As discussed in depth in my previous post, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is an enduring classic that continues to increase in popularity 45 years on, as new generations of fans are introduced to it, most recently thanks to the movie of the same name and Queen’s tours with Adam Lambert. Freddie’s masterpiece, like his spirit and all of his music, will never die or be forgotten.
It is of no surprise, therefore, that it’s been covered in a myriad of styles by thousands of people, either tackling the full song or focusing on selected sections of it, despite the fact that it’s very brave of anyone to take on a song of such complexity that is so famous and well-loved.
In my previous reviews of Queen’s albums, I’ve always included cover versions as part of those posts. But such is the significance of Bo Rhap and the huge number of covers it’s had, coupled with the fact that it’s always nice to do some kind of special post at Christmas, that I’ve decided to give these interpretations of the track a space of their own.
Of course, it goes without saying that nobody can come close to Queen when reproducing any of their songs, especially this one. And there are plenty of covers out there that range from the decidedly average and uninspiring to the downright bizarre and awful. But there are also lots of beautifully arranged, excellently performed and cleverly interpreted versions too.
So in this post I wanted to share a long list of cover versions that I’ve found, divided into rough subsections to keep similar types together. I’ve compiled them into a big Youtube playlist as well (ending with a few minor covers of the album’s closing track, God Save The Queen).
Some are great in my view, some are not, and the rest are somewhere in between. But everyone’s opinions will differ. All I’ve tried to do is present a wide variety that I feel are of interest and worth exploring out of curiosity. It’s not every cover that exists by any means, but I feel it’s a very comprehensive and fair representation of what’s out there, listing most of the major versions and lots of hidden gems.
So buckle in for a long selection, and see which versions you like best!
Queen have a couple of videos on their channel where fans were able to perform parts of the song themselves:
- Fan Homage Medley – In celebration of the movie in 2018, a group of fans were invited to get together and perform a medley of Queen’s greatest hits, starting with the biggest of them all, which came out pretty well.
- You Are The Champions – Fans across the world submitted footage of themselves singing and playing the song, resulting in this very nicely edited compilation posted in 2019.
It wasn’t just Wayne’s World that used the song for humorous purposes (as discussed in my album review post). It’s been adapted in many other comedic ways too.
The most famous such version is by The Muppets, who created a wonderful video for the song in November 2009, with around 70 characters singing along to Queen’s original backing track. The song was slightly shortened, with many of the lyrics changed for comic effect, and there were clever stylistic similarities to Queen’s original video as well. Then at the end we discover that it’s a video conference that Kermit The Frog regrets putting together. The video was produced in a day and rapidly went viral, getting over 7 million views in its first week alone (and it now has over 100 million!). The subsequent single release in December that year got to number 32 in the UK.
There’s also an attempt by Kermit to give a behind the scenes commentary, although chaos ensues as his friends try to get involved! And they’ve even performed the song live, accompanied by a choir, at the Hollywood Bowl & London’s O2 Arena.
Back in the 80s, meanwhile, there was a delightfully chaotic version released in 1987 by Bad News – a spoof heavy metal band formed as part of the Comic Strip series, featuring the late great Rik Mayall, along with Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planer & Peter Richardson. It reached number 44 in the UK chart in September 1987, and was included on their self-titled debut album the following month. Of course, people who are unfamiliar with Bad News and the context of this version have, inevitably, reached the conclusion that it’s terrible. But that’s entirely the point, as those who know these comedians will tell you. So as a big fan of Rik & Ade in particular, I happen to find it funny, but I can see why others wouldn’t.
This version even has Brian May’s approval, as he was the producer for the album and played guitar on some of the tracks, and apparently even appeared on stage with them during a small show they did at London’s Marquee Club. There are also claims that John Deacon played bass and added backing vocals on the Bohemian Rhapsody cover, but there’s no clear evidence to support that.
But in any case, in the May 1989 issue of Sounds Mag, Brian explained: “I love heavy metal and I don’t look down on it at all. But we’re not a heavy metal group. I think you have to love something to play it. When I produced Bad News, I found that Ade Edmondson lives and breathes heavy rock music. And I love people that are so immersed in it that it’s serious. I love AC/DC – what they do, it’s very pure. But we’re not that way, so we can’t pretend we are. It’s good to be able to step back and see the funny side of it, because it kicks out some of the shit.”
The 2004 re-release of the Bad News album included an additional track entitled Take 1, where the ending goes wrong and they get into an argument, with some very strong language. That erroneous ending is used to conclude the 12″ version of the track, without the fighting that follows it. The Completely Bad News DVD also includes the music video as a bonus feature.
The band also attempted to do a mimed performance of the song before being interviewed on Terry Wogan’s chat show in 1987, and of course things don’t quite go to plan. And their double-disc live album F**k Off Bad News includes a performance of the song from the Hammersmith Odeon on 5 November 1986.
Much more recently, in 2020, comedian Dana Jay Bein wrote a Coronavirus version by changing most of the lyrics (except for already appropriate lines like “sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time”), and he went viral as a result. But as he was too sick to record the song at the tme, he challenged the internet to do it instead, and was promptly inundated with performances!
Some of the better examples of those who brought his lyrics to life include:
- Adrian Grimes – Over 5 million views. He’s done a Second Wave version too, which not so many people know about.
- Aerhyn Lau – In the a cappella style of Pentatonix.
- Dean Russell
- Default Mode Music
- Intergalactic Nonsense Theatre
- Kodi Lee – The blind and autistic winner of America’s Got Talent.
- Maestro Ziikos – Using auto-tuned clips of Donald Trump to great effect, after doing the original song in the same style just a few months previously. And of course there was a certain irony to this new version later in the year.
- Noah Storm
- Patrick El Khoury
- Phoenix Chamber Choir
- Raúl Irabién – Over 4½ million views.
- Shelter Skelter – In aid of MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, with a free download also available.
- People who do impressions of multiple characters throughout the song, including Brian Hull (cartoon characters), Joshiiwuh, Kevin Barbare (Star Trek), Paul Vlahos (including an a cappella version and outtakes) & Rick Miller (the “most annoying voices” in music)
- BBC charity telethon performances by various stars on Comic Relief 1993, and the newsreaders on Children In Need 2005.
- ApologetiX – Bethlehemian Rhapsody – A Christian adaptation of the song.
- Church On The Move – Mom’s Rhapsody – A funny version about the trials of being a parent, from this church group in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- College Humor – Brohemian Rhapsody – Set in a fraternity house with new lyrics to match.
- Corridor – Literal Bohemian Rhapsody – A stylish and dramatic film using some of the original lyrics as the script.
- The Dancing Binmen – A short and silly video using puppets to perform the operatic and hard rock sections.
- Dustin Ahkuoi – Opinion Rhapsody – A brilliant version about the frustrations of social media.
- Ed Young – Pastor Rhapsody – A ministry version at C3 Conference 2019.
- European Space Agency – European Space-Ody – A special version by the experts at the space agency. Look out for a walk-on cameo by Brian May towards the end!
- Frank Sidebottom – A short and strange version by Chris Sievey‘s comic character, from Frank’s Firm Favourites.
- Gerry Phillips – This is very odd to say the least and childishly amusing, but also remarkably skilful. Gerry is a manualist, who plays songs by squeezing his hands together – i.e. musical hand-farting in other words! He also did the song live with the California Guitar Trio, as well as playing along to their studio recording at home, and his unusual skill even earned hin an appearance performing the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
- Hand In It Productions – A Covid parody performed by puppets, including a behind-the-scenes video.
- House Of Raven – Bohemian Carsody – A cleverly choreographed and sped-up lip-sync video by 3 ladies in their car, that has over 30 million views. Another Youtube has slowed the clip down to normal speed as well, although the fast version actually works better.
- J Pumpkin King – Animated pumpkins singing Queen’s original track, in case you want something a bit different for Halloween on year.
- Jennifer Corday – Bohemian Virus Rhapsody – Another parody for the Covid pandemic.
- Jonathan Watts – Queen Birds – The operatic section with the added cuteness of some adorable baby birds.
- The Kiffness – Lockdown Rhapsody – A reworking of just the intro section for the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Matt Keston – Best Man’s Speech – A brilliant rewriting of the song about his sister Emily, accompanied by a nicely edited slideshow of photos and videos, at her wedding in 2016.
- Mike Gospel & Phil Kirk – Calculus Rhapsody – A clever adaptation for the mathematicians out there, made as a high school project. They also made a fun retrospective video 10 years later responding to comments on it.
