this essay will compare two extremely famous and successful songs: the 1990s hit single, Thunderstruck by legendary Australian hard rock band, AC/DC and the 1975 surprise hit that rocked the musical world, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was recorded by the British rock band Queen and released in October 31, 1975. Bohemian Rhapsody was greeted like a miracle from heaven in the mid-Seventies. It was the first time that an opera passage had been combined with a pop record and reached number one place on the record charts. It is clear that this song has a very unusual structure and originally the operatic section was planned to be a considerable amount shorter. Reportedly it was only when they got to the studio they decided to make it longer, in addition to this they were told that they were mad to release a six minute long song. Despite this they released the song which has now become the best selling UK rock single of all time.
Thunderstruck came out in the 1990 album The Razors Edge. The song was released as a single in Germany, Australia, and Japan, and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. In 2010, “Thunderstruck” topped Triple M’s Ultimate 500 Rock Countdown in Melbourne, Australia. The top five were all AC/DC songs.
With the exception of new material from an album they are touring behind, this is one of the only two songs released after For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) that the band still performs live in concert, the other being “Rock ‘N’ Roll Train”.
Thunderstruck is composed in the key of B major.
Bohemian Rhapsody begins with a cappella multitrack layered vocals sung by Freddie Mercury. The tonal centre of this part is in B flat which gives the song a somewhat broken quality which to an extent, reflects the songs lyrics which describe someone who has been arrested for murder.
About 50 seconds into the song comes the ballad section which is repeated twice. Everything is the same in the repetitions except the lyrics. except for the lyrics. The arrangement is quite bare. In the first verse there’s piano and bass played, but no guitars or backing vocals. The introduction of drums is retained until the beginning of the second verse, entering along with the double tracked rhythm guitars.