Friday, October 30, 2015

Brothers Osborne debut slated for early '16

I caught these guys live over the summer at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and they put on a solid set. Looking forward to hearing this...

John and TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne announced they are releasing their debut album, Pawn Shop, Jan. 15 on EMI Nashville. Pawn Shop includes the CMA Vocal Duo of the Year nominees’ current Top 15 single “Stay A Little Longer” and “Rum.”

“It’s challenging to have an entire life’s work summed up in 11 songs so we really focused on having every track on this album held together by what John and I do,” states TJ. “We want it to be different scenes on each track but to keep each one honest and from our perspective.”

“Our upbringing certainly influenced the theme of this record,” notes John. “It’s who you’re with and who you are that makes you happy. For us, as long as you’re able to enjoy yourself with family and friends you’re really living the good life.”

Former tourmate Erich Church says, “My favorite thing about Brothers Osborne is that they don’t sound like anyone else. They are singularly distinctive.”

John and TJ co-wrote all 11 tracks on Pawn Shop and partnered with producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band). 

Track Listing:

Dirt Rich (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Barry Dean)
21 Summer (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Craig Wiseman)
Stay A Little Longer (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Shane McAnally)
Pawn Shop (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Sean McConnell)
Rum (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Barry Dean)
Loving Me Back (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Casey Beathard)
American Crazy (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Ross Copperman)
Greener Pastures (John Osborne, TJ Osborne, Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris)
Down Home (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Jessi Alexander)
Heart Shaped Locket (TJ Osborne, Lisa Carver and Andi Zack)
It Ain’t My Fault (John Osborne, TJ Osborne and Jessi Alexander)

To pre-order an exclusive Pawn Shop album package, visit:

Brothers Osborne have previously toured with artists including Darius Rucker, Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves, and currently, fans can catch the Maryland natives on the road with Jon Pardi as part of the All Time High tour. Upcoming stops include Cincinnati, OH and Myrtle Beach, SC. For a full list of tour dates, news, images and more, visit

Placebo's “MTV Unplugged” arrives in various formats soon

I was unaware the band even did an MTV Unplugged until I received this press release. But as a longtime fan and supporter, I'm anxious to see how their songs fared in this format...
“We wanted to do something extraordinary, something that would challenge us. The process has been interesting, because we were creating something while we were performing it. That was something we had never done before. The simultaneity of the performance and the creation process was completely new for us.” - Brian Molko

With their 20th anniversary inching ever closer, Placebo could well be forgiven for sitting back and taking stock. After all, with seven studio albums behind them (five of which have topped the German album charts), more than 12 million album sales, and monumental 18-month tours performed before millions of fan worldwide, what else were they supposed to do?

The answer: reinvent themselves yet again, while revamping the iconic “MTV Unplugged” format in the process. When Placebo received the invite to appear on their own “MTV Unplugged” special, Molko recalls, “It wasn’t going to be enough to just sit at the piano and strip the songs down to their bare bones.”

Olsdal adds: “Once we found out that we were going to play this show we were on a mission to make our contribution to the ‘MTV Unplugged’ story equally exciting for us and the audience.”

Cut to The London Studios, in the heart of the city where Placebo played their first ever concert. Monochromatic white light strafes the room with horizontal and diagonal lines that hover delicately above the audience. Molko is on stage with an acoustic guitar and the first of many surprising instruments: a colourful tube that, when manipulated out of shape, produces an array of transcendental sounds that embellish the group’s performance. But it’s not just that the group sound different – they ­look different, too.

Like a Peppers Ghost illusion, they appear encased in light – a spectacular visual effect that only heightens the radical reworking of the music. “The biggest challenge was to recreate these songs in a new and appealing way,” says Molko. “Because at the end of the day, we, too, wanted to be surprised.”

True to form, Placebo’s artistic vision and appetite for adventure is simply astonishing. One moment the band unleash all the energy of a forceful, passionate rock band, the next – as on the mega-hit, ‘For What It’s Worth’ – they let the string ensemble take over for a delicate, beautifully arranged solo.

Elsewhere in the set, sophisticated, brand-new arrangement of well-known songs are stalked by unfamiliar percussion: Arabic and Indian instruments that not only lend a subtle edge to the rich sound, but also add a whole new dimension to the visual experience. “We spent months preparing this,” remembers Molko. “We were constantly working on those songs and tweaking them, because this was completely unknown territory for us – totally outside of our comfort zone.” 