- Moymoy Palaboy – A lip-synced version by the Filipino duo, which has had nearly 10 million views since it was posted in 2007.
- My Life Suckers – Bohemian Momsody – An enjoyable parenting parody.
- Pledge Drive – Christmas Rhapsody – A funny festive reworking of the song.
- Puppets On Power – Bethlehemian Rhapsody – A clever Christian version sung by puppets.
- Rainer Hersch – A little routine about misheard lyrics and alternate music styles for this song.
- Randy Wilson – Family Tree Rhapsody – A clever version with a fun video by this family about looking into their history.
- Ricky Kitty & The Klaws – Using sampled cat noises for the vocals, this was released as a single in 1995, and reached number 137 in the UK chart. Yes, apparently people actually bought it!
- Ronald Reggae – Jamaican Rhapsody – A catchy adaptation of the song about using cannabis, which may offend some.
- SOTO – Divak Rhapsody – A clever video rewriting the lyrics to promote their Divak album.
- Seb Skelly – Brass Quintet – His April Fool’s Day prank for 2019, featuring 5 versions of himself on screen. The thumbnail of him holding the instruments to his lips from the start of the video, and the 6 minute duration, gives he impression that he’s going to play the whole song. But he plays just the intro through the mouthpieces instead.
- Twisted Translations – The result of putting the song through Google Translate.
- Two And A Half Men – Character Jake attempts to sing a couple of very brief extracts from the song in Episode 21 of Season 3 – And The Plot Moistens.
- UAT Digital Video – Star Wars Rhapsody – An intergalactic version by students from the Digital Video Program at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona.
- Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino, Las Vegas – A silly but fun commercial set by the swimming pool.
- Heineken – An entertaining advert that proves there’s no shame in belting out the song, even if you’re not very good at it.
- John Lewis – An enjoyable production featuring lots of school children. There’s also a lovely interview with 9-year-old Joseph Sheppard, where he discusses his role in the advert and plays a bit of the tune on his electric guitar. And 8-year-old star Nandi Bushell has a vlog talking about her involvement, where she’s the drummer girl who emerges from the volcano, along with her audition video where she sings and plays the drums.
- Mountain Dew – Has a fun reworking of the lyrics with some cool visuals.
Rock & Metal Bands
- Alibi – Live at Billingham Constitutional Club on 10 January 2020
- Alex Goot, Sam Tsui, Kurt Schneider & Tyler Ward – The result of “350 hours of painstakingly-detailed production work”, this video has earned them over 1.5 million views to date.
- Between The Buried And Me – A non-album single by the metal band from 2016. They had already been performing it live at some of their concerts too.
- The Cruel Sea – An acoustic adaptation by this Australian indie rock band, with simple piano and guitar backing, from their album Rock’N Roll Duds.
- Cud – An unusual indie rock version with a very different arrangement on the anti-poll tax compilation album Alvin Lives (In Leeds).
- Dream Theater – The hard rock and outro sections form part of The Big Medley, which was a live track on their EP A Change Of Seasons.
- The Flaming Lips – Released as a bonus track on the iTunes download of their 2006 album At War With The Mystics, the year after it had originally featured as one of two covers of the song on the Killer Queen tribute compilation. They also performed the song live, with examples from the music festivals Claro Q É Rock 2005 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil& South By Southwest 2006 in Austin, Texas.
- The Forest Rangers – Recorded a special version used during the first episode of Season 7 of Sons Of Anarchy (Black Widower), and released on Volume 4 of their soundtrack album series. The track also features The White Buffalo, Billy Valentine & Franky Perez.
- Halocene, Eleven, Lauren Babic & Violet Orlandi – An enjoyable collaboration with other 2.7 million views.
- Helloïse – A concert performance by this rock band from the Netherlands, including the operatic section performed live.
- I Am Not Leo – A fun heavy metal cover.
- Kanda Brothers – Performing live on the programme Teras Sore, on Indonesia’s Elshinta TV, on 1 August 2017.
- Kustard Kings & STC – A live performance from the tribute album No Time For Losers by Loser’s Lounge.
- La Quinta Faccia – By an Italian group, but sung in English, from their album Let ‘Em In.
- The Muff – A good version recorded in The Netherlands.
- Never Shout Never – From their album Punk Goes Classic Rock.
- New Jersey Turnpike – Possibly the first cover that was ever made, released on their Turn The Page album in 1976. While nothing spectacular, it’s not bad either, and it was very brave of them to tackle it so soon after the 1975 original.
- The Novelists – During a concert at JA Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom, Sparks, Nevada on 29 March 2014.
- Ours – A slow rock version released on a limited edition single with their song Drowning, and on the Monitor This! promo compilation CD (December 2001 to January 2002 Edition). They’ve also performed acoustic versions live, as can be heard from Cool Beans in Oradell, New Jersey in 2002 and the Last Call Show in New York on 31 January 2003.
- Panic! At The Disco – This band recorded a decent cover for the soundtrack album of the film Suicide Squad in 2016. The single only peaked at number 80 in the UK, and 64 in the US and Australia, but it did reach number 7 in the US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. The band had already been performing the song live on stage and continued to do so afterwards, with lead singer Brendon Urie producing some nice falsettos and hitting impressive top notes. Other examples of their live performances are available from the Alternative Press Music Awards 2015 (where Brendon is drunk but still nails it), Reading Festival 2015, Death Of A Bachelor Tour 2017, American Music Awards 2018, London’s O2 Arena 2019 & Rock In Rio 2019 (where you can hear the audience singing along very enthusiastically!).
- Parasyche – Featuring lots of impressions of different rock and metal stars.
- Pigs Parliament – A punk version from their album Different Pigs, Same Shit.
- The Protomen – From their live tribute album A Night Of Queen. It was recorded at Exit/In, Nashville, Tennessee in 10 December 2010, but the album wasn’t released until 2012. In honour of that, the group returned to Exit/In on 22 June 2012 to repeat their set, where comedy rock duo Tenacious D made a surprise guest appearance midway through the song to help with the opera section. And they’ve had fun performing it at other gigs, such as The 5 Spot in Nashville, Tennessee on 8 April 2011.
- Puscifer – From their EP Donkey Punch The Night. It’s accompanied by a very odd music video, featuring the band’s faces overlaid on black and white film footage, and the lead singer wearing an excessive amount of makeup
- Side A – This rock band from The Philippines performed the song very well in concert, and included a performance on their album Gig All Hits Live.
- Springbok – From the 1977 album Springbok Hit Parade Volume 27, part of a South African series of cover albums.
- Steel Prophet – From their Omniscient album.
- Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra – Live at Stuart Street Playhouse, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Venetia Fair – A fast rock version from their album Basically Just Does Karaoke.
- Vic Ferrari Band – A live performance from Bandstock 2009. Another example can be seen from Chilton High School on 24 October 2009.
- Zac Brown Band – Live at the 2014 iHeartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas. You can also see a performance from Hangout Festival 2015.
- Bohemian Rhapsody – An appearance on Channel Nine’s Morning Show, by an Australian band named after the song.
- Born To Be Queen – A faithful cover of Queen’s music video.
- Bracia – From their Tribute To Queen album.
- The Classic Rock Show – Live at The Sage, Gateshead, England on 23 February 2018.
- Dream Queen – From their Killer Queen tribute album.
- God Save The Queen – A Freddie Mercury impersonator and his band doing a great job at a concert in Portugal in November 2016.
- Lucie & The Diamonds – A nice cover version.
- Night Of Queen – A live performance by this Swedish band from 2015. There’s an earlier performance here.
- Peter Johansson has a live performance on his album Champions Of Rock: Live In Concert.
- Queen Killers – A version recorded during the pandemic in November 2020, with the members recording remotely from their homes.
- The Queen Kings – A live performance from their album Made On Tour, and another performance from News Of The Kings.
- Queen Real Tribute – A live performance with a great orchestra and choir, live in Belgrade on 2 April 2017.
- The Show Must Go On – From a special concert on 9 November 2011 to mark the 30th anniversary of Freddie’s death, with all proceeds going to AIDS Project Los Angeles. This unique collaboration includes Bear McCreary on the piano (best known as the composer for Outlander, The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica), along with his brother and fellow musician Brendan as the lead singer.
- Unrisen Queen – A live performance from their self-titled album.
- We Are Champion – Live in Newcastle in 2019, and another example from the Leeds O2 Academy.
School & College Bands
- Berklee College Of Music – A great performance by students in their Singers Showcase concert entitled A Night at the Opera – The Music of Queen.
