Queen rock classic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the first music video released in the 1970s – or any time before the 1990s – to cross one billion views on YouTube.
Written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera, the six-minute suite – according to Wikipedia – consists of several sections without a chorus: An intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda.
It topped the UK singles chart for nine weeks in 1976 and again for five weeks in 1991 when it was re-released following Mercury’s death.
It was also the title of the 2018 biographical drama that took home four Oscars, including Rami Malek’s best actor gong for portraying the flamboyant Mercury.
To commemorate the YouTube milestone, original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor have teamed up with Universal Music and YouTube/Google for fresh iterations of the 44-year old single and video.
One is a newly digitally remastered version of the original clip, which premiered on Top of the Pops in England in November 1975.
There will also be three new fan-made videos to be chosen from submissions to a website.
“We are honoured that Bohemian Rhapsody has just hit one billion views on YouTube,” the duo said as part of the announcement.
“We want to thank you all and celebrate with our amazing fans all around the world by creating three new music videos to our songs, all featuring you!”
1 billion views of Bohemian Rhapsody! That our music is still creating such a large impact to this day is simply incredible, and we thank you. To celebrate, we remastered our video in HD here: https://t.co/fVsdgYfM1Z pic.twitter.com/2m9kUv730Y
— Queen (@QueenWillRock) July 21, 2019
Dancers are being asked to submit their interpretations of Don’t Stop Me Now, while visual artists get to offer any kind of take on lyrics from A Kind of Magic.
And singers and musicians are being invited to reinterpret Bohemian Rhapsody.
The three videos resulting from this campaign will be released later in the year, YouTube said.