Greatest Hits Radio listeners have voted ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the best song of all time. Freddie Mercury vehemently disagrees with them. Yeah, you read that right. He thinks everyone who voted is an idiot.
With over 6500 votes cast, the Queen song topped the radio station’s annual best song chart for the fifth time in a row, with more people choosing it than the rest of the top ten combined. And let me tell you, that list is pretty strong. But, like Mercury’s views, we’ll get to that.
“Congratulations to the immovable ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’”, says Simon Mayo, who revealed the list on his GHR show on Friday. “It defined what an epic pop song can be and is also the only track I ever wrote about in my teenage diary, which sounds a little bit sad but is quite true”.
Wheeled in to talk further, Queen biographer Peter Hince says of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: “The video is arguably what helped it become so huge in Britain. And the other thing is that, sadly, Freddie isn’t around anymore and, it’s one of his legacies that piece of music, so is still something people find very emotional”.
“Also, nothing really had been done like it before and probably nothing since. With all the technology now it is easier to get certain studio effects, whereas with Queen it was all about spending enormous amounts of time and being incredibly innovative. So I think part of [its appeal] is in the fact that it took so long to do and it was this real labour of love for Fred”.
Despite that, Hince says that the song was not Mercury’s favourite. As in, not even his favourite Queen song. “Freddie actually said ‘Somebody To Love’ was a better piece of songwriting than ‘Bo Rap’”, he explains. “He felt that as a pure piece of songwriting it was better”.
So now we know Mercury’s view. But surely what you all want to know is whether or not Mayo agrees with the outcome of the GHR poll. And let me tell you, he does not. He also thinks that GHR listeners are wrong, wrong, wrong.
“If I could have voted, my number one would have been ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ - the first album I ever bought in the Bullring in Birmingham for £2.17 - an extraordinary vocal that I still love, so I was pleased to see that it only just missed out at number two”.
Well, I said we’d get to the rest of the list, and now Mayo has given away part of the surprise, we might as well get on with it. Here’s the full top ten:
- Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
- Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
- ELO - Mr Blue Sky
- David Bowie - Life On Mars
- The Eagles- Hotel California
- Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
- The Beatles - Hey Jude
- Abba - Dancing Queen
- John Lennon - Imagine
- Free - All Right Now