- EMMAT Music School – Ensamble Pre-Universitario – A live performance in 2014.
- No Names Band – Not bad for a high school band. The guitarist deserves particular credit for nailing the tricky solos though.
- Rooks Heath College – A fun and cleverly edited video made in 2011, involving many members of the school community, who play and sing every aspect of the track. They clearly had a lot of fun putting this together.
- Wantirna College – The music staff from this Australian college put together this version during the 2020 Covid lockdown, with every person and instrument getting their moment in the limelight.
- Hayseed Dixie – A fast bluegrass cover from their Killer Grass album. They’ve also performed it live in concert, where it’s impressive how speedy they get, and they extend the ending with part of another song
- The Petersens – An enjoyable version by a very talented family.
- The Twang – A catchy version from their album Ten Yeeehaws After.
- Budapest Jazz Orchestra & Kati Wolf – In their live Queen Real Jazz concert.
- Le Gros Cube & Alban Darche – A strange version from their Queen Bishop tribute album.
- Sugarpie And The Candymen – From their album Waiting For The One. You can also see a Live In The Living Room performance they uploaded, and a concert performance from JazzAscona 2012.
- Troy High Jazz Ensemble – An instrumental performance at Festival Disney on 20 March 2018, plus other examples from the MSBOA State Jazz Festival, Royal Oak High School, Michigan on 29 March 2018, and the Music Marathon Fund Raiser, Troy High School, Michigan on 2 June 2018.
- Black Lace – Not a great version, but it’s interesting that the band behind Agadoo actually had a go at it.
- The Bohemian Champions – From their Queen Greatest Hits tribute album.
- Caravan Of Thieves – A delightfully catchy extended rearrangement, recorded live in concert at FTC StageOne, Fairfield, Connecticut on 1 May 2010, for their album Mischief Night. You can also see them playing it on the streets of New York City with a merry crowd singing along, plus other live performances for Relix in 2013, Songs From The Shed In 2014 & Sofar San Francisco on 28 January 2016.
- Glee Cast – This was performed in the final episode of the first season, Journey to Regionals. Sung by Jonathan Groff, accompanied by dancers and backing singers, and interspersed with clips of the character Quinn giving birth, I understand this was a rare occasion of a song being used on the show in its entirety, rather than being trimmed to fit it in. A studio recording of their version was included on the show’s second soundtrack EP, named after the episode in question. And you can also go behind the scenes to find out all about the song’s inclusion in the show.
- Lake Street Dive – “Happy HallowQueen!!!! Here’s our version of BOOhemian Rhapsody!” goes the description of their special video for Halloween in 2015, featuring the leading lady wearing a Freddie moustache, cat noises in place of the guitar solo, a trumpet intro to the hard rock section, and a homage to the four faces in Queen’s original video. They also performed it live at the Three Rivers Arts Festiva in Pittsburgh on 12 June 2016.
- Pato Fu – This weird interpretation involving puppets and toy instruments appeared on the Brazilian band’s live album Música de Brinquedo Ao Vivo.
- RoadTrip – A fun music video posted by the boyband in 2018. They also posted a behind the scenes video about how they took on the challenge, and have performed it live in front of screaming fans.
- Sugababes – A short interpretation on Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Series 3, Episode 5 on 10 October 2008.
- Virtual Music & Sergi Pérez Berk – A laid back version from their album A Chill Out Tribute To Queen.
- Westlife – A shortened version from the final show of their Farewell Tour, live at Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland on 23 June 2012.
- 4th Impact – This Filipino girl group came 5th in The X Factor in the UK, and appeared in other international talent competitions. Their video pays homage to Queen’s original video during the introduction and operatic sections, and they shared some behind-the-scenes footage on Twitter.
- Andy & Jenko – A pretty good acoustic duet.
- António Zambujo & Miguel Araújo – A brief live performance from their album 28 Noites Ao Vivo Nos Coliseus, where they have fun getting the audience to sing most of the lyrics.
- The Braids – Their R&B version was recorded for the soundtrack of the film High School High. It’s got a somewhat catchy beat and is sung well for this style, but it’s not my type of music so I can’t say I’m a fan of it. Many people were keen on it though, as the single reached number 1 in the UK R&B chart, and number 21 in the UK overall, as well as number 2 in New Zealand, 42 in the US, and did well across Europe. There were various alternate mixes, including Acoustic, Remix, Stripped-Down, Instrumental & A Cappella versions. The instrumental mix has enabled other singers to do their own renditions too, including Anaëlle on a 2019 TV talent show in Mauritius called VIBE Moris, and Youtubers Cynthia & Tonia and Aurelia Valero.
- Iván Petrac & German Tripel – On piano and vocals respectively.
- Kaiak – A lovely relaxed arrangement with multitracked vocals, acoustic guitar and piano.
- Montserrat Caballé & Bruce Dickinson – For this track on her album Friends For Life, the opera star was joined by the lead singer of Iron Maiden. Monserrat produced the Barcelona album with Freddie Mercury of course, so it’s wonderful to hear her covering this. And I think Freddie would love it, it’s very powerful and nicely arranged.
- ortoPilot – These guys posted their version of the song, using just guitars and vocals, as the penultimate advent video on their Youtube channel on Christmas Eve 2010.
Solo Male Singers
- There are impressive one-man band performances, involving vocals and instrumentation, by Brody Dolyniuk, Giulio Carmassi, Jacob Roberge, Lorenzo Politi, Richie Castellano, Ricky Machado, Rob Carroll and even a 2020 lockdown performance by Tom Urie, star of BBC Scotland’s soap opera River City (which was shared by Brian May).
- Arizonian Chronicles – Some crowd-pleasing street karaoke in San Luis Obispo, California on 29 June 2011.
- Black Gryp0n – Singing along very well with Queen’s original backing track.
- Dale Turner – A version with just acoustic guitar and vocals from his Interpretations album. You can also see him performing it live in June 2004.
- Derwood Andrews – From the Queen tribute compilation Horse Feathers & Animal Crackers.
- Florent Mothe – A bonus track on the Limited Edition release of his album Rock In Chair. He’s also performed the song live in his home country of France many times, usually on acoustic guitar and always singing in English, as can be seen from Radio Contact on 19 April 2013, TV show Les Années Bonheur on 17 May 2014, and on stage at L’avenir on 19 April 2013 (the same day as the radio show), La Boule Noire on 23 April 2013, La Cigale, Paris on 23 March 2017 (on piano for a change) & InTime on 11 March 2018.
- Greg Wyard – A live version on acoustic guitar from 1 January 2012. An earlier live performance is also available.
- Helmut Lotti – A version by the Belgian tenor from his album Pop Classics In Symphony. He also gave a powerful live performance in 2003.
- John Adams – A gentle acoustic version on piano.
- John Miles – A live performance from one of the European Night Of The Proms events, with another example available from 2014.
- Jonathan Di Renzo – A cover on acoustic guitar from his Youtube channel.
- Kanye West – He sang along with the introductory part of the track at Glastonbury Festival 2015 (using the word ‘sang’ in its loosest possible sense). At least Freddie and the audience were in tune!
- Loic Serra -A good cover with fingerstyle acoustic guitar accompaniment.
- Marc Martel – A great version from his album Thunderbolt And Lightning. He also posted a very nice one-take piano performance on his Youtube channel. There’s also an interesting interview from The Bobby Bones Show in December 2019 where he discusses how he got into performing Queen songs and became a vocalist on the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, and performs a shortened version of Bohemian Rhapsody with a bit of Killer Queen thrown in (at 12:13 if you want to skip ahead). He’s also used the song to give people some tips on singing like Freddie. And you can watch him performing the song live on stage with The Renaissance Church Band in Summit, New Jersey on 21 October 2007, Queen Extravaganza at Montreux Casino on 4 September 2016, The Black Jacket Symphony at Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Alabama on 4 March 2017, and with friends for an impromptu outdoor performance on dueling pianos at DoubleTree Hotel, Reading, Pennsylvania in 2017.
- MerQury – Backed by Orchestra Opera Leipzig on his Queen Classical album.
- Newton Faulkner – An acoustic version on his 2019 album Very Best Of… So Far. It had already been a popular part of his live shows, and it’s very impressive for just one person with a guitar. Examples can be heard from Secret Sessions (as part of their Queen Week), MTV Home, The Bob & Tom Show, SWR3 Studio X, SWR3 Late Night Lounge, London’s Roundhouse, V Festival on 15/16 August 2008, T In The Park, Balado, Scotland on 10 July 2010, G Live in Guildford on 12 April 2016 & Le Trianon, Paris on 7 March 2017.