Working with new drummer Matt Lunn, as well as a dozen guest musicians, Placebo refused to play it safe. Instead, they decided to rework songs such as “Bosco”, which had never before been played live – in any style. As Molko acknowledges: “‘MTV Unplugged’ gave us the opportunity to explore the acoustic and more experimental side of our music, and to play a few songs we had not performed like this before.”

Blu Ray:




Double Vinyl
Picture Disc Vinyl
eAlbum MFiT (iTunes exclusive)
eAlbum (All BPs, excl. iTunes)
eVideo Longform

Lady Antebellum live home video coming next week

Since I was actually at this show and reviewed it for the OC Register (see elsewhere on this blog), I can't wait to see the DVD. 

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Lady Antebellum: Wheels Up Tour on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats on Nov. 13 release of the Lady Antebellum: Wheels Up Tour on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats. A DVD+CD package will also be available exclusively though Walmart.

This concert film was shot this year at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California on June 27. The Wheels Up 2015 Tour set showcases tracks from the band’s most recent album 747, alongside hit singles and fan favorites from across their career.

Lady Antebellum’s Wheels Up 2015 Tour started in Oslo, Norway at the end of February and traversed Europe, Australia, and North America before it concluded in Las Vegas, at the beginning of October.

Scattered between the live songs, the film features behind-the-scenes snippets, highlighting the band meeting fans, the spectacular set design and intimate moments on the tour. It’s the ultimate Lady Antebellum tour experience, fully immersing viewers in their life on the road.

Click here to view “Need You Now”:

The Wheels Up Tour DVD and Blu-ray is available for pre-order at:



1) Long Stretch Of Love
2) Bartender
3) American Honey
4) Freestyle
5) Our Kind Of Love
6) Just A Kiss
7) Compass
8) Where It All Begins
9) Perfect Day
10) Love Don’t Live Here
11) Medley: Thinking Out Loud / Dancin’ Away With My Heart / Hello World
12) I Run To You
13) Downtown
14) Any Man Of Mine
15) Walk This Way
16) Lookin’ For A Good Time
17) 747
18) Need You Now
19) We Owned The Night
20) Landslide

Roy Orbison reissues slated for December

Some exciting reissue news. I'm glad to see Orbisons' sons carrying on his legacy, as they discussed when I saw them last year in a special program devoted to "Mystery Girl" at the Grammy Museum (see elsewhere on this blog). Find the new info that recently arrived in my inbox below...

2015 marks a historic 50-year milestone for music legend Roy Orbison. On July 1, 1965, “The Big O” left Monument Records and signed with MGM Records, going on to release 11 studio albums, a film soundtrack and 27 singles over the course of the following eight years, and at the same time scoring another 11 worldwide Top 40 hits.

In recognition of this golden anniversary of Orbison’s signing of one of the most lucrative and groundbreaking record deals of the era, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) has teamed up with Roy’s Boys, LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy. Together, they are releasing two landmark Roy Orbison packages globally on Dec. 4, each available in CD, 180-gram vinyl and digital form:

· One of the Lonely Ones – Recorded in 1969, this is a completely unreleased new studio album. It’s a 12-track lost Roy Orbison album never-before-heard by the public that was recently discovered by Roy’s sons. This rediscovered treasure will be released on CD, digitally and on sumptuous 180-gram vinyl.

· The MGM Years – Recorded from 1965 through 1973, the box set contains all of Roy’s 11 MGM studio albums, the soundtrack to The Fastest Guitar Alive (written by Roy and Bill Dees for the film starring Roy Orbison) and an album of B-sides and singles from that era. The box set is available as a 13 CD box, a digital box, or as a special 14 disc 180-gram vinyl release. All this material has been out of print for decades - 152 tracks in total!

The first 500 physical The MGM Years box sets (either CD or LP) pre-ordered through The Official Roy Orbison Store ( will be bundled with a copy of the unreleased One of the Lonely Ones album in the same format and for the same price as the box set alone on release. All those who take advantage of this limited time offer will also be promptly emailed a download code to instantly download the One of the Lonely Ones title track.

Both the unreleased One of the Lonely Ones album and The MGM Years box set are also available for pre-order globally at all major physical and digital stores including, of course, Amazon and iTunes.

