Bohemian Rhapsody is evidently one of, if not, is the biggest Queen song around town. It’s also one of those songs that must never be touched, never to be sung over by anyone, however television sensation ‘Glee’ went there… oh yes they did!
I’m a huge Glee fan (and Queen fan) but I will tell the truth if something didn’t sound that great. Glee has made a few songs sound better than the original, I’m not sure how they do it, but they do. The first time I heard they would perform ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, my heart literally dropped. This was due to the fact that I thought yep, this is the end for Glee, they had a good run! And to make it even more suspicious, it was featured in the last episode of season 1, “Regionals”. Having said this, I was totally wrong.
Glee’s version was sung, not by ‘New Directions’, but their rivals ‘Vocal Adrenaline’ lead by Jonathan Groff’s character Jesse st James. This version is quite dramatic in a theatrical sense. The music and the way it’s sung is much more powerful at the beginning (before the guitar kicks in) than the original like for example the piano sounds much more heavy but sharp at the same time.
When the guitar does kick in, there isn’t much difference to the original (It’s Brian May! you can’t touch that!) It still makes you head bang after the line “for me, for me, for me!” which is like a cue to get you ready to rock out. The Glee version just sounds a bit more full, whereas the original had a kind of slight emptyness to it. This could be due to the fact it’s old and this verison is more modern. But they haven’t done much to change it up which was a bonus.
I do prefer the way Jonathan Groff sings it compared to Freddie Mercury. It’s just more theatrical and dramatic. This is what Bohemian Rhapsody needs to be, dramatic. It’s a work of a art, a masterpiece.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to both and decide for yourself. I know Glee is hated by a lot and Queen is a legend, but I’m going to give credit where it’s due. Both verisons are brilliant. I personally like Glee’s version by just a grain of salt more than the original. Blasting it loud on the stereo, it’s got a tiny bit more emphasis.
Thank you Queen for inventing such a timeless classic that will never die.