Would you believe that Elton Johns once said that Bohemian Rhapsody would never be played on the radio? Well, to be honest, he didn’t exactly put it that way. It was more something along the lines of “Are you mad?” Clearly this has to go down as one of the biggest fails in music prediction history. Would you like to know how and why this came about?
Are you mad? You’ll never get that on the radio!
~Sir Elton John on hearing Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time before its release.
Of all of the songs written and performed by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the best known today. At the time of its release, it reached number 1 and went on to become a worldwide hit. The song has been featured in cult classic Wayne’s World and has been covered by many recording artists since. Some, such as Axel Rose and Elton John done a commendable job while others such as Kanye West only succeeded in showing what little talent they really have. But hang on a minute. Did we just say that Sir Elton John performed Bohemian Rhapsody? We sure did, even though it does contradict what this fact is about.
Sir Elton John needs no introduction. He is, of course, a very famous and well-known singer-songwriter that has been around for even longer than Madonna. He has recorded several chart-topping songs, and unlike West, is talented and belongs in the industry. It was in 1992 during the Freddie Mercury tribute concert that he covered the song. Obviously he had a change of heart towards the memorable piece of music, but how did it all transpire that he thought it would never get on the radio?
Way back in 1975 the manager of Queen, John Reid, played Bohemian Rhapsody to Elton John just prior to its release. At the time, Reid was also Elton John’s manager. On hearing the classic piece of rock Elton reportedly retorted, “Are you mad? You’ll never get that on the radio!” But his objection wasn’t about the lyrics or the tune. It was about the length of the music.
At the time, it was practically unheard of for a long song to consume so much radio time. At nearly six minutes, it was about twice the length of other songs. The management of the company pleaded with the band to reduce the length of the song, but Mercury refused, thankfully, and it quickly went on to become a chart-topping success and a part of rock history.
Oh, and if anyone doubts our judgement of Kanye West’s attempt of the song, we have included it below. Perhaps he was distracted by the big banner someone had at the concert of Kim Kardashian giving Ray J a good time.