- PelleK – A big way to celebrate his 100th Youtube video by performing this. He shared a small outtake as well.
- Peter Procházka – A version on piano and vocals.
- Rajaton – Accompanied by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra on his Queen tribute album.
- Randy Coleman – A version he released as a single, with just acoustic guitar and vocals
- Richard Cheese – A laid-back swing version from his OK Bartender album.
- Riki Putra – A live performance with the Bhinneka Orchestra & Chorus.
- Robbie Williams – Live at Zénith de Paris on 30 March 2015 during his Let Me Entertain You tour, incorporating Queen’s introduction, backing vocals and operatic section from their original recording and video. It doesn’t really suit him – his voice isn’t as powerful as Freddie Mercury’s or Adam Lambert’s by a long way, nor does his backing band come close to Queen either. But it’s ok in the context of his own style, and he’s aided by the audience joining in of course, and it’s nice to seem him giving a shoutout to Freddie at the end. You can see similar performances from Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid on 15 March 2015, Adelaide on 14 October 2015, Brisbane on 17 October 2015 (after which he has an amusing exchange with a young lady called Morgan) & Melbourne on 24 October 2015.
- Robby Valentine – Live at the Dutch Queen Convention in 2010. He also performed the song at P3 Purmerend in the Netherlands on 20 February 2016, during a concert to celebrate the successful vinyl release of his album Bizarro World.
- Russell Watson – This was on the tenor’s Reprise album. It would have been better with a standard orchestral backing, and not the extra bits of instrumentation that take away from the classical feel, but it’s still alright.
- Sandro Simamora – A gentle cover with his acoustic guitar.
- Sylvain Cossette – From his album 70s Volume 2. He’s also sung it live.
- Ten Second Songs – A very clever performance that translates the song into 42 different musical styles, along with a behind the scenes video. He’s also produced a version entirely in the style of System Of A Down (jump to 1:16 to skip the advert at the start).
- Tom Butwin – His original interpretation of the intro and ballad section, on electric guitar and vocals.
- Toshi – He recorded a version of this for his cover album I’m a Singer Vol. 2, and you can see other performances here and here.
- Ty Lewis – A simple acoustic cover posted in October 2020.
- Valensia – From his Queen tribute album, on which he plays all of the instrumentation as well as providing the vocals.
- “Weird Al” Yankovic – A very catchy polka version on his Alapalooza album.
- William Shatner – A strange spoken word version from his album Seeking Major Tom.
Solo Female Singers
- Avonlea – A nice rendition of the intro and ballad sections at the piano.
- Brigitte Wickens – A nice cover of the ballad section at the piano.
- Connie Talbot – This stripped back piano arrangement has already racked up nearly 20 million views in just 2 years. Connie originally came to fame when she was the runner-up of the first series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, and has sold a considerable number of records since.
- Cosette – A very powerful performance, backed by the 60-strong Cinematic Pop Choir and the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Elaine Paige – A wonderful adaptation backed by an orchestra and choir from her Queen covers album. She also performed it live on stage in 1991.
- Emilie Autumn – Released on an EP with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and also performed live in concert, as can be heard from WGN TV on 8 October 2009 & Orlando, Florida on 17 October 2009.
- Faye Wong – During her Scenic Tour from 1998-99.
- Grey DeLisle – A slow country version of the ballad section from her Iron Flowers album.
- J.Fla – Her video has over 13 million views so far. Having recorded her own original songs at Rockfield Studios, she covered this because Queen had also used those studios to record this track.
- Jennifer Nettles – Live during the CMT Next Women Of Country Tour.
- Lorena Gómez – A short 2-minute cover from her Lorena album. You can also see her singing it live at SalaB Barcelona on 16 April 2010.
- Lucie Halamíková – A performance at the piano by the lead singer of Lucie & The Diamonds (whose full cover is listed above).
- Maira Martins – A bossa version from Relaxing Bossa Lounge 15.
- Pink – An enjoyable cover during her 2009 Funhouse Tour, wearing a costume made up of pieces that Freddie wore over the years. The audio of her performance is on the documentary soundtrack All I Know So Far: Setlist.
- Serena Mente – A nice version on the acoustic guitar.
TV Talent Show Singers
Got Talent Franchise
- America’s Got Talent:
- Dominicana’s Got Talent:
- Argentine Rock Band – Dressed up as Freddie & co, this group audition with Bohemian Rhapsody and a snippet of We Will Rock You.
- Georgia’s Got Talent:
- Cappella – A very impressive kids choir, who performed the entire song for their audition in 2018.
- American Idol:
- Constantine Maroulis – From Season 4 in 2005. He came 6th overall in the series, then later returned as a mentor and performed the song as a duet with Shelbie Zora in Season 15 in 2016. He also released a studio recording on the Killer Queen tribute compilation, and more recently sang it live at Broadway Sings Queen on 17 February 2020.
- Dimitrius Graham & Adam Lambert – From the Season 17 Final in 2019, in which Adam appeared as a guest. It was a non-competitive performance, as Dimitrius had already been eliminated many weeks earlier, coming in 10th place. But he’s performed it live at concerts since then, for example at Seattle’s Museum of Flight on 20 July 2019.
- Jessica Sanchez – From Season 11 in 2012, in which she became the eventual runner-up. She also released a studio version as a non-album single, and performed the song live on stage at The Theatre Solaire, Parañaque, Philippines on 20 November 2018.
- Canadian Idol:
- Craig Sharpe – On Season 4 in 2006, in which he ultimately came second.
- Coaches Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine & Blake Shelton performed a medley of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rock You & Champions in the first week of Season 1 in 2011.
- Tyler James – 2012 semi-final. He came 3rd in the series.
- Giulio Perrone – Season 6, Episode 1 in 2017.
- Maryna Krut – Season 9 in 2019.
The Voice Kids
- Uendi – Season 3 in 2019.
- Colombia Teens:
- Nikki, Anamaría & Angie – 2016 Battle Round.
- Rafi vs Alya vs Bagas – 2016 Battle Round.
- The Netherlands:
- Jesse – 2013 Blind Audition.
- Paula – 2017 Blind Audition.
- Ruslan Aslanov – Season 2 Superfinal in 2015.
The X Factor
- Jeff Gutt – Week 4 in 2013. He was the runner-up of the series.
- Desy Natalia – From the Top 3 in 2015, from which she was eliminated.
- Battle Of The Choirs (Australia):
- University of Newcastle Chamber Choir, Vox Synergy & Harambe – A joint performance by the finalists on 3 August 2008. The Newcastle group won.
- Last Choir Standing (BBC, UK):
- Ysgol Glanaethwy – Performance by a Welsh group in 2008.
- Rock Star: INXS (CBS, America):
- We Want More (The Netherlands):
- Thijs Roseboom – 2020 Audition.
Accompanied Vocal & Operatic Groups
- Aram Quartet – A very short version from their EP ChiARAMente. They gave an even briefer rendition of less than a minute on the Italian show Scalo 76. But they have performed the full song live as well.
- Chant Masters – A Gregorian chant version from their Queen tribute album.
- Dalagita – A performance by 6 young ladies with simple choreography, as their audition piece for Season 1 of X Factor Indonesia in 2012. They came 12th after being eliminated in Week 2 of the live shows.
- G4 – Their single reached Number 9 in the charts in 2005, and was included on their self-titled album. They had originally performed is as their audition song for The X Factor, and performed it during Series 1 in 2004. They went on to achieve second place in the series. They’ve also performed it live in their concerts since then, as you can see in a video from The Princess Theatre, Torquay on 18 April 2016, where they get the audience to sing the closing lines.
- Jean-Michel Antolin – Perforemd by a trio of ladies who harmonise very well together, backed by Jean-Michel on acoustic guitar.
- Ten Tenors – A brilliant rendition by this Australian group from their album Double Platinum. They also performed the song live in Kerkrade, The Netherlands in July 2019 with Guido’s Orchestra, plus there’s another live version that includes a little snatch of ABBA at an appropriate moment, and further live performances here & here.
- There are impressive multitrack covers by Dan Wright, David Fowler, Jared Halley, Jesi Erin, Justin J Taller & Matt Mulholland, where they record themselves multiple times to build up the different layers.
- Ac Rock – From their album UR What UR.
- Acapop! Kids – A powerful performance by these young stars, in a mashup with Somebody To Love.
- Aula39 – A short but nice cover.
