11:00 am EST, January 22, 2019

Killer Queen: Ranking every music scene in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

There may be only room in the band for one Queen, but we have four anyway.

By Katie Awad | Edited by Brandi Delhagen

Your favorite Queen song, your favorite Bohemian Rhapsody scene, and the best Bohemian Rhapsody scene are not all the same.

We all, subjectively, have a favorite music scene in Bohemian Rhapsody, but what is the best scene objectively? In order to determine the best (and worst), we must have a grading system based on unbiased criteria that extends to every scene.

If there could be only one thing the men of Queen are known for, it would have to be their style. Each member has their own unique style, of varying degrees of exuberance, so grading their outfits it’s an obvious choice. Aside from fashion, each of them have their own unique quirks and habits, so the next four criteria will be individualized.

As the leading man, Freddie attracts all eyes when he performs, so Freddie will be judged by his dancing. Brian has a tendency to really get into his guitar solos. His concentration results in a pinched face and pouty lips, so Brian will be graded on the severity of his furrowed face. Naturally, Roger will be critiqued on the severity of his banging. Finally, John’s various hairdos are up for evaluation, if just to give actor Joe Mazzello the recognition he craves for his unseen perm and countless wigs.

‘Doing All Right’

Outfits: 2/5

While not unstylish, the boys dress quite generically before becoming Queen. To put it in perspective, the most notable piece of clothing is probably Roger’s little shorts.

Dancing Freddie: 1/5

He may not be in Queen yet, but Freddie does get a little groove in during “Doing All Right” while watching from the bar.

Pouty Brian: 1/5

There’s some lip pursing going on with Brian here, but his face is largely obstructed by his hair.

Roger Smash: 2/5

No hard crashes during “Doing All Right” but there’s definitely a catchy rhythm Roger gets going when the beat drops.

John’s ‘Do: 0/5

John isn’t even in the band in for this song, let alone in the scene.

Total: 6

‘Keep Yourself Alive’

Outfits: 2.5/5

The addition of Freddie and John ups their style game for “Keep Yourself Alive.” Roger and John have quite basic shirts, but with a rather busy pattern, while Brian and Freddie opt for tops a little more adventurous. Of particular interest is that Freddie’s shirt is actually his mother’s from an earlier scene.

Dancing Freddie: 3.5/5

Though Freddie struggles in the beginning, he quickly finds his rhythm and confidence, making as much use of the tiny stage as he can. Unlike every other live scene, Freddie makes use of a prop, brandishing a tambourine to both add instrumentation and theatrics to his performance.

Pouty Brian: 2/5

For Brian, “Keep Yourself Alive” is mostly an exercise for his eyebrows and forehead. Aghast at Freddie for changing the lyrics, he constantly furrows his brow in frustration with mouth agape in shocked silence or verbal vitriol.

Roger Smash: 3/5

There are a number of good cymbal crashes during this scene. Unfortunately the camera isn’t on Roger for them. Just use your imagination to picture his fierce smashes.

John’s ‘Do: 3/5

For our first introduction to John we’re treated to his long locks look with whispy bangs. It’s not his best look, but it’s certainly a statement.

Total: 14

‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’

Outfits: 2/5

John and Brian are definitely taking the most fashion risks in this scene, each wearing an embroidered piece over a plain top. Freddie comes in close second with his sweater t-shirt, followed by Roger in a very basic pant, top, and denim jacket (the exposed zipper on his pants is a nice touch though).

Dancing Freddie: 0.5/5

There’s no performance to be had in “Seven Seas of Rhye,” but Freddie gets half a point for his elegant posture and flourish with his gestures.

Pouty Brian: 3/5

Pursed-lips Brian is getting into his stride in this scene. Recording an innovative song on a deadline brings out his concentration face, but it’s not in full swing just yet.

Roger Smash: 3/5

For the recording scene of “Seven Seas Of Rhye,” Roger doesn’t get to sit at the traditional kit. He does, however, get to experiment with much more unique ‘instruments,’ including drumming with coins.

John’s ‘Do: 3/5

No change of hairdo for John yet, so his score stays the same.

