The original film soundtrack for Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated Queen biopic is set for release through Virgin EMI (Universal) in the UK and through Hollywood Records in the US on 19 October. The album will also include audio tracks from Live Aid, the historic Wembley concert from July 1985. These Live Aid songs are among the rare gems and unheard versions from the band’s rich catalogue.
Alongside the show-stopping Live Aid performances of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Hammer To Fall’ and ‘We Are The Champions’, the album features other rare live tracks spanning Queen’s entire career, new versions of old favourites, and a choice selection of the band’s finest studio recordings. Among them are some of Queen’s biggest hits, including eleven all-time anthems that reached Number One around the world. The track listing is being announced on 5 September 2018, which would have been Freddie’s 72nd birthday.
Bohemian Rhapsody is scheduled to have its World Premiere in the UK on 23 October before opening across the world in early November. It stars Rami Malek as Freddie, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, and Lucy Boynton as Freddie’s lifelong companion Mary Austin.
The 22 songs on the soundtrack were produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, with engineering and co-production by long-time Queen studio collaborators Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua J Macrae, and mastering by Adam Ayan and Bob Ludwig.
The key task for the team behind the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack was sourcing the most suitable versions of the band’s songs, especially live performances, to fit the screenplay’s career-spanning narrative. Their brief was not merely to produce a greatest hits playlist package but a soundtrack album to stand on its own merits, underscoring key moments in the screenplay. May, Taylor, and their co-producers worked with the filmmakers to find the best versions of each track to heighten the dramatic power of each scene.
Ensuring that listeners are in no doubt they are listening to a soundtrack album, Brian May came up with the inspired idea that Queen should record their own arrangement of the famous 20th Century Fox Fanfare. Featuring May’s famous multi-layered guitars and Roger Taylor’s distinctive percussion, this revamped track provides a suitably flamboyant opening fanfare to both film and album.
Unlike Queen’s soundtrack to Flash Gordon, no spoken dialogue from Bohemian Rhapsody is included on this new album. And while the film uses only parts from songs and performances, the soundtrack features the full-length versions of some of the band’s best-loved studio and live recordings.
The five tracks from Queen’s 21-minute performance at Live Aid on 13 July 1985 have never been released in audio form before. They only ever featured on video as a special extra on the DVD/Blu-ray 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.