I don’t think many would argue that one of the most anticipated films making its debut in 2018 is the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.  Advance buzz on the performances alone have placed it high on the must-see list for most film fans but for many more – it’s the music of Queen that is the major attraction – as it should be.  If you had to pick 5 bands of the last 40 years that most influenced rock and roll – I see no way you could not place Queen on that list.

Innovators, fearless, legendary and once in a lifetime talents – the four members of Queen not only performed flawless rock and roll – they reinvented the genre in their own image.  With the film being about the origins, rise and ultimate realization of their dream – you would expect the soundtrack for that film to reflect all those steps in the process and guess what – Bohemian Rhapsody does exactly that.

This 22 song collection give us a tour de force of Queen’s musical legacy and also gives us some audio firsts.  From the press release:

“The five tracks from Queen’s 21-minute performance at Live Aid on July 13, 1985, have never been released in audio form before. They’ve only ever been featured on video as a special extra on the DVD/BluRay release of Queen Rock Montreal, which features the Montreal Forum shows of November 1981. The Live Aid audio is exclusive to this new soundtrack album.

Other tracks on the soundtrack have been sourced from different decades and even different continents. “Fat Bottomed Girls” comes from the 1979 Paris shows, part of the Jazz world tour, and has never been released before. “Now I’m Here” was recorded at the band’s 1975 Christmas Eve show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. And the history making duet between Freddie and Brian on “Love of My Life” comes from the Rock in Rio festival of January 1985 when 300,000 Brazilians sang along. Previously this track was only available to fans on the video releases of this performance.

The three remaining songs on the soundtrack will be fresh to Queen fans, old and new. “We Will Rock You” starts out as the studio version, then seamlessly blends into a live performance with audience participation. This has been created especially for the film. “Don’t Stop Me Now” features Brian’s newly recorded guitar parts and is much closer to how the band plays the track live today.”

Another treat included comes from a time before Freddie had joined the band.  Brian and Rogers first attempt to form a band came when they formed and performed as SMILE. The departure of their lead singer is what lead to Freddie joining the band.  Again, the press release outlines the details.

“Doing All Right” was originally recorded by Smile, the predecessor band to Queen that featured Brian and Roger with vocalist Tim Staffell. When Tim later left, Roger and Brian would join forces with Freddie to form Queen. Freddie’s interpretation of the song is featured on the first Queen album. To recreate the original Smile version, Brian and Roger reunited with Staffell at Abbey Road Studios to re-record “Doing All Right” for the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack. This session which featured Roger, Tim and Brian all singing lead vocals took place almost 50 years after the original Smile recording.”

Here’s you complete track listing:

1. 20th Century Fox Theme 0:25
2. Somebody To Love 4:56
3. Doing All Right… revisited (Performed by Smile) 3:17
4. Keep Yourself Alive (Live At The Rainbow) 3:56
5. Killer Queen 2:59
6. Fat Bottomed Girls (Live In Paris) 4:38
7. Bohemian Rhapsody 5:55
8. Now I’m Here (Live At Hammersmith Odeon) 4:26
9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love 2:43
10. Love Of My Life (Rock In Rio) 4:29
11. We Will Rock You (Movie Mix) 2:09
12. Another One Bites The Dust 3:35
13. I Want To Break Free 3:43
14. Under Pressure (Performed by Queen & David Bowie) 4:04
15. Who Wants To Live Forever 5:15
16. Bohemian Rhapsody (Live Aid) 2:28
17. Radio Ga Ga (Live Aid) 4:06
18. Ay-Oh (Live Aid) 0:41
19. Hammer To Fall (Live Aid) 4:04
20. We Are The Champions (Live Aid) 3:57
21. Don’t Stop Me Now… revisited 3:38
22. The Show Must Go On 4:32

If you – like myself – are lifelong of fans of Queen, there is stuff on this soundtrack that is absolute must-own coolness. If you are among the new generation of fans that this film is sure to expose the music of Queen too – there is no better collection of performances to highlight the amazing career of a truly game-changing group of musicians.

It’s great to hear the music of Freddie Mercury and his Queen bandmates Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor celebrated in such an extraordinary way.

The soundtrack is available as you read this.  CLICK HERE and find out about the variety of methods by which you can be listening within seconds. I can attest to the fact that it is on Apple Music as I downloaded it as I was writing this.