- The Austonettes – A fast but well-performed live rendition by this all-female group from Austin, Texas.
- Bank Of Harmony – An enjoyable barbershop quartet.
- Cantillation – From their album Bohemian Rhapsody: Choral Pop.
- The Cocktails & USC SoundCheck – From their 2010 spring concert.
- Colour Of Voices – A nice cover of the Pentatonix arrangement.
- Fork – A live performance by this group from Finland. You can also see other live performances from the University of Rochester on 15 November 2008 and the Assembly Gala 2011.
- Fuzzbox – A deliberately messy version by this female quartet that doesn’t take itself at all seriously. It was included on the 12″ versions of their single What’s The Point, which got to number 51.
- The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones – From their XXV album. They also sang it live at a concert in autumn 2009.
- The Hyannis Sound – From their album Cape Standard Time. You can also see them performing it live at an alumni show in 2010.
- Jazzappella – A very enjoyable live performance at Godot Café, Bucharest, Romania in April 2013.
- Maybebop – A nice rendition by this German quartet, which you can also see them performing live at Internationale Musikmesse, Frankfurt, Munich in 2008 & 3sat-Kleinkunst-Festival in 2013, and an even more epic performance with the choir Junges Vokalensemble Hannover in 2015.
- MO5AIC – Live in concert from Central Christian Church in June 2012. Another live performance is also available. They won the talent show MTV’s Top Pop Group in 2008.
- Pentatonix – An excellent version on their EP PTX, Vol. IV: Classics. They’ve also performed the song live, as can be heard from the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
- Peter Hollens – This adds a bit of actual guitar by Stevie T to the impressive layered vocals. His fun video incorporates lots of movie references as well.
- Qw4rtz – A good performance by this Canadian group from a 2019 telethon.
- Rock4 – An arrangement from their impressive cover of the entire album, which they also performed live at the Dutch Queen Convention on 23 October 2010.
- Storm Front Barbershop Quartet – A very pleasant arrangement with a bit of humour as well, at the 2010 International Quartet Champions event.
- UC Berkeley Men’s Octet – An enjoyable combination of impressive vocals and humorous choreography, live at the Welcome Back To A Cappella Showcase, Hertz Hall, University of California, Berkeley on 21 January 2011. Other live performances can be seen from Spring 2003, Autumn 2005, November 2010, February 2011 & Spring 2018.
- Viva Vox – A lovely version by this Serbian group. You can also see their performance on the TV show Fajront Republika.
- Winchester A Cappella – A nice performance at their Sing Into Spring concert on 14 April 2019, at Turner Sims Southampton.
Choirs & Choruses
- Alex Hawker Rock Choir – A arrangement learned during a 5-hour workshop session, plus another workshop performance here.
- Austin High School Choir – A live performance with some fun use of lighting.
- Bel Canto Choir Vilnius – Live at St. Catherine Church in Vilnius, Lithuania on 23 January 2015. As English isn’t their first language, we can forgive the lead singer getting one or two lines slightly wrong, as it still sounds good.
- Christ University Choir – A 2017 performance by this group from India.
- Cobham Hall School Choir – The finale to their summer concert themed around A Night at the Opera.
- Coral Stma. Trinidad de Valencia – Performed live at a choral contest, winning first prize in the youth section for the second year in a row.
- CorVivace – Live in Teatre del Cercle de Gràcia, Spain in June 2019.
- C4 Choir – A lovely live performance by these young singers aged 10-15, from t town called Creil in Oise, France.
- Eden Prairie High School Concert Choir – Sung at a church in front of over over 1,200 people, accompanied by a few rock musicians. A bit fast, but still nice.
- ED5 International Virtual Choir – Bringing together their 1st and 2nd year Advanced Diploma students during lockdown in May 2020.
- Eliza Fyfe’s Singing Students – Choirantine – Sung from their homes during the 2020 Covid pandemic. They’ve also shared some amusing outtakes, and the song was featured on the news in BBC Points West.
- Esperanza Azteca – A beautiful concert performance backed by a full orchestra.
- The Gay Men’s Choruses of Boston, Knoxville, Los Angeles, Portland & San Francisco (also here), among others, have all performed the song well live.
- Hladnov Rock Choir – A rendition by this choir from the Czech Republic. A live performance is also available.
- Hoërskool Rustenburg Choir, Rustenburg High School, South Africa – A fantastic cover with a very stylish music video. A lot of effort clearly went into this.
- Hummingsong Community Choirs – A live performance accompanied by the Sydney Grammar String Sextet.
- Jetstream & Gibraltar Youth Choir – Performed from people’s homes during the 2020 Covid pandemic.
- London City Voices – A lovely rendition at their 2018 Christmas concert.
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir – An upbeat version performed at a Varsity Sings concert.
- Occidental College Glee Club – Performed during their Annual Pops Concert in 2015
- Ollerup School, Denmark – There are over 3 million views already for the fantastic performance by this huge and happy choir. You can also see another live performance from 22 June 2011.
- PopUp Chorus – At Motorco, Durham, North Carolina on 3 November 2014.
- RocknMob – Over 150 musicians performing in Sochi, Russia on 12 October 2019.
- San Ramon Voices High School Choir – From a 2010 concert, including a fun bit of air guitar.
- Seattle Ladies Choir – Live in concert in June 2014, with another performance available from a concert in October 2018.
- Soul Song – Live at the Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia on 3 November 2018.
- Strictly A Cappella Choir – A live performance from the Concert Artistes Association Club in Covent Garden, London on 19 February 2016.
- Tottenville High School Concert Choir – A lovely music video that took over 3 months to film and edit, as explained in an article about how it was made.
- The Treorchy Male Voice Choir covered it for their album Treorchy Sing Queen.
- Trinity Boys Choir – A beautiful version shared by Queen on their Youtube channel. There’s also a behind-the-scenes video with interviews.
- TUBBS A Cappella Choir – Performed at the University of Bristol A Cappella Society’s 10th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2017.
- UBC A Cappella Choir & UBCO Beats – At their 2015 Spring Concert called Game of Tones.
- Unionville High School Choir – At their 2016 Spring Concert.
- University Of Exeter Chapel Choir – Maybe I’m biased as a former student of this fine university, but I think this version is glorious.
- Voice Of Unity & PSM Cantate Domino – A lovely version recorded from people’s homes in the summer of 2020, during the Covid pandemic.
- Centro Commerciale Borgo – A nice rendition at a shopping centre in Bologna, Italy.
- Helsbelsify – A surprise by the bridal party for the guests at a wedding.
- Hints Zoltán – The vocals aren’t the best in this shopping centre rendition, but there’s still a good atmosphere and the crowd clearly loved it.
- The Queen Symphony – An orchestral performance at the Seedamm Mall, Switzerland on 7 February 2015. Takes a few minutes to get going while everyone gets into position, so you can skip forward to about the 3-minute mark if you wish, but it’s good fun when they get into it.
- Shopping Vitória – Delighting the crowds at a shopping centre in 2018.
- SWR1 – Another shopping centre performance.
Despite all of the above, and aside from Queen themselves of course, nothing can really beat the joyous sound of thousands of people singing in unison, demonstrating beyond any possible doubt just how widely loved and deeply ingrained this song really is.
- Green Day Crowd, Hyde Park, 1 July 2017 – Over 65,000 people at Hyde Park on 1 July 2017. And here’s a video shot by one of them, giving a great sense of the atmosphere. You can see other examples from that year at Ziggo Dome on 31 January, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon on 2 August, Vélez Sarsfield Stadium, Argentina on 10 November & Corona Capital, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City on 19 November. It’s quite some feat for a performer, who had died 26 years previously, to unify and control tens of thousands of people all at once, most of whom weren’t even born when they were in their heyday, getting them to belt out a 42-year-old song at a concert for a completely different band. That’s Freddie’s power and legacy right there.
- Summer By The River, London Bridge City – A thousand people singing in unison in the capital as a band plays the tune on stage.
- PiotreQ – Orchestral Remix – A mashup of Queen’s original with a version by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, available on his Reworks album.
- Indiana University Studio Orchestra – Arranged for symphony orchestra and solo viola. You can also see a live performance.
- Jakarta Concert Orchestra & Batavia Madrigal Singers – Live in the Indonesian capital on 18 April 2015.
- London Starlight Orchestra & Singers – From their album The Show Must Go On – The Queen Songbook.
- London Symphony Orchestra & Royal Choral Society – From their Classic Rock album.
- Munich Symphonic Sound Orchestra – From their Cinema Classics album.