On July 1, 1965, Roy Orbison found himself at a career pinnacle, at the top of the music world. The previous year, his single “Oh, Pretty Woman” had been a global smash, going to Number One in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia. On the business side, Orbison had to choose between staying with his friend and producer Fred Foster at Monument Records or moving to MGM for a deal that Foster could not match. Foster didn’t have a film company and of course MGM had a full motion picture arm and promised Roy a starring film role. In the end that proved to be the deciding factor and Roy chose MGM and its so-called “Million Dollar Deal” - an astounding amount for the time.

At the time, Roy was one of the only American artists to displace “British Invasion” bands including The Beatles at the top of the charts. Fresh MGM deal in hand, Roy went into the studio in July 1965 without missing a beat. “Ride Away” was the first single for his new label MGM, which promptly went Number One in Canada. His first MGM album, There is Only One Roy Orbison, which included the single “Ride Away,” went Top 10 in the UK and charted strongly worldwide.

This was just the beginning. Roy would record and release an additional ten studio albums at MGM plus a soundtrack album for the only film in which Roy starred. This was Roy at the height of his career, yet the Roy that most fans know the least.

The MGM Years box set finally puts all of these fabulous records in one place. These include the 11 original studio albums, the much sought after soundtrack to The Fastest Guitar Alive and a newly created compilation album called MGM B-Sides & Singles that contains all 12 MGM era singles and B-sides that otherwise weren’t included in any album; in all, 152 glorious Roy Orbison tracks. Each song was additionally re-EQ’d and balanced by Roy’s son Alex and GRAMMY®-winning engineer Chuck Turner to bring the masters back to their original warm vinyl sound. All this amazing material has been generally out of circulation for decades! Each original album comes with fully restored artwork and each album has been fastidiously remastered by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Richard Dodd. The box set includes a beautifully bound booklet with extensive liner notes written by Alex Orbison, Roy’s youngest son, and never before seen photos.

Recorded between January and August of 1969, One of the Lonely Ones is a great, newly discovered, Roy Orbison studio album. Kicking it off is a sensational version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that charted for Britain’s Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1965. The Roy penned, guitar-heavy, “Child Woman, Woman Child” can be considered the musical younger sister of “Oh, Pretty Woman.” And 10 other never before heard Roy tracks.

One of the Lonely Ones was transferred from the original tape at the famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN and the tracks were individually mixed by Chuck Turner (whose credits include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Marty Stuart) at the Cash Cabin under Alex Orbison’s supervision. Finally, the restored-to-stereo tracks were put in the capable hands of Richard Dodd for mastering.

Pre-order links

The MGM Years (13 CD box set):
The MGM Years (14 LP vinyl box set):
One Of The Lonely Ones (CD):
One Of The Lonely Ones (vinyl LP):

Roy Orbison – The MGM Years [14 LP vinyl box set; 13 CD box set] (all 152 tracks also available digitally)

1) There Is Only One Roy Orbison (1965)
2) The Orbison Way (1966)
3) The Classic Roy Orbison (1966)
4) Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson (1967)
5) The Fastest Guitar Alive (Soundtrack) (1967)
6) Cry Softly Lonely One (1967)
7) Roy Orbison’s Many Moods (1969)
8) Hank Williams the Roy Orbison Way (1970)
9) The Big O (1970)
10) Roy Orbison Sings (1972)
11) Memphis (1972)
12) Milestones (1973)
13) MGM B-Sides And Singles (2015) (2 discs in vinyl box set, 1 disc in CD box set)

Roy Orbison - One of the Lonely Ones [vinyl LP; CD; digital album]

(recorded 1/21/69 – 8/2/69, all tracks previously unreleased)

1) You’ll Never Walk Alone
2) Say No More
3) Leaving Makes the Rain Come Down
4) Laurie
5) Sweet Memories
6) One of the Lonely Ones
7) Child Woman, Woman Child
8) The Defector
9) Give Up
10) Little Girl (In the Big City)
11) After Tonight
12) I Will Always

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings to Give Music Workshop for Kids in Riverside, Calif.

photo by Jacob Blickenstaff

This is a great opportunity for IE music students. Read below for details from the press release...
Grammy Award winner Gabriel Roth was raised in Riverside, and has returned to his hometown, after nearly two decades in New York, to raise his family.

Roth is concerned about the financial limitations of arts education in the schools and wants to encourage others in the music and recording industries to join him in offering educational enrichment to students of all ages.

He and his fellow band members, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, will perform at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium (RMA) on November 6, 2015, and will present a 90-minute music workshop at 3:30 pm that afternoon, prior to the show. The workshop is free, and the tour is also offering 300 tickets to the evening show at a greatly-reduced rate of $15, an offer that is limited to workshop participants and their parents.   

