British rock bank Queen might have called it a day without success of Bohemian Rhapsody

The classic song, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, also helped the British music stars realise the power of the music video, said guitarist Brian.

Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor have revealed the hugely successful band might have ended their music-making career if Bohemian Rhapsody hadn’t been a hit.

British rock bank Queen

The classic song, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, also helped the British music stars realise the power of the music video, according to guitarist Brian.

Drummer Roger recalled how, in 1974, three albums into their career, the band were broke and having problems with their manager.

“We felt like this was make or break, really,” he said, referring to fourth album A Night At The Opera. “This was a last big shot at it.”

Elton John’s manager John Reid stepped in and freed them of previous commitments to management and record labels, reassuring them they could do whatever they wanted.

“He said, ‘Go away and make the best record you’ve ever made and I will sort out the money side’,” said Brian. “I seem to recall he put us on 30 quid a week instead of 20 – and we were made.”

The album they went on to make, named after the Marx Brothers film, was indeed the best album of their career, while one of its songs, Bohemian Rhapsody, changed their lives, and popular music forever.

“We’d had a lot of success with the third album, Sheer Heart Attack, and the singles from it, Killer Queen and Now I’m Here, were hits,” Brian said.

“If we hadn’t made Bohemian Rhapsody, and it hadn’t been the hit it was, it’s doubtful whether we would’ve carried on. It took us onto another level, and we saw the power of the video as well.”

When Adam Lambert (Picture below) belted out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to talent judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul during his audition for American Idol in 2009 he could never have dreamed that one day he would form part of the legendary band.

But six years later the 32-year-old singer, who finished as runner-up on Cowell’s US version of The X Factor has received great praise by fans and critics as he took the re-formed Queen on tour.

Adam Lambert

While bands had made promo films prior to Queen’s outlandish video, they are widely recognised as popularising the medium, complete with big budget and special effects.

They also made other bands realise they could still appear on Top Of The Pops in some shape or form, even if they weren’t there in person.

When it came to performing the song live, operatic as it is, written in several movements with complex parts and multi-layered vocals, Queen pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved on a live stage, especially considering they were just a four-piece.

Brian said: “Freddie was a great player. A wonderful player, sometimes underestimated, even by himself I have to say.

“Later on, he no longer wanted to play piano, he wanted other people to play it instead. But Freddie had this wonderful percussive, rhythmic touch, unequalled actually. And he could just drive the band effortlessly.”

Roger added that Freddie’s hands were crossing over on the piano, something not generally advised by teachers, but the only way the flamboyant frontman could recreate the elaborate part he’d created.

“His hands were crossing over so much, he rubbed half of his nail varnish off! What a poser.”

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