- Rick Wakeman, Orion Strings, English Chamber Choir & Brian May – A lovely orchestral interpretation from Rick’s Piano Odyssey album.
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – From their Symphonic Queen album.
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Royal Choral Society – From their Music Of Queen album.
- Taliesin Orchestra – A very different, elaborate and extended re-arrangement of the song, from their Rock Rhapsody album.
- Accordion Orchestra Rondo – At Základná Umelecká Škola Humenné in Slovakia.
- Ambient Light Orchestra – A very slow and relaxing cover from their album Ambient Translations Of Queen.
- The Gary Tesca Orchestra – From their album The Music Of Queen.
- The Gino Marinello Orchestra – From their album Synthesizer Music Volume 1.
- The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra – A live performance including vocals. You can see another live performance here, again for a German audience.
- Arklow Shipping Silver Band – At the European Brass Band Championships, Waterfront Hall, Belfast in May 2006.
- Band of the Grenadier Guards – Performed the song outside Buckingham Palace, after the movie won 2 Golden Globe awards. There are other clips of the guards playing the song as well.
- Brass Band De Wâldsang – A nice version by this band from the Netherlands.
- Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps – Played at the end of their 2004 Bohemia show.
- Chilakil Brass – From their self-titled album. You can also see them performing it live at Centro Cultural Constitucion.
- Dublin Silver Band – Live at the Dublin Irish Festival on 3 August 2013, in Dublin, Ohio, USA.
- Grenadier Guards – Played as part of the 2018 Poppy Appeal at London Waterloo station.
- Grimethorpe Colliery Band – From their 1986 album Grimethorpe Entertains. You can also see the Grimethorpe Reunion Band playing the song at Butlins in 2016.
- International Trombone Festival – A collaboration between 28 players in 2018.
- London Horn Sound – From an album by the group. They also played it live at Corno Brass Festival in 2017.
- The Macclesfield Youth Brass Band – A live performance.
- Malta Presidential Guards – Playing for the crowd in Valletta.
- Maniacal 4 – From the trombone quartet’s first album, Carry On!
- Mnozil Brass – Performed with a mixture of a cappella and wind instruments. You can also see them having fun with the song live at Schagerl Brass Festival 2008 & Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, Italy on 11 February 2018.
- North Carolina Brass Band – From their album First In Flight.
- Ohio University Marching 110 – At Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio on 19 November 2013, with fantastic choreography as well as the lovely music.
- Oompah Brass – A fun and catchy version live in concert, backed by the London Firebird Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus.
- River City Brass – Live concert performance.
- Seth Davis – With a brass quartet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
- Southern University Human Jukebox – A live performance from 2014.
- Stockholm Changing Of The Guard – An entertaining version for the gathered crowd.
- Tokyo City Concert Brass – At the British Brass DOLCE Summer Concert on 16 July 2017.
- Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra – From their tribute album This Is Brass: Queen.
- Williams Fairey Engineering Band – Released on their Best In Class album and other compilations.
- Zagreb Philharmonic Trombone Quartet – A live stage performance.
- Daniele Vitale – A nice version on his Youtube channel.
- Flat Sax Quartet – On the streets of Palma de Mallorca on 9 October 2016.
- Graziatto ft. Shalom – A fun sax and piano duet.
- JK Sax – An enjoyable solo performance from his Youtube channel.
- Josh Plotner – An impressive arrangement played entirely by Josh on a variety of woodwind instruments, including saxophones, flutes, clarinets recorders, an oboe and an English horn.
- Miquelmar – A nice version in which he plays both flute and sax.
- The Moanin’ Frogs – A performance by the sextet from their self-titled album. You can also see a live performance at Ann Arbor, Michigan in May 2018, plus an earlier rendition as a quartet.
- National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain -Live at ArtsFest, Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham in September 2009.
- Paautr – An alto saxophone quartet, made by recording all 4 parts himself.
- Pablo & Mariana Tani – A nice sax and piano duet posted in June 2020.
Strings – Groups & Duets
- Aramis String Quartet – From their album Tribute To Queen.
- Amy Serrano Burcombe & Melissa Chu – A violin and cello duet.
- Benaud Trio – A strings & piano arrangement. There’s also a live performance from Collins St Baptist Church, Melbourne, Australia in November 2007.
- Brooklyn Duo & Dover Quartet – A version on cello, piano & string quartet.
- C-Jam – A cello quartet.
- Dallas String Quartet – From their album Between Us.
- Giovanni String Quartet – A lovely rendition performed at Keller Hall, University of New Mexico, on 31 May 2009.
- Harp Orchestra – A beautiful version played live in May 2014.
- House Of Hamill – An enjoyable cover using nothing but violins, even for sounds like the electric guitar, drums and gong.
- Kaboom Percussion – A lovely duet performed on a cimbalom.
- Metacustico – A nice combination of violins, viola, cello and piano.
- Midnite String Quartet – From their album MSQ Performs Queen.
- Nocturne String Quartet (Korea) – Performed live on 24 February 2019. There’s another performance here.
- Passerelle String Quartet – Performed during a benefit concert at Xavier College Preparatory, Phoenix, Arizona on 12 March 2011.
- Prague Cello Quartet – From their album Top Secret.
- Royal Academy of Music Quartet – Posted by Queen on their official channel, along with a video of interviews with those involved.
- String Theory – A lovely version on 5 cellos at their End Of Year Concert in 2015.
- Tempus Quartet – A performance on 2 cellos and 2 violins, with a bass guitar adding a bit of backing.
- Two Apiece – A duet on violin and classical guitar.
- The Violin Brothers – The excellent encore from the duet’s last concert before lockdown, in February 2020.
- Vitamin String Quartet – From their album VSQ Performs Queen.
- Wedding String Quartet – From the String Quartet Channel on Youtube.
- 4Tune – A live performance from Rockstadt in Romania, on 2 violins, a viola and a cello.
Strings – Solo Players
- Aaron Meyer – From the violinist’s album Hang On to Your Pants. He also gave a couple of performances for radio station 101.9 KINK in the Skype Live Studio in Portland, presented by Keep Oregon Well and Country Financial. You can also see a performance from their 15th annual Holiday Concert, and another for a small audience in a Portland hotel room.
- Aciw Alexa & Aiden Chan – Lovely multitracked renditions, for which they’ve recorded multiple different parts.
- Alexander Boldachev – A gorgeous version on the harp from Liszt’s Academy Concert Hall in Budapest. You can also see another live performance here.
- Cameron Wilson – A live performance on the violin in April 2016.
- Charles Yang – A live performance of his impressively intricate arrangement at the Liberty Science Center.
- David Garrett – A rendition by the violinist on his Rock Revolution album.
- Elena Abad – A beautiful solo violin arrangement.
- GnuS Cello – A cello version with piano backing.
- Hauser (also here & here) – Cello renditions of the ballad section.
- Hugo & Marina – A violin rendition with piano accompaniment.
- Lucia Micarelli – Nocturne/Bohemian Rhapsody Medley – Released as a bonus track on the violinist’s album Music From A Farther Room. She’s also done a live performance. This version has been covered live by Josh Groban with Lucia, Huntington Beach Academy Of Performing Arts (APA) Orchestra, The Commercial Recording Arts Department of Huntington Beach APA and Terry, Mayu & Benson Greenhalgh.
- Luka Sulic – A beautiful cello rendition live in concert. There’s also a performance with Evgeny Genchev on piano.
- Martha Psyko – A multitracked version where she plays 4 violin parts.
- Mathieu Terrade – A very skilful cover on a Harpejji.
- Park Stickney – A lovely version on the electric harp.
- Roxbel – Solo violin cover, playing along to Queen’s original backing track.
- Same String – A violin rendition accompanied by piano.
Guitars – Groups
- Acoustic Heartstrings – A simple, slow and steady cover from AH Performs Queen.
- Aerial Acoustics – Performed by the guitar duo for their By Request album.
- California Guitar Trio – A nice, simple cover. They’ve also performed the track live many times, including Woodsongs Show #334, The Ark in Ann Arbor MI. on 12 October 2008 (a performance with manualist hand-farter Gerry Phillips), Palais Montcalm, Quebec City on 23 October 2009 (with the Montreal Guitar Trio), Detroit Morning News on 1 December 2013 & Eddie Owen Presents, Red Clay Music Foundry on 16 February 2018.
- Queen Cover Project – Part of their acoustic version of the entire album on their channel.
