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“Nothing Really Matters”… Again

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Back in May the British selected “Bohemian Rhapsody” as their “favorite single of all time.”

Now they’ve done it again, with “BoRhap” taking top honors in the Official UK Charts Company Top 50 #1 Singles of the last 50 years:

    The mini rock-opera saw off competition from fellow usual suspects The Beatles to claim the pop crown in a poll to mark the 50th anniversary of the UK charts.

    John Lennon’s “Imagine” came in second, followed by The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” was at number five.

    The Beatles claimed 14 of the top 100 hits, way ahead of any other act.

    Other top 10 entries included the Animals’ “The House of the Rising Sun,” Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.”

Allow me to say that I despise “Bohemian Rhopsody” with a fervor that makes want to crush something, anything British. How perverse can one nation be?

I must reiterate what I said back in May:

    In many ways I am inclined toward Anglophilia: I buy the whole “special relationship” thing, and think Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, and Tony Blair are tits. I am also inclined toward British rock and electronica, though not their pop, which is typically even cheesier than ours.

    But, this abomination makes me wonder whether they really got a handle on the whole mad cow thing over there, because picking “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the greatest single of all time makes me want to pull the plug on the whole island and watch it sink under the briny blue if I could be assured that all traces of this sub-parody of operetta clichés grafted onto cheese-metal would be destroyed along with it.

    Please don’t take me the wrong way because I refer in no way to sexual orientation, but that song is the queerest piece of studio abortion ever to limp-wrist it onto tape. I HATE every possible aspect of that song: from the nonsensical pretentious lyrics, to the nauseating waves of overdubbed choral vocals, to Freddie Mercury’s lisping diva lead, to the wretchedly awkward lurching from (bowel) “movement” to (bowel) “movement.” Even the rock-out part near the end that I could at least tolerate when it first came out now sounds utterly artificial, strained, grafted-on, and stupid.

    Forget arguing about what songs should have been number 1. The fact that the British voted #1 the song I perhaps despise more than any other by an artist that I liked at one point in time – I loved, really LOVED the first Queen album – makes “Bohemian Rhapsody” the greatest DISAPPOINTMENT ever slapped on vinyl (or PVC, or whatever toxic crud they make CD’s out of) of ALL TIME. There was no way to ever take Queen seriously again after that song – which was okay because the group pretty well sucked ass from that point on anyway – but I remember the sick feeling in my stomach when that melted poodle puke dribbled out of my friend’s stereo. I had to go take a nap, and I had really bad dreams. Now I can never take a whole country seriously again. This is a black, black day.

And now it is again.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    But Bohemian Rhapsody is allegedly responsible for creating punk as a reaction against it!

    (Although some people blame Yes’ “Tales from Topographic Oceans”).

    But for “Bo Rap”, there might have been no Sex Pistols and No Clash….

    Anyway, we Brits have no monopoly with Opera/cheese-metal crossovers – what about Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell”, which came out around the same time? “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is at least as ridiculous as anything by Queen….

  • Eric Olsen

    Certainly, although at least “Paradise” has humor. The main difference though, is that only BoRhap keeps getting voted #1 by the deranged Brits.

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    And if you want to crush something British, start with Will Young and Gareth Gates.

  • http://www.oakhaus.blogspot Bill Sherman

    Dang. And here I was just workin’ on a Ten Best Queen songs list: w./ “Bohemian Rhapsody” Number One With A Bullet!

    It’s no “Dancing Queen,” though. . .

  • Chris Hall

    So he wants to smash anything British and sink the island. Is he American by any chance? The nation of freedom and democracy that wants to crush and destroy anything that doesn’t fall into line. The country that wants to go to war over chemical weapons but won’t let the inspectors into it’s inspect it’s own chemical weapons. The country that wants to bring war criminals to justice but just as long as they’re not Americans. The country that loads Afghan fighters into containers and then fills them with bullets. The country where people are so fat they can’t walk, while millions face starvation in Africa.

    After all that, liking the odd Queen song isn’t so bad

  • Eric Olsen

    Is “Chris Hall” a pen name for Robert Fisk??

  • http://www.nerichardson.co.uk Nigel E. Richardson

    Ladies, puh-lease.

    I think there are deep and curious reasons why a certain chunk of the British population still love “Bohemian Rhapsody” — although I’m not entirely sure what they are. It’s masterful achievement is that everything about it is there purely to give the impression of being something significant. By now people ought to have sussed this out, seen it as the pompous fake it is, but the beatification of Saint Freddie has only strengthened its hold.

    I’ve always found it too hilarious to really hate, regarding it as a 6 or 7 minute time capsule of everything that was unfathomably dopy about what passed as popular culture in the mid 70s. I’ve always felt exactly the same about Springsteen’s “Born to Run” however, an equally bloated piece of overblown adolescent pomp.

  • Taelor

    omgs Lols totallee overrated LOLOL I love 50 Cent!!!

  • Duane

    Only at BC can you find chemical weapons, starving Africans, anti-American crapola, and Bohemian Rhapsody all mixed into one post. Hahahaha. You guys are hilarious.

    I think Bohemian Rhapsody is an OK song, albeit overplayed. I’m sure that Queen had a wonderful time putting it together. They were clever guys. But, in agreement with Eric, it is far from their best work. And that’s the real tragedy — Queen being lionized for one of their less stellar offerings. It’s so typical.

  • Bobbi Legitmo

    can’t you just see bohemian rhapsody for what it is? it was made as a bit of fun! and it is fun to listen to! im sure most people have made up stupid songs with friends. the difference being, queen were clever enough to make a shit load of money from theirs!

  • Cristina

    HAHAHAHAH!! That was hilarious. Thank you, lol

    I still love Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody though.
    Too bad you don’t understand the song.