorded for the film. "Don't Stop Me Now (Revisited)" includes new guitar parts played by May, closer in style to how he plays the song in concert today. "Doing All Right" was a song originally recorded by May and Taylor's pre-Queen band Smile, and re-recorded with Mercury for the first Queen album. For the film, May and Taylor reunited almost 50 years later with original Smile vocalist Tim Staffell to record a new version.
The soundtrack is rounded out by hits and favorites in their original recordings, such as "Somebody to Love," "Killer Queen," "Another One Bites the Dust," "The Show Must Go On," the David Bowie duet "Under Pressure," and naturally, "Bohemian Rhapsody." Bob Ludwig's 2011 remasters have been utilized for these tracks.
Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as Freddie, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, and Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, premieres in the U.K. on October 23 and hits U.S. theatres on November 2. Look for the soundtrack on October 19! It's available for pre-order at the links below.
Bohemian Rhapsody: The Original Soundtrack (Hollywood (U.S.)/Virgin EMI (U.K.), 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada Link TBD)
- 20th Century-Fox Fanfare *
- Somebody To Love
- Doing All Right... revisited - Smile *
- Keep Yourself Alive (Live @ The Rainbow Theatre, London - 3/31/1974)
- Killer Queen
- Fat Bottomed Girls (Live In Paris) *
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Now I'm Here (Live @ Hammersmith Odeon, London - 12/24/1975)
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
- Love Of My Life (Live @ Rock In Rio - 1/11 or 1/18/1985) *
- We Will Rock You (Movie Mix) *
- Another One Bites The Dust
- I Want To Break Free
- Under Pressure - Queen + David Bowie
- Who Wants To Live Forever
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Live Aid / Wembley Stadium - 7/13/1985) *
- Radio Ga Ga (Live Aid / Wembley Stadium - 7/13/1985) *
- Ay-Oh (Live Aid / Wembley Stadium - 7/13/1985) *
- Hammer To Fall (Live Aid / Wembley Stadium - 7/13/1985) *
- We Are The Champions (Live Aid / Wembley Stadium - 7/13/1985) *
- Don't Stop Me Now... revisited *
- The Show Must Go On
Tracks 1, 3, 6, 10-11 and 16-21 previously unreleased
Track 2 from A Day At The Races (EMI, 1976)
Track 4 from Live At The Rainbow '74 (Hollywood (U.S.)/Virgin EMI (U.K.), 2014)
Track 5 from Sheer Heart Attack (EMI, 1974)
Track 7 from A Night At The Opera (EMI, 1975)
Track 8 from Sheer Heart Attack: Deluxe Edition (Hollywood (U.S.)/Island (U.K.), 2011) and A Night At The Odeon (Hollywood (U.S.)/Virgin EMI (U.K.), 2015)
Tracks 9 and 12 from The Game (EMI, 1980)
Track 13 from The Works (EMI, 1984)
Track 14 from Hot Space (EMI, 1982)
Track 15 from A Kind Of Magic (EMI, 1986)
Track 22 from Innuendo (Hollywood (U.S.)/Parlophone (U.K.), 1991)
Missed opportunity here - Queen should have opted to release the Freddie Mercury solo version of "Who Wants To Live Forever" (without vocals by Brian May).