Bohemian Rhapsody may be a 20th Century Fox film, but Disney’s Hollywood Records has owned the Queen catalog since the early 1990s. Hence, the soundtrack to this Fox film, which Disney will soon own, is now available on Disney’s Hollywood Records. It features 80 minutes of classic Queen songs, remastered and occasionally remixed, to tell Freddy Mercury’s story. It’s not a greatest hits album, but rather a collection of music from throughout the band’s prestigious career.
The soundtrack starts with the only new track, a 25-second Queen cover of the “20th Century Fox Fanfare.” Brian May’s unmistakable guitar plays the melody while Roger Taylor supports him on the drums. Honestly, it’s a brilliant way to open the film and fans should be ecstatic that it’s on the soundtrack.
The second track is “Somebody to Love,” one of my personal favorites. This is one of the few tracks that appears out of chronological order, coming from Queen’s 5th studio album (“A Day at the Races”) from 1976. From this point on, fans are treated to a mix of studio recordings and live tracks, starting with two songs from the band’s self-titled debut album (“Doing All Right” and “Keep Yourself Alive”), neither of which were initially successful.
Hits on this soundtrack include “Killer Queen,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “I Want to Break Free,” “Under Pressure,” and “Radio Gaga.” However, many of these are live versions and for Queen fans who only own a few compilations, these are definitely worth giving a spin (or the digital equivalent). The title track is included twice, as a remastered album version and in live form.
One of the hallmarks of a Freddy Mercury live performance was his back and forth with the audience. This is demonstrated on the soundtrack with a track from the band’s historic Live Aid performance called “Ay-Oh.” It’s one of five songs on the soundtrack lifted from their Live Aid set. Perhaps the most chilling live performance is “Love of My Life,” recorded at Rock in Rio with the audience singing along to every word.
“We Will Rock You,” probably the band’s second biggest hit of all time, is the remixed track (listed as the “Movie Mix”). It actually combines the album version with a live version of the performance. You won’t find any digital sounds or alternate arrangements in this version. Brian May and Roger Taylor served as music supervisors on the film, so rest assured that this production has their blessing.
Whether you’re a casual listener or one of Queen’s biggest fans, you’re guaranteed to love the soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody. It celebrates Freddy Mercury’s life and career with some lesser-known tracks, live performances, and many of the band’s biggest hits. “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits theaters on November 2nd.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.