Total: 11.5

‘Killer Queen’

Outfits: 4.5/5

The Queen boys make bolder fashion choices for their first televised performance on Top of the Pops. Roger takes a risk in a Canadian tuxedo accessorized with a green tie and white wristbands. Brian opts for a black top and bottom, adding flair with a shiny white blazer and gold necklace. John is still rather conservative in a grey suit, but adds some personality with a patterned button down. And of course Freddie takes the cake in a daring fur coat.

Top of the Pops transitions into a live performance which tips their score even higher. Each of their white outfits is striking, from the angelic flow to the leather fringe.

Dancing Freddie: 5/5

Ever the performer, Freddie keeps the camera occupied during the televised performance with his…moves. He then has fun with his billowy blouse for the concert show, like a swan about to take flight.

Pouty Brian: 1/5

Poor Brian can’t get past the fact that they aren’t playing “Killer Queen” live for Top of the Pops. There are no pursed lips in sight, and only one in the concert performance.

Roger Smash: 3.5/5

Like Brian, Roger clearly isn’t that enthused with the TV gig, hitting the drums with minimal effort. Fast forward to the concert where he gives it so much more gumption you can see his sweat.

John’s ‘Do: 3/5

Don’t worry, we’re inching closer to John severing ties with his hair.

Total: 17

‘Fat Bottomed Girls’

Outfits: 5/5

It’s peak dramatic style for the “Fat Bottomed Girls” tour montage. You get everything you could possibly want: lace, leather, satin, sparkle, and fringe. With numerous outfit changes, it’s no surprise they cover every style and fabric.

Dancing Freddie: 5/5

Full of energy for each city we see him in, Freddie bounces around the stage, striking poses even when the spotlight is on someone else. He bounces so far he throws himself off the stage in the only crowd-surfing moment of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Pouty Brian: 4/5

There aren’t as many moments of Brian concentrating so hard he pouts as you’d think, but there are enough to earn him high marks. His most notable moment comes when Freddie smacks his butt, to which we owe Freddie a huge ‘thank you.’

Roger Smash: 4.5/5

This scene opens with Roger pouring beer on his kit and smashing it so hard the alcohol sprays off. It doesn’t happen just once either. Roger smashes don’t get much better than that, apart from his moment in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but it’s pretty close.

John’s ‘Do: 3/5

Mercifully, “Fat Bottomed Girls” is John’s last appearance with this hairdo.

Total: 21.5

‘Love Of My Life’

Outfits: 3/5

There are two main scenes for “Love Of My Life,” and three outfits from Freddie. The first is when Freddie performs it for Paul at the farm. Here, he’s wearing another sweater t-shit. In fact, it’s the same as the one from “Seven Seas of Rhye,” except orange instead of white.

The second scene has Freddie showing Mary a taped performance of the song. The Freddie in present time has an almost child-like color-blocked t-shirt, whereas the Freddie in the TV is wearing the disco ball bodysuit that gains prominence in a later scene.

Dancing Freddie: 0.5/5

This song isn’t the dancing type song, but Freddie earns half a point for conducting the crowd during the second scene.

Pouty Brian: 0.5/5

Brian also gets half a point just for briefly appearing in the second scene. Way to go Brian, you get that airtime.

Roger Smash: 0/5

“Love of My Life” doesn’t have any drums, so Roger has to put a hold on that banging.

John’s ‘Do: 0/5

John suffers the same fate as Roger, not appearing in either “Love Of My Life” scene.

Total: 4

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Outfits: 4.5/5

“Bohemian Rhapsody” also has two main scenes: the recording of the song and the live performance in Edinburgh. While the boys’ casual clothes during the recording are certainly stylish (most notably John’s orange t-shirt under a brown suede vest), the live performance is where we’ll focus. The performance outfits are almost perfect for wardrobe theatrics. Freddie wears a black and white diamond spandex bodysuit paired with a leather jacket; Roger dons a shiny gold blazer; Brian’s dramatic, flowing white blouse is adorned with a sparkly neckpiece; and John… Well, John brings the glamor down in his plain white pants and black button down, but we’ll give him credit for his casual-wear earlier.

Dancing Freddie: 2/5

The first part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” has Freddie sitting down for almost all of it (except when the group records the ‘Galileos,’ in which Freddie ends up on the ground anyway). For the live performance, Freddie’s mostly just waving his arm around before being seated at the piano. His outfit is much louder than his dancing in this one.

