This note-for-note recreation of Bohemian Rhapsody is worthy of Queen’s original

We wouldn’t say that Bohemian Rhapsody is one of those songs that you ‘just don’t cover’ - its wilful ridiculousness invites all kinds of different interpretations - but producing an authentic note-for-note re-recording was certainly never going to be easy.

With the song now back in the limelight thanks to Queen’s appearance at The Oscars and Rami Malek’s award-winning turn as Freddie Mercury, the team at Sweetwater decided to take up the challenge, and we reckon they’ve met it pretty well.

Queen, of course, were somewhat limited by 1975 studio technology when they recorded the original, being forced to tape splice between sections and mix down multiple parts onto one track to make room for more. Bohemian Rhapsody took three weeks to record, but with modern digital technology at their disposal, the Sweetwater team were able to complete their version much quicker.

The gear used includes Telefunken mics for the famous layered vocals, and a modern DW drum kit with Roger Taylor’s signature snare. Guitarist Don Carr used his own custom ‘Red Special’ to ape Brian May’s iconic guitar solo.

As those involved say, this recreation was never going to be 100% accurate, but we reckon it gets as close as you could reasonably expect. We still don’t know what “Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango” means, though.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.