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A capella group Pentatonix have made a career out of breathing new life into well-known songs and they’ve done just that again with their latest cover. Taking on Queen’s iconic 1975 single “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the five-piece vocal group stayed true to the original, while bringing their own flare and dramatics to the cinematic song.
The band enlisted some simple yet engaging effects for the video, which opens with all five members sitting on a couch in a living room. As the song begins, the walls of the living room are moved away to reveal that the band is actually sitting in the middle of a deserted road. The couch begins moving down the road as band members jump on and off before grabbing flashlights to recreate Queen’s iconic album cover for the disc Queen II.
The video closes with the band members once again taking a seat on the couch as the walls of the living room reappear to matching the opening scene.
Showing the power of the classic rock track, Pentatonix’s stirring rendition is one of many covers of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to hit the charts, but thanks to the band’s pitch-perfect harmonization and soulful delivery, it’s a cover that will stand on its own.
Pentatonix’s connection to “Bohemian Rhapsody” goes deeper than the famous lyrics and “Oooohs.” Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was one of the small number of entertainers who came even close to being openly out in the 1980s. The singer eventually succumbed to the AIDS virus, dying in 1991 at the age of 45.
Pentatonix, which lists Arlington, Texas as the hometown of the band, includes two openly gay members, Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi. While LGBTQ rights still have many barriers to break down, Pentatonix’s huge success and visibility of out-and-proud band members contrasted with Mercury’s inability to fully come out before his death or risk the band’s success show progress in society’s inclusiveness.
The new cover is part of Pentatonix Vol. 4, the band’s new album that was released on April 7. Kicking it old school, the album includes covers of The Beatles’ “Imagine,” A-Ha’s “Take On Me,” Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and more.