It was on November 1o, 1975 that the famous video was filmed for the Queen mega-production “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and if “iconic” is a much-overused word in the entertainment world, it certainly applies to this remarkable visual landmark.
The promo clip for “Bo Rhap,” as it’s affectionately known far and wide, didn’t just play a huge part in propelling the song to the top of the British charts. It almost single-handedly established the video as the essential marketing tool in promoting a record, both nationally and internationally. You can remind yourself of the clip, directed by Bruce Gowers and featuring the celebrated four-way harmony shot that mirrored the cover of the band’s Queen II album, here:
Brian May has said that the chief objective of the video was to give the band a promotional device that avoided them having to mime the complex song on Top Of The Pops or elsewhere. The film was made at Trilion, a subsidiary of Trident Studios, where filming took what now seems an incredibly modest four hours, with five more to edit. The total cost was a reported £4,500.
The “Bohemian Rhapsody” video was shown on TOTP for the first time ten days after filming, on November 20, as the song climbed the charts. As it turned out, Queen wouldn’t have been able to appear on the celebrated chart show in any case, as they were in the thick of a British tour. A week after the screening, the song was No.1 in the UK, at the beginning of a nine-week reign. That didn’t end until ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” took over the top spot until the end of January 1976. By 2018, both songs would give their titles to blockbuster feature films inspired by the groups in question.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is on A Night At The Opera, which can be bought here.
Follow the official Queen Best Of playlist here.