Roth is aware that some kids won’t know the band, so he is happy to talk about other musicians with whom the band has worked and even -- with some reluctance and humility -- his Grammy awards.

“Some kids may not know us yet,” said Roth, “but they know names like Jay-Z and Amy Winehouse, and they know what a Grammy statuette looks like.”

The Fox Riverside Theater Foundation has accepted the role of outreach coordinator for the event, and aims to bring in kids, 2nd – 12th grade, from all over the region.  The Foundation works with a network of schools and non-profit organizations to distribute outreach tickets through its Students at Broadway program, which provides tickets for youth to attend shows during the Fox Performing Arts Center’s Broadway season.  The Foundation staff and board members are excited to partner with the band.

“This program is an example of our outreach mission,” said Executive Director Cynthia Wright.  “For some of these students, it is the first opportunity to get up close and personal with specific musical instruments; for others, it is an opportunity to add fuel to the fire of their passion for music and to hear advice from successful professionals.”

For more information or to arrange for your group to attend, contact the Fox Riverside Theater Foundation at 951.826.5769 or

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Frank Turner, Skinny Lister concert review: Anaheim, Calif.

"This is the largest show we've ever done in Orange County," marveled Frank Turner, as he looked over a packed House of Blues on Oct. 24.

"We used to play for eight people in London and here it's like a thousand."

Earlier in the evening, the fiery folk singer/guitarist proudly welcomed people to his 1,768th show (an unusually detailed gigography can be found at

Back home in England, Turner has headlined Wembley Arena, been top-billed at major festivals and watched his last two albums reach No. 2 on the UK charts. Having recorded and toured as a solo artist since the mid-2000s, Turner gained major attention in America when he signed to Epitaph Records, then toured with OC's The Offspring in '09. A pair of singles off 2013's "Tape Deck Heart" went top 10 at Adult Alternative radio. 

Last week, that format feat was replicated via "The Next Storm," from latest release "Positive Songs for Negative People." It's currently in heavy rotation at SiriusXM channel The Spectrum. Frequently boasting a more expansive sound and upbeat attitude, the Butch Walker-produced "Positive Songs" is among Turner's strongest to date. 

Accompanied by sharp backing band The Sleeping Souls in Anaheim, Turner and company delivered a tour-de-force performance that lasted just under two hours long and rarely wavered in intensity. They opened the 28-song set with "Eulogy" and fans dutifully sang along loudly. 

Turner possesses a life-affirming attitude live and often plows straight into tunes with barely a pause (the fervent "Out of Breath" proved quite apropos). While singing about stepping outside to face the sunshine during "The Next Storm," he hopped around with acoustic guitar and the other musicians vigorously did the refrain, "rejoice, rebuild, the storm has passed."

Before the jaunty, mellotron-infused "Peggy Sang the Blues," the front man reminded concertgoers to treat each another with respect (Turner has a "random acts of kindness" fan campaign going through his Twitter account). They obeyed as the random crowd surfing and surges ensued. A soaring "Josephine" saw Turner switch to electric guitar and tease with what sounded like an Offspring riff. 

There was a brief recollection about playing the nearby Chain Reaction and other venues in Fullerton and Riverside to introduce the darker hued "Polaroid Picture" and its memorable singalong chorus. A solo acoustic segment included "Imperfect Tense," a preshow request from a diehard fan. The dramatic song, played for just the second time on this tour, featured a wrenching vocal. 

A joyful, autobiographical "Wessex Boy" was heightened by mandolin. "Photosynthesis," where Turner asked everyone to sit down and rise up at a strategic moment, was electrifying. "Plain Sailing Weather" found the band rocking with full force and "Glory Hallelujah" (a tongue in cheek take on religion) got a rousing response. 

Toward the end, initial warmup act Koo Koo Kanga Roo, a comedic dance pop duo from Minneapolis, joined Turner and added some fun to the hit "Recovery." Main set closer "Try This at Home" felt like a punk rock hoedown. For the encores, they did enthusiastic versions of "I Still Believe," "Four Simple Words" and an extended "The Way I Tend to Be." 

Earlier in the evening, Skinny Lister was one of the best openers I've seen all year. The feisty alt-folk sextet from London recalled the best bits of The Pogues and Dexy's Midnight Runners, especially amid songs like "Raise a Wreck" and "This is War," off latest album "Down on Deptford Broadway."