Pouty Brian: 5/5

Brian’s face is actually quite relaxed when recording his solo for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but the pout returns in full force for the live performance. There’s nothing like the final act of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to bring out the head-banging, face-scrunching, guitar god.

Roger Smash: 5/5

We may not even see Roger play the drums during any part of this sequence, recording or live, but he still gets a full score. Go back and watch that final gong roll and tell me it isn’t the best thing you’ve ever seen.

John’s ‘Do: 4/5

Somewhere between recording “Bohemian Rhapsody” and performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” live in Edinburgh in 1976, John gets a drastic haircut. We’re treated to two different hair styles for this song’s scene, both John’s long shag and the subsequent short mini-mullet. Unfortunately though, neither are the fun, fuzzy perm.

Total: 20.5

‘Now I’m Here’

Outfits: 4/5

Freddie never looks bolder than for the tour in the “Now I’m Here” scene. His sparkly, disco ball bodysuit is the most eye-catching piece his wears for the entirety of Bohemian Rhapsody (yes, bolder than the lizard jacket). The comparative lack of effort from the rest of the band prevents them from getting top marks. We don’t even see what Roger is wearing.

Dancing Freddie: 5/5

Aside from his vibrant energy during the “Now I’m Here” performance, Freddie also commands attention even when static. Each pose Freddie strikes when cities blast from his body is vivacious even when he isn’t moving. Easily Freddie’s best show.

Pouty Brian: 2/5

If you squint, you make out Brian’s signature lip pursing in the distance. But the lack of quantity and quality of the scrunch is detrimental to his overall score.

Roger Smash: 0/5

It’s a bit difficult to give Roger any marks when we can’t even see him.

John’s ‘Do: 2/5

“Now I’m Here” barely features John at all, which is probably for the best. He’s ‘rocking’ his most boring haircut in this scene, and it really leaves us feeling uninspired.

Total: 13

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’

Outfits: 5/5

Everyone is super glamorous for Freddie’s party while “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” plays in the background. Freddie’s militaristic, rockstar royalty look is striking from head to toe, beginning with a gaudy crown and ending with red leather pants. Let’s not fail to mention John’s orange velvet blazer over a polka dot top, Brian’s leather jacket paired with a graphic button down, and Roger’s dedication to leather.

Dancing Freddie: 2/5

Despite this not being an actual music scene, Freddie still makes an effort to perform. He certainly knows how to make a dramatic entrance and put on a show.

Pouty Brian: 5/5

Brian’s lips may be moving a lot during the “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” scene, but his face is the height of scrunch. Freddie’s behavior results in a very judgemental Brian. There’s all the eyebrow-raising, eyebrow-knitting, eye-squinting, and forehead-creasing you could ever need.

Roger Smash: 0/5

There’s no performance or song recording for Roger to exert force on any percussion piece. The only thing on full force here is his snark.

John’s ‘Do: 2/5

Poor John still has his generic haircut for this scene, but fear not, he’s about to up his game soon.

Total: 14

‘We Will Rock You’

Outfits: 5/5

Between the making of “We Will Rock You” and the live performance, the Queen boys’ best street and theatric style are on display. In the studio the boys complement each other with warm, earth tones, in various degrees of casual. For the live show, Roger rocks some white leather, Deacy goes business-edge, Brian shines in a satiny shirt and vest (adorned with sparkly spiderwebs, to boot), and of course Freddie’s statement lack of shirt with a leather tie.

Dancing Freddie: 5/5

The scene depicting the writing of “We Will Rock You” doesn’t include a lot of Freddie, but the subsequent live performance makes up for it. He has great stage presence and movement, particularly during the guitar solo.

Pouty Brian: 5/5

This scene starts with some great angry-Brian lip pursing, and the gift keeps on giving. Teacher-Brian, annoyed-Brian, and rockstar-Brian provide all manner of scrunchy faces for every mood.

Roger Smash: 2/5

There’s some good, consistent Roger-banging in this performance, but it’s quite repetitive and never amounts to any satisfying crash.

John’s ‘Do: 3/5

Though quite flat during the making of the song in the studio, John’s hair gets more fluffy for the live performance, getting us a little taste of the puffy perm to come later.

