The original film soundtrack for Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated Queen biopic is set for release through Virgin EMI (Universal) in the UK and through Hollywood Records in the US on 19 October. The album will also include audio tracks from Live Aid, the historic Wembley concert from July 1985. These Live Aid songs are among the rare gems and unheard versions from the band’s rich catalogue.
Alongside the show-stopping Live Aid performances of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Hammer To Fall’ and ‘We Are The Champions’, the album features other rare live tracks spanning Queen’s entire career, new versions of old favourites, and a choice selection of the band’s finest studio recordings. Among them are some of Queen’s biggest hits, including eleven all-time anthems that reached Number One around the world. The track listing (which you can see below) is being announced on 5 September 2018, which would have been Freddie’s 72nd birthday.
Bohemian Rhapsody is scheduled to have its World Premiere in the UK on 23 October before opening across the world in early November. It stars Rami Malek as Freddie, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, and Lucy Boynton as Freddie’s lifelong companion Mary Austin.
The 22 songs on the soundtrack were produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, with engineering and co-production by long-time Queen studio collaborators Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua J Macrae, and mastering by Adam Ayan and Bob Ludwig.
The key task for the team behind the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack was sourcing the most suitable versions of the band’s songs, especially live performances, to fit the screenplay’s career-spanning narrative. Their brief was not merely to produce a greatest hits playlist package but a soundtrack album to stand on its own merits, underscoring key moments in the screenplay. May, Taylor, and their co-producers worked with the filmmakers to find the best versions of each track to heighten the dramatic power of each scene.
Ensuring that listeners are in no doubt they are listening to a soundtrack album, Brian May came up with the inspired idea that Queen should record their own arrangement of the famous 20th Century Fox Fanfare. Featuring May’s famous multi-layered guitars and Roger Taylor’s distinctive percussion, this revamped track provides a suitably flamboyant opening fanfare to both film and album.
Unlike Queen’s soundtrack to Flash Gordon, no spoken dialogue from Bohemian Rhapsody is included on this new album. And while the film uses only parts from songs and performances, the soundtrack features the full-length versions of some of the band’s best-loved studio and live recordings.
The five tracks from Queen’s 21-minute performance at Live Aid on 13 July 1985 have never been released in audio form before. They only ever featured on video as a special extra on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Queen Rock Montreal which features the Montreal Forum shows of November 1981. The Live Aid audio is exclusive to this new soundtrack album.
Other tracks on the soundtrack have been sourced from different decades and even different continents. ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ comes from the Paris shows in 1979, part of the “Jazz” world tour and has never been released before. ‘Now I’m Here’ was recorded at the band’s 1975 Christmas Eve show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. And the history making duet between Freddie Mercury and Brian May on ‘Love of My Life’ comes from the Rock in Rio festival of January 1985 when 300,000 Brazilians sang along. Previously this track was only available to fans on the video releases of this performance.
For the studio recordings on the album, Queen had the luxury of being able to work with the Bob Ludwig remastered tracks from 2011, widely considered the best and most definitive versions.
The three remaining tracks on the soundtrack will be fresh to Queen fans, old and new. ‘We Will Rock You’ starts out as the studio version, then blends into a live performance with audience participation. This has been created especially for the film. ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ features May’s newly recorded guitar parts and is much closer to how the band plays the track live today.
‘Doing All Right’ was originally recorded by Smile, the predecessor band to Queen that featured Brian and Roger with vocalist Tim Staffell. When Staffell later left, May and Taylor would join forces with Freddie to form Queen. Freddie’s interpretation of the song featured on the first Queen album. To recreate the original Smile version, Taylor and May re-united with Staffell at Abbey Road Studios to re-record ‘Doing All Right’ for the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack. This session which featured Taylor, May and Staffell all singing lead vocals took place almost 50 years after the original Smile recording.
Bohemian Rhapsody, the Original Soundtrack album is released on 19 October. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and buy it here.
‘20th Century Fox Fanfare’
‘Somebody To Love’
‘Doing All Right… revisited’ (Performed by Smile)
‘Keep Yourself Alive’ (Live At The Rainbow)
‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ (Live In Paris)
‘Now I’m Here’ (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’
‘Love Of My Life’ (Rock In Rio)
‘We Will Rock You’ (Movie Mix)
‘Another One Bites The Dust’
‘I Want To Break Free’
‘Under Pressure’ (Performed by Queen & David Bowie)
‘Who Wants To Live Forever’
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Live Aid)
‘Radio Ga Ga’ (Live Aid)
‘Ay-Oh’ (Live Aid)
‘Hammer To Fall’ (Live Aid)
‘We Are The Champions’ (Live Aid)