The charming Lorna Thomas and fellow lead singer Dan Heptinstall had an enticing blend. Traditional drinking song "John Kanaka" and the waltz "17 Summers" (where the double bassist crowd surfed with his instrument!) were among the standouts.

A version of my review originally ran at

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sara Bareilles goes Broadway on 'Waitress'

Sara Bareilles' next studio album is set for release on Nov. 6 via Epic Records. What's Inside: Songs from Waitress features songs from the upcoming Broadway musical Waitress, for which she wrote both music and lyrics.

The musical, which will open at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, with previews beginning March 25, had a recent run at The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in Cambridge, MA, where it played through September.

Reuniting with Kaleidoscope Heart producer Neal Avron, the album was recorded in New York and Los Angeles and is Sara’s follow-up to her Grammy-nominated third studio album The Blessed Unrest. The album’s first single, “She Used to Be Mine,” is available at iTunes and all digital retailers now. The song’s official music video premiered on

Amazon will be carrying a special deluxe version of the album packaged in a menu-themed oversized booklet at . This limited-edition package contains exclusive photos and excerpts from Sara’s personal Waitress journal along with drink coasters, a postcard from Sara, and more.

Those who pre-order the album from Amazon between October 23-29, will gain early access via a Unique Code from Nov. 2 at 10:00AM EST through Nov.  5 at 9:59AM EST to purchase tickets to the Broadway production of Waitress before tickets are released to the general public on Nov. 5 at 10:00AM EST. The iTunes preorder, also available starting today, will include a free download of the song “Bad Idea” featuring Jason Mraz as an instant grat track.

Bareilles recently released her first book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song, on Oct. 6 via Simon & Schuster. The book, which made the New York Times Best Sellers List, is a collection of personal essays which among other things, tells the inside stories behind some of her most popular songs, including “Love Song,” “Gravity,” and her most recent hit, “Brave.” 


1) What's Inside
2) Opening Up
3) Door Number Three
4) When He Sees Me
5) Soft Place To Land
6) Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me
7) I Didn't Plan It
8) Bad Idea (feat. Jason Mraz)
9) You Matter To Me (feat. Jason Mraz)
10) She Used To Be Mine
11) Everything Changes
12) Lulu's Pie Song

Carrie Underwood's new album out, upcoming media appearances

Carrie Underwood's fifth studio album, Storyteller, is in stores today. There are a slew of media appearances in the coming weeks.
This weekend, the CMT channel will celebrate Storyteller with a special takeover October 24-25 timed to the release of the album featuring “CMT Instant Jam,” “CMT Crossroads,” and a Carrie co-hosted “CMT Hot 20.” 
The country superstar will chat and perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Oct. 27.
On Nov. 2, Underwood will appear and perform as part of the pre-CMA Awards special, Countdown to the CMA Awards: Country’s Greatest Crossover Hits with Robin Roberts, on ABC. That same evening, she will make a special appearance on The Late, Late Show with James Corden on CBS.
Returning to co-host The 49th Annual CMA Awards on ABC with Brad Paisley on Nov. 4, she is a double nominee. 

Then on Nov. 5, Carrie will appear on Lifetime’s Emmy-nominated Project Runway. Carrie will join Emmy Award winners Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn along with Nina Garcia and Zac Posen as a guest judge for the season finale.
In addition to the digital and CD release of Storyteller, a limited-edition version of the album will be released on 150-gram vinyl on Dec. 4. The vinyl edition will also include special etched artwork featuring Carrie’s name and the album name on one side of the two-LP set. 
The vinyl edition can be purchased at
Fans can read more about Carrie in the recent People magazine cover story, as the cover subject of Shape’s November issue out now, a Country Weekly cover feature and the December cover of Cosmopolitan due on stands in a couple of weeks. This Sunday’s Parade magazine cover features Carrie, with her dogs Ace and Penny, on why she loves Halloween and scary movies.

