Queen Made 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Video To Avoid Lip-Sync Performance On TV


For all the accolades we heap upon Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," we may neglect the impact of the equally iconic music video for the mid-'70s masterpiece.

Think about it: when you hear "Bohemian Rhapsody," you probably also see it.

With the video, the band created a dramatic, memorable visual representation of its most musically and lyrically complex composition ever. And in a media landscape in which the band had little expectation that the video would be seen more than a handful of times, years before MTV signed onto the airwaves.

But then again, the investment in the "BoRhap" video itself was minimal; it cost the band about £4,500 and took only about four hours to shoot.

In the latest installment of the band's 50th anniversary YouTube series, Queen: The Greatest, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury explain that they only filmed "BoRhap" because they couldn't/didn't want to promote the single on the BBC's Top of the Pops.

Queen was on tour at the time, so appearing on television would have been a logistical challenge. But as May explains, the band also wasn't too keen on lip-synching a performance for TV, as was usually the case for rock bands in those days.

“To be honest we weren’t too keen on going on ’Top of the Pops’ and standing on those little podiums and kind of miming Bohemian Rhapsody," the guitarist recalled. "It would have been really crap.”

The final product and its success was a revelation to the band, Taylor added.

"We realized, 'Wow, you don't even have to be here to promote your record now!' You just make one of these little video films, and that's gotta be the way in the future. And we were the first to do that."

Speaking of the interview in the '80s, Mercury said that while Queen wasn't the first band to create a music video, "Bohemian Rhapsody" might have been the first single to have sold because of a video.

"There was this chemistry that actually linked visuals with the music and it worked," Mercury said.

Watch the full episode via the player above!