- The Showhawk Duo – A live acoustic performance on the Glastonbury Bandstand stage on 24 June 2016, with the crowd enthusiastically singing along. You can also see them playing the song on the streets of Bath on 2 February 2014.
Guitars – Solo Players
- Alip Ba Ta – A lovely fingerstyle version that has over 8 million views on his channel.
- Andy Timmons – A very pleasant cover on an Ibanez prototype ATZ-100 signature guitar, beginning with a short section of You Take My Breath Away.
- Andy Wahlberg – A good rendition on a Holloway harp guitar.
- Ben Pila – Nicely played on an acoustic Fructuoso Zalapa ‘Humphrey’ guitar.
- Carlos Bonell – Backed by the powerful Lara Symphony Orchestra on his Guitar Rhapsodies album.
- Carlos Piegari – A nice classical guitar arrangement on his channel.
- Chris Mike – A cool electric guitar rendition on a Red Special.
- Coppolabass – Playing bass guitar along with the original multitrack, having muted John Deacon’s original layer. It gives a nice insight into a part of the track that is so easily overlooked.
- Daryl Kellie – A lovely acoustic guitar version on his channel.
- Edgar Cruz – From his album Classical Demands. He also performed it live in his home of Oklahoma at the University’s Jazz Lab & Centenary United Methodist Church. Many guitar players, including others on this list, have used his arrangement when performing the song.
- Enunc8r – His lovely performance of Edgar Cruz’s arrangement has over 2 million views.
- Eric Calderone (ERock) – Now you can headbang to the whole song, not just that one section near the end, with this heavy metal rendition.
- Igor Presnyakov – A fingerstyle acoustic guitar cover.
- Jake Shimabukuro – A nicely arranged ukulele version from his album Peace Love Ukulele. Other live performances can be seen from TED2010 in California, Japan in 2010 & Paste Studio, New York on 24 February 2020.
- Jamie Dupuis – A lovely performance from his album Harp Guitar Covers. He’s also posted a version played on a regular acoustic guitar.
- Kelly Valleau – An acoustic version from his Youtube channel.
- Kfir Ochaion – An electric guitar cover that’s racked up over 2.5 million views. His acoustic version has also passed the 1 million mark.
- Leandro Kasan – An acoustic fingerstyle cover, plus a second take and a live version.
- Martin Rauhofer – A pleasant ukulele version.
- Martzivanos Kostas – A nice electric cover by this Greek guitarist.
- Richard DeVinck – A lockdown rendition in May 2020.
- Shaun Hopper – Live at the Gator Cases stand during the Winter NAMM show in 2012 (National Association of Music Merchants). There’s another live performance herer. Plus there’s footage of him performing the second half of the song in the TrueFire Studio.
- Stephanie Jackson – From her album Classic Hits of the 60s & 70s. There’s also a live performance with Edgar Cruz.
- Steve Bean – A beautiful classical guitar version that has over 13 million views.
- Yu Watanabe – A nice classical guitar rendition, plus a live performance, and other recordings here & here.
Guitars – Child Performers
- Billy Watman – He recorded his beautiful rendition for his new Queen EP, released in September this year. The tune has been in his repertoire since at least the age of 12, and when he was 14 he played part of it in his audition for Season 2 of Guitar Star on Sky Arts in 2016, where he reached the grand final. There are also videos of him busking the song at locations such as The Royal Mile, Edinburgh in August 2015 & Queen’s Pop-Up Shop, Carnaby, London in October 2018 and playing it during concerts at The Drawingroom, Chesham in August 2017, Musikmesse, Frankfurt, Germany in April 2018, The Edinburigh Festival Fringe in August 2018, & Buryfields Festival, Chesham, Buckinghamshire in June 2019, with the crowd enthusiastically singing along in the latter case.
- Sean Song – At the ages of 7 & 8 he was playing this song on the ukulele, as can be seen in videos from 16 December 2014, 27 December 2014 (on stage), 30 January 2015, 31 January 2015 (on stage) & 31 March 2016. Then from the age of 9 he switched to guitar, with videos on 3 April 2017 & 12 November 2018.
- Adrian Marple – In St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds in December 2016.
- Alexey Rom – Playing a 100-year-old fairground organ.
- Bert van den Brink – On a church organ in Amsterdam on 1 June 2013.
- Josh Stafford – Playing his impressive arrangement on the world’s largest pipe organ (the Midmer-Losh pipe organ with its 33,112 pipes).
- Lew Williams – A fast but very accomplished performance on a large theatre pipe organ in America.
- Rob Scallon – Using a laptop to control the pipe organ at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. See the full video for how it was done.
- Robert Staples – Played on his Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ.
- Timur Khaliullin – In Belgorod State Philharmonic Organ Hall, Russia.
- Tyler Breneman – In Presser Hall, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas.
- Alexander Lioubimenko – A nice arrangement he posted in 2017.
- Anderson & Roe – A clever and interesting reimagining from this duo, with an impressive music video to match.
- Atin – A lovely arrangement of the song, with nice visuals showing the intricacies of the melody.
- Bobby Rennie – At Union Station in Los Angeles.
- Christian Salerno – A very nice public performance.
- Christine Brown – A rendition with a romantic feel from her Timeless album.
- Costantino Carrara – A delightful version that’s had over 3 million views.
- Derek Margulies – His recording of a pianist performing at a concert, at which the entire audience sings along to the lyrics on the big screen. Although why it’s necessary to display the lyrics I’ve no idea – surely everybody knows it!
- Francesco Parrino – A lovely version with over 3.5 million views.
- Gabriele Baldocci – An extended rearrangement called Poem Of The Bohemian on their album Sheer Piano Attack.
- Ignacio Navarro – An elaborate version from a piano recital in Chile in 2014.
- Ilmo The Dude – A nice rendition on his Youtube channel.
- Jarrod Radnich – A great arrangement that’s earned over 6 million views.
- Jazzy Fabbry (Fabrizio Spaggiari) – Recorded in Novate, Milan in 2014.
- Jeffrey Munks – A nice version from his Youtube channel.
- Jeremy Weinglass – From his Rock Classics album. There’s also a clip of people singing along with him at a party.
- Jonah Ryan – On his Youtube channel called One Octave Higher.
- Kenneth August – A lovely ballad version.
- Lorie Line – A nice version from her album Rock Star.
- Maksim Mrvica – A gorgeous and very original classical reworking by this Croatian musician. You can also see a live performance with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra from Lisinski Music Hall, Zagreb, Croatia, and a performance from Japan.
- Mercuzio – A relatively simple but nice cover on the album Pianosong Vol. 1.
- Mr Dim – A good performance on his Roland HP-207 piano.
- Nate Hance – A fun ragtime version on his Youtube channel, where he’s also posted Rhapsody In Blue, a mashup with George Gershwin.
- Otmar Binder – A nice arrangement from his Youtube channel.
- Piano Phantom – Disguised as a cleaner, this guy surprises nearby shoppers with a very accomplished performance, throwing in a little bit of Don’t Stop Me Now along the way.
- Samer Fanek – A nicely performed version on his channel.
- Sangah Noona – A very nice arrangement that she’s created.
- Sara Anderholm & Jonathan Cannamore – A lovely duet live in concert.
- Scott Bradlee – A clever mashup with George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue. Originally posted on Post Modern Jukebox.
- Thierry Lang – A beautifully relaxing adaptation by the Swiss pianist, from the bonus disc of his Guide Me Home album. Some of his piano covers were used in documentaries on Freddie Mercury’s solo video releases.
- Valerie Stern & Susan Kim-Pedroza – A fabulous duet in an arrangement by Valerie.
- Valtteri Nieminen – Recorded in a Finland studio in 2015. There’s also an earlier version from 2014.
- VK Goes Wild – At the time of writing, she is very close to hitting 10 million views for this brilliant arrangement from 2011, including some impressively speedy finger-work. She’s also posted a rendition using a Bösendorfer Concert Grand, and live performances from St. Pancras Station in London, Das Rind in Rüsselsheim, Germany & Kokerei Hansa in Dortmund, Germany.
- Wouter Kellerman & The Charl du Plessis Piano Trio – A lovely flute and piano version, with other backing instruments.
- Yuval Salomon – A beautiful cover, which can be downloaded from many places.
- Alexander Penkov – It takes a lot of guts to sing and play the piano in front of everyone at your school, even more so if it’s this song you’re attempting. So kudos to this kid, who tackles the shortened Live Aid version of the track.
- Avett Maness – An impressive performance by this blind 6-year-old, which went vital and led to a guest appearance on American Idol 2019.