Fans purchasing music at Target will receive two exclusive tracks, “Heartbeat (stripped)” and “Little Girl Don’t Grow Up Too Fast.”
Watch a special performance of the track “Heartbeat (stripped)” here .
Storyteller was produced by Jay Joyce, Mark Bright, and Zach Crowell with six of its 13 songs co-written by Carrie, including the Top-10-and-climbing record-breaking first single, “Smoke Break.”
Storyteller track listing:

“Renegade Runaway” (Carrie Underwood/Chris DeStefano/Hillary Lindsey)
“Dirty Laundry” (Zach Crowell/Ashley Gorley/Hillary Lindsey)
“Church Bells” (Zach Crowell/Brett James/Hillary Lindsey)
“Heartbeat” (Carrie Underwood/Zach Crowell/Ashley Gorley)
“Smoke Break” (Carrie Underwood/Chris DeStefano/Hillary Lindsey)
“Choctaw County Affair” (Jason White)
“Like I’ll Never Love You Again” (Hillary Lindsey/Lori McKenna/Liz Rose)
“Chaser” (Carrie Underwood/Mike Elizondo/Hillary Lindsey)
“Relapse” (Ben Caver/Sara Haze/Brett James)
“Clock Don’t Stop” (Blair Daly/Chris DeStefano/Hillary Lindsey)
“The Girl You Think I Am” (Carrie Underwood/David Hodges/Hillary Lindsey)
“Mexico” (Kathleen Higgins/Jamie Moore/Derrick Adam Southerland)
“What I Never Knew I Always Wanted” (Carrie Underwood/Brett James/Hillary Lindsey)
Tracks 1, 2, 5-8 produced by Jay Joyce
Tracks 3, 10-13 produced by Mark Bright
Tracks 4, 9 produced by Zach Crowell  

Queen news: special editions of 'Rhapsody' for Black Friday Record Store Day, Live in '75

At the recent Q Magazine Awards in London, Queen was presented with the Classic Song Award, marking the 40th anniversary of “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was originally released Oct. 31, 1975.

To mark the occasion for Black Friday Record Store Day, the song will be re-released as a 12" limited edition vinyl record, with the original B-side “I’m In Love With My Car,” on Nov. 27.

A week before, on November 20, the band will release Queen: A Night at the Odeon, Live at Hammersmith '75 in CD, 2LP and Super Deluxe Box Set formats on Hollywood Records and on DVD, SD Blu-Ray through Eagle Rock Entertainment.

This show was the culmination of the 26-date Queen Invite You To A Night At The Opera UK tour, the first tour in which the band had ever performed “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Spirits were high within the band for the gig. “Bohemian Rhapsody” - universally hailed as one of the most ground-breaking ‘pop’ songs ever released – was in the middle of its record-breaking nine week run at #1 in the UK charts. Their fourth album, A Night At The Opera (the most expensive record ever made to that point) was climbing the album charts on its way to number one, which it achieved three days after this concert.   

With over 100 million streams globally on Spotify, over 171 million video views, and 6.5 million copies sold worldwide, “Bohemian Rhapsody" is one of the worlds most well-known and well-loved songs. To this day, it continues to top favorite song’ opinion polls and be discovered by new generations of music fans over and over again.  Freddie wrote the whole song including the composite harmonies on telephone books and scraps of paper.

That was a great moment, but the biggest thrill for us was actually creating the music in the first place," Brian May has recalled about recording “Bohemian Rhapsody."

"I remember Freddie coming in with loads of bits of paper from his dad's work, like Post-it notes, and pounding on the piano. He played the piano like most people play the drums. And this song he had was full of gaps where he explained that something operatic would happen here and so on. He'd worked out the harmonies in his head."

Queen spent days overdubbing the vocals in the studio using a 24 track tape machine. By the time they were done, about 120 vocal tracks were layered together.  The opera parts alone took longer than 70 hours to complete.

At the time, it was the most expensive single ever made and upon presenting it to their record label, they were told by various executives that 5 minutes 55 seconds was too long and the song would never be a hit.  But after the song was played 14 times in two days by DJ and friend of Freddie’s, Kenny Everett, it was destined to be a hit.  Hordes of fans attempted to buy the single only to be told by record stores that it had not yet been released.  Here in the US, it was the same. American radio RKO managed to get a copy of the tape and started to play it across their stations, which forced the hand of Queen's US label to release the song in its entirety.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was Queen's first ever #1 single and the 1975 UK Christmas #1, holding the top position for nine weeks. It is the first song ever to get to number one in the UK twice with the same version. The second was upon its re-release (as a double A-side single with “These Are the Days of Our Lives”) in 1991 following Mercury's death, staying at number one for five weeks,  eventually becoming the UK's third best-selling single of all time. In the U.S., in 1976, the song hit #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and in 1992 it hit #2 on the same chart.

The single has been covered by Kanye West, Axl Rose, Elton John, Pink, The Flaming Lips and others. It was forever immortalized again by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the hit 1990 film Wayne's World.