Bohemian Rhapsody is one of those songs we all sing in the car when it comes on. I don’t know whether that’s because of Wayne’s World, or just because it’s a cultural institution at this point, but despite its 10/10 sing-along potential, it’s actually an enormously complicated song. How complicated? Let me quote the Wikipedia article below:
Recording began at Rockfield Studio 1 near Monmouth on 24 August 1975, after a 3-week rehearsal in Herefordshire. During the making of the track, an additional four studios (Roundhouse, SARM (East), Scorpion, and Wessex) were used. According to some band members, Mercury mentally prepared the song beforehand and directed the band throughout. Mercury used a Bechstein “concert grand” piano, which he played in the promotional video and the UK tour. Due to the elaborate nature of the song, it was recorded in various sections, held together by a drum click to keep all layers synchronised. May, Mercury, and Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day. The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs.
Okay, so obviously this is too much for one single person to take on, right?
Enter Richie Castellano: Challenge Accepted.
Granted this isn’t just some random guy, Richie Castellano has a Master’s in music from SUNY and has been the guitarist and vocalist of Blue Oyster Cult since 2004, but you still gotta admire his moxy at seeing one of rock’s most complex songs and saying “Hold my calls, I got this.” It’s almost unfair at how well he pulls it off too. I won’t quite say it’s effortless, but it’s damn fine musicianship and must have taken a fair bit of time to break down, plan out, and pull off.
And boy does he pull it off…