- Cole Lam – He’s posted several public performances of his own instrumental arrangement over the past few years, at the ages of 11 & 12, including videos from John Lewis in Oxford Street, LVS Music Festival (at which he won the Grand Prize for his performance), St Pancras Station (with bystanders singing in this case but he’s also played there without people singing), Freddie’s Bar at Old Kent Market in Margate, The National Archives (during Pride celebrations), Tottenham Court Road Station (posted on Freddie Mercury’s birthday), Heathrow Airport, a hotel in China (followed by Don’t Stop Me Now), and Westfield Stratford City, among others.
- The Kids Place – This instrumental performance, from the Reeths-Puffer High School Talent Show in Michigan in 2014, features a young girl on the piano, accompanied by her young brother on guitar (which, like Brian May, he built with his father). It’s an excellent rendition, and you can hear the audience happily singing along!
- Stefan Studer – A live performance by the 6 year old on 15 December 2018.
- Ty Practice Piano – Played on a public piano at an airport. There’s also another video from a piano recital in 2019 where he combines it with Don’t Stop Me Now.
- Concordia Percussion Ensemble – A rendition by this roup from Minnesota, and there’s a live performance too.
- Corona Del Sol Percussion – A lovely live rendition.
- Harvard THUD – Boomhemian Whacksody – A very clever arrangement using Boomwhackers.
- The Louisville Leopard Percussionists – A group of graduating 6th graders performing live at their BiG GiG on 22 April 2018.
- McKinney Boyd High School Percussion – A nicely arranged live performance on 2 March 2018, with an extended ending to the operatic section.
- Sydney University Carillon – A cleverly arranged bell-ringing version.
- De Dannan – Hibernian Rhapsody – An Irish folk version from their album of the same name. They also performed it live on TV in October 1996.
- Ghost Town Trio – A very original interpretation from their album No Tits But Hits, starting out very laid-back and relaxed but picks up the pace later on.
- Joseph C. Phaze – A nicely adapted and animated Medieval Bardcore version.
- Paweł Zadrożniak – A really clever arrangement using his ‘Floppotron’, consisting of a bank of floppy disk drives and other computer accessories.
Foreign Language Versions
- Augusto Enriquez – A version by the Cuban musician from the album Rhythms del Mundo Classics.
- Fred Panopio – Bohemyo – A Tagalog version From the Filipino singer’s self-titled album.
- Hatea Kapa Haka – An enjoyable adaptation by this Māori group. They also featured in a music video with William Waiirua, singing the song with him as they helped to move his car.
- Molotov – Rap, Soda y Bohemia – A rap rock remake in Spanish & English by this Mexican group, from their Molomix album. You can also see live performances from CM Vivo in 2004 & Palacio De Los Deportes.
- P.B. & M.D. – A faithful cover version in German.
- Tomazobi – Boehmische Rapsfelder – A German rendition for the operatic section onwards, recorded live in concert for the album Los Gringos En Directo. Although the track length is 4:50, the song itself is only 3:20, with the rest of the track being audience applause. The song also appeared on their album Affehuus. It’s also possible to watch a live concert performance, and the group singing it outdoors on a windy day.
- Cast of ‘T Spaanse Schaep (The Spanish Sheep) – Opoe’s Zwanenzang – Performed in episode 8 of this Dutch TV show.
- Defining Awesome – Simple Rhapsody Remix – A nice stripped back version using just piano and vocal parts from the original multitracks.
- Magic Affair Remix – A dance track that samples the line “Is this the real life?” and a tiny section of the melody, but otherwise sounds nothing like the song, so it’s rather a stretch to call it a proper remix. It featured on the compilation Queen Dance Traxx I, and alternate versions include the full-length Original Mix & Green Jam Mix.
- Party Ben – Novacaine Rhapsody – A mashup with Give Me Novacaine by Green Day that works surprisingly well.
- PiotreQ – Queen vs New Kids On The Block – This mashup album contains 2 tracks combining Bohemian Rhapsody with the track Tonight by New Kids On The Block – Bohemian Dancer Tonight (‘Live Aid’ Mash-up) and Bohemian Rhapsody Tonight (‘Ballad’ Mash-up). Neither are available on Youtube, but both combine the lyrics from the New Kids song with piano riffs from Queen – the key difference being that the ‘Live Aid’ version is faster with a catchy beat behind it, and features Freddie doing some call-and-response with the crowd, whereas the ‘Ballad’ version is slower and simpler as the name implies.
- Raven Maize – Real Life – This samples the lines “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” from Queen’s track, and part of the Simple Minds track Theme For Great Cities. You can also hear the Original 12″ Mix & Fatboy Slim Remix.
- Sibling Jointz Remix – Even though I’m not a big fan of this personally, there’s no denying the skill that has gone into the re-arrangement of the vocals and the striking and profound visuals accompanying it. Just be warned that the video is rather bizarre, ranging from elegant, beautiful and scenic imagery, to news footage of major disasters, and all manner of weird and random things in between, so it’s not for the faint hearted!
- Anubiste – After the Best Man was filmed lip-syncing to the song in his underwear during the stag do, other members of the wedding party decided to film their own versions as well, and cut them all together to create a surprise video, which was shown on the big day. So here you get to see the bride’s reaction as well as the amusing video itself.
- Brian Esperon – A beautifully choreographed peformance to the Panic! At The Disco version.
- Charlene’s School Of Dance – A group from Orlando, Florida, competing for a People’s Choice Award in the 2017 Industry Dance Awards.
- Dance Fusion – A live performance by this jazz dance group.
- Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone – From the BBC Strictly Come Dancing final in 2012.
- English National Ballet – Posted by Queen on their official channel, plus a video interviewing the people involved.
- Lia Kim – Teaching moves to students for the ballad section.
- Lorena Valenzuela Funkdation Crew – A short routine for the operatic sdction.
- Rainbow Dance Competition – A group from Columbus, Ohio competing to win the Best Tap category in the 2017 Industry Dance Awards.
- Santi Serratosa – A group doing body percussion to the operatic section.
- Synergy Dance Competition – A group competing in the 2019 event.
- Willdabeast Adams & Janelle Ginestra – Various people demonstrating their impressive choreography for the opera and hard rock sections.
- The Young Cast – In the Season 4 semi final of World Of Dance.
- Brickfilm Day – A great version of the movie trailer in Lego, plus a comparison with the original.
- Krikonn – A fun stop-motion video for the song using Lego.
- Ramadeth – An impressive animated version of Queen’s music video.
- HMS Campbelltown – A fun lip-dubbed video by the officers and staff of the Royal Navy vessel, made during their spare time while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.
- Southlandification – On The Way To School – Now there’s a good father, getting his kids into decent music at a young age! There are also adorable viral clips of little girls singing the song in cars here and here.
- Computer-style versions for the Sega Mega Drive by Chiptune Planet, Meme Music & Mega Drive Sound, a SNES version by Meme Music, and other 8-bit style versions by 8-Bit Arcade, 8-Bit Misfits, 8 Bit Universe (also here), Chiptune Planet & Tomyweissbuch.
- Lullaby versions by Baby Music from I’m In Records, Billboard Baby Lullabies, Lullaby Baby Trio, Lullaby Rock!, Rockabye Baby!, Sweet Little Band & Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star, and in a music box style by Carpintero Cajitas, Musicbox Cover & R3 Music Box.
“You can do anything with my work, but never make me boring.”
You’ll see some variation of that Freddie Mercury quote in the comments of most Queen-related videos these days, including many of those listed above, thanks to the release of the Never Boring box set that made people aware of it. It’s a lazy copycat attempt to get some likes really, and it does get boring to see it over and over again. However, it is fair to say that the artists above have achieved Freddie’s wish, and I’m sure he’s looking down with delight that his music is still inspiring people so much.
It really is incredible how many different approaches have been taken to the song by people all over the world, and it’s amazing how well they work in many cases. It just goes to show the quality of Freddie’s composition that it can be adapted so widely. This is one of many Queen songs that will persist forever, and they deserve to live on for generations to come. These covers ensure that.
Check out my Covers playlist for all the versions I’ve mentioned above, and I’ll continue adding to it as and when I discover more. Feel free to let me know if there’s anything I should consider adding as well, to this or any of my Queen playlists.
So thank you for reading, I hope you found this epic post enjoyable and interesting. I’ll be continuing with my Queen album reviews next year, so look out for those. And thank you to Freddie and the rest of Queen for their incredible legacy, that we will all continue to enjoy and pay tribute to for a long time to com