So Nadine Hutton has been at it again. Challenging me to do Bohemian Rhapsody. Tsek!
I just can’t say no to her, and besides it’s a daunting challenge. So many vocal parts and so little time (I hate spending more than a week on a cover, start to finish). In this case it was threatening to take longer so I had to cut it short and render and publish so there are some rough bits, but…
When all is said and done it was fun and I guess that’s all that counts.
So here goes – Bohemian Rhapsody with little old me trying to sing 11 different vocal parts. Yikes!
While I’ve got your attention: I’ve started posting high-quality renders of my original songs on my Airborne Music paysite. It’s a deviation from the traditional way of payment in that you do not pay for the album but rather suppot the artist at a cost of $1 per month. That’s right, access to all my music for less than the price of a beer every month.
I’d appreciate it if you would considering joining this site and supporting me.
As an aside – Airborne is a South African site so let’s try and get their idea going and spread the word.
PS – Here’s how Nadine described the song when I shared the first rough take with her: “I can almost see this as a opera of insanity – the monologue of a madman running through an empty house whispering at times, shouting, frenzied, resigned. The chorus is absolutely brilliant. A carnival of the voices in his head.”
I only ever liked playing live at the Abelarde Sanction. In some respects it was a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Mos Eisly and the bands certainly added to that impression, but it was a home fo people who wanted to listen in a country where audiences mostly see live music as an intrusion into their night out.
In between sets several DJ’s, most notably Martin Barbee, Manik and Darklord Smegbreath used to entertain us with songs from their vast collections. There were always new and challenging tunes and I miss that exposure.
My fading memory says it was the Darklord who brought in this wonderful tune. It was always a dancefloor filler, in a place where dancing was not always appropriate. Even today I can’t sit still when I hear it. For a little while I even had it as my ringtone but I was always leaving the phone unanswered just so I could hear the entire song.
It is good. It is perfect. And it always makes me happy.
Listen through the whole song, don’t skip ahead. and wait for it. At 2:45 Merry Clayton starts probably the most spine chilling vocal break outside of opera. She sings the lines, “Rape, Murder, it’s just a shot away” with such relentless intensity that, well just listen to that voice break at 2:59 and thereafter. If you have a heart it will break.
The last few months have been crazy. At times it seemed as if there was no way out of the stress but, here we are, it’s Christmas. Not everyone’s cup of tea but for me it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Most people are in a better mood. There’s more kindness and forgiveness, more smiles.
Last year I flatly refused to do a Christmas cover and I regretted it, especially after I heard what Frequency Theater had done with their version of O Holy Night. Try to find it, it’s worth it…
It took a while to come up with something I felt should be done. I got a lot of helpful suggestions from Twitter and Facebook friends (huge thanks to the inimitable @a_hadeda, the indomitable @brodiegal and the unwavering @Life_Writ_Large), but in the end I settled on a Chris de Burgh classic. Detractors will detract, but it is a lovely song.
Note: If this is your first visit it is worth knowing that I do not pursue professional quality in my recordings. The intention is to illustrate what can be done with a song, rather than how well I can do it.
Note 2: The punk version is epically noisy, and will remain in the archives. 🙂
Philip West had this great riff and he wasn’t going to do anything with it. (what do you mean you don’t know Philip, where’ve you been?) so I used it for the verses. I don’t feel the lyrics are my best but I love the melody and that’s enough for me.