Total: 20

‘Another Bites The Dust’

Outfits: 3/5

The Queen boys expertly show off their stylish, casual, rockstar vibes for this scene. You get disco Deacy in a graphic blue button-down, Freddie’s vibrant red tank top under a leather sports jacket, Roger’s leather pants and slick white booties, and Brian in a toned-down patterned shirt, layered with a vest and bold white pants. Not exactly dramatic, but stylish nonetheless.

Dancing Freddie: 1/5

Freddie may give it his all in this scene, but tired, hungover, high, drunk, whatever it is, he’s unable to give enough.

Pouty Brian: 4/5

From trying to contain his disapproving stares because of Freddie’s lack of professionalism, to the intensity of grooving to Deacy’s beat, Brian gives the goods in this scene.

Roger Smash: 2/5

Like “We Will Rock You,” there aren’t any epic crashes for Roger in “Another One Bites The Dust,” but he keeps a steady, catchy beat to keep you bopping your head along with the bass line.

John’s ‘Do: 2/5

John’s cut his hair even more by the time “Another One Bites The Dust” is written. If possible, he looks more generic and less like a rockstar, even if the attitude he carries in this scene is very Queen-like.

Total: 12

‘I Want to Break Free’

Outfits: 5/5

The Queen boys have never looked better than when they’re dressed like women. It’s theatrical, funny, and unexpected. Not to mention, despite how short the scene is, the boys really get into their characters and give very convincing performances, ranging from a schoolgirl to an old granny.

Dancing Freddie: 2/5

There isn’t a lot of dancing, but did you see his feather dusting technique? The arm extension, the wrist movement, Freddie does the most with the little time and space he has.

Pouty Brian: 5/5

Brian may not have a guitar to focus his concentration on, but never fear! In place of his guitar, Brian gets to pore over a magazine. While deep in thought, we get a glorious moment of him pursing his lips to fix his lipstick. Brian May has never looked prettier when pensive.

Roger Smash: 0/5

Poor Roger doesn’t get to smash or bang anything in this scene. The closest we get is John smacking his butt when they’re frolicking on the couch after shooting is over.

John’s ‘Do: 4/5

John’s granny wig still has the luxurious curls, but points are docked for the color. Unfortunately, Deacy had to go grey in order to accurately represent his character. But the effort to make sure he has a permed wig is admirable.

Total: 16

‘Mr. Bad Guy’

Outfits: 3/5

While recording “Mr. Bad Guy,” Freddie has a few outfit changes. His velour tracksuit jacket and patterned shirt are the highlights, but all of them are colorful. Even when sad Freddie still manages to wear some vibrant clothing.

Dancing Freddie: 0/5

Freddie is too ill and depressed to do anything but sit for this scene. It’s his weakest ‘performance’ of the whole film.

Pouty Brian: 0/5

Tragically Brian is not present in this scene to either pass judgement or to rock out.

Roger Smash: 0/5

If you were hoping for some Roger smashes, you’re out of luck. Roger doesn’t appear in this scene.

John’s ‘Do: 0/5

Surprise! There’s no John in this scene either.

Total: 3

‘Live Aid’ (Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer to Fall, Radio Ga Ga, We Are The Champions)

Outfits: 2/5

The boys’ ostentatious style wasn’t on display for the final performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. The decision by all four to wear more basic pieces is probably a purposeful intention to be more tasteful, given what this performance is about and representing. Nevertheless, John’s pop of graphic pink earns them an extra point.

Dancing Freddie: 3/5

Considering how long the performance is, Freddie spends quite a bit of time behind a piano and gesticulating fist pumps in various directions. His little two-steps are cute, and he uses space well, constantly traversing the stage, but the theatrics are at a minimum here compared to other performances.

Pouty Brian: 4/5

The only reason Brian doesn’t get a perfect score here is because Roger really gives him a run for his money. In an over 10 minute long performance, there are plenty of face scrunches and lip pursing, it’s a miracle he didn’t turn into a fish before our eyes.

Roger Smash: 4.5/5

If you can’t remember at least one close up moment of Roger smashing his cymbals so hard he scrunches his face as much as Brian, you weren’t paying attention. Roger would have gotten a perfect score if it weren’t for the epic gong bang in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

John’s ‘Do: 5/5

The Deacy fluff is in full force during Live Aid. Is it Joe Mazzello’s perm? Is Joe wearing a wig? Who knows, but who cares? John gets a full score for showing off that muffin top.

Total: 18.5

Which music scene in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is your favorite?

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