Hear How Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” Would Sound If Sung by Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra & 38 Other Artists

I consider Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson as the greatest performers of all time. Their vocal abilities are what I look up to as a vocalist.  - Anthony Vincent

Anthony Vincent, the creator of Ten Second Songs, has a flowing mane, a lean physique, and the cocksure manner of a 20th century rock god.

He also spends hours in his home studio, peering at a computer monitor through reading glasses.

His latest effort, above, Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the style of 42 other artists, could seem like a gimmick at first glance.

Consider, however, all the research, time, and musicianship that went into it.




The YouTube star disappeared from the internet for a month in order to tackle the beast that fans had long been begging him for.

He emerged from this self-imposed sabbatical refreshed, recommending that perhaps “everyone should start producing songs in multiple styles just so they too could take a vacation from social media.”

Good idea, though I doubt many of us can mimic the wide range of vocal styles the largely self taught Vincent does, from  Muse’s lead singer Matt Belamy’s fabled high notes to the late Joe Strummer’s extremely English punk attitude to Janis Joplin at her most unfettered.

He also displays an impressive facility with a variety of arrangements and instruments, though a couple of off-handed comments in the Making Of video, below, may not endear him to drummers, despite his obvious respect for the essential role percussion plays in structuring his projects.

Various elements suggested which artist to pair with each bite-sized section of "Bohemian Rhapsody," including similarity of lyrics, notes, and arrangements. ("Mama mia" was a no brainer…as was “Mama, didn’t mean to make you cry.”)

By definition, the multi-style "Bohemian Rhapsody" required him to look beyond his own personal favorites for artists to highlight, a process he applies to all of his mash ups. As he said in a 2015 interview with Radio Metal:

Obviously I don’t listen to Enya in my free time, I don’t go and put on a Gregorian chant and listen to it to relax. If I’m going to put an artist in there, it’s because I have some kind of respect for them in some way… At first my intention was to promote my business and now my intentions are to show that there are different ways that a song can be heard and that there’s nothing wrong with liking different things. You shouldn’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. Just because someone is growling doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just a way of expressing a song, there is really nothing else to it.

His "Bohemian Rhapsody" tribute is comprised of over 1800 carefully labelled tracks, an inspiring display of digital organization as well as technical prowess.

While some of Vincent’s chosen 42—David Bowie, Dream Theater—did cover "Bohemian Rhapsody" in its entirety, an unfortunate side effect of his impersonations are the way they whet our appetite for full covers we’ll never get to enjoy from the likes of Johnny Cash, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin….

Ultimately, no one can hold a candle to the original, but there’s no harm in trying.

Readers, do you have a favorite from the line up below? Anyone you wish you could add to the list?

01. Queen

02. Me

03. The Chordettes

04. Johnny Cash

05. David Bowie

06. Ozzy Osbourne

07. Frank Sinatra

08. Sam Cooke

09. Boyz II Men

10. Daft Punk

11. Janis Joplin

12. Scott Joplin (King Of Ragtime)

13. Skrillex

14. Hendrix (Michael Winslow Version)

15. Kenny G

16. Bobby McFerrin

17. Star Wars

18. N.W.A.

19. Kendrick Lamar

20. System Of A Down

21. Elvis Presley

22. BOLLYWOOD

23. Bad Religion

24. Bruno Mars

25. Death Grips

26. Chuck Berry

27. Michael jackson

28. The Clash

29. Ray Charles

30. Aretha Franklin

31. Soggy Bottom Boys

32. Death

33. ABBA

34. Ghost

35. Muse

36. Vitas

37. Medieval Music

38. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

39. Tool

40. Prince

41. Nirvana

42. Dream Theater

via Consequence of Sound

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Watch the Brand New Trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody, the Long-Awaited Biopic on Freddie Mercury & Queen

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Join her in NYC on Monday, November 12 for another monthly installment of her book-based variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domain. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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36 Artists Give Advice to Young Creators: Wim Wenders, Jonathan Franzen, Lydia Davis, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Umberto Eco & More

"Whatever you do, nobody else can do that better than you. You have to find what you can do better than anyone else, what you have in yourself that nobody else has in them. Don't do anything that you know, deep in your heart, that somebody else can do better, but do what nobody else can do except for you." That sounds like fine advice, but when receiving advice we should always consider the source. In this case we could hardly do better: the source is Wim Wenders, director of Alice in the CitiesParis, TexasWings of Desire, and many other films besides, an auteur seldom accused of making movies anyone else could make.

Wenders' interview clip and the others here come from "Advice to the Young," a video series created by the Louisiana Museum in Denmark (which has quite an impressive gift shop, incidentally, if you happen to need advice on gift-shopping). Jonathan Franzen, author of novels like The CorrectionsFreedom, and Purity, admits to feeling embarrassment about "giving advice to the young writer," but he still has valuable words for creators in any domain: "The most important advice I have is to have fun, to try to create something that is fun to work on."




And by fun he means fun like you have on a tennis court, where "you're not just messing around, you're not just hitting the ball wherever you want — you are focused on having a game, and once you are in it you are having fun. That's the kind of focused fun I'm talking about, and if you are having that kind of focused fun, there's a good chance that the reader will too."

The range of writers from which Louisiana Museum has sought advice also includes Lydia Davis, whose sensibility may differ from Franzen's but who has garnered an equal (or even greater) degree of respect from her readership. "You learn from models and you analyze them, you study them, you analyze them very closely, one thing at a time," she says, beginning her more expansive advice based on her own method. "You don't just sort of read the paragraph and say, 'Oh, that really flows, you know? That's good.' You say, 'What kind of adjectives? How many? What kind of nouns? How long are the sentences? What's the rhythm?' You know, you pick it apart, and that's very helpful." Her other suggestions include to "be very patient, even patient with chaos" and to keep a notebook ("it takes some of the tension and the worry away, because if you write it down, it may just be a note. It doesn't have to be the beginning of anything").

"Do what you want to do," Davis concludes, "and don't worry if it's a little odd or doesn't fit the market." That bit of guidance seems to have worked for her, and in the great variety of forms it can take seems to have worked for seemingly every other artist. Take Ed Ruscha, for instance, whose canvasses of gas stations, corporate signage, and other icons of American blankness must hardly have seemed geared toward any particular "market" when first he painted them. For the young he has only one piece of advice, received second-hand and briefly delivered: "No one could ever beat this thing that Max Ernst said. They asked him what a young artist should do, and he said, 'cut off an ear.' That's good advice to follow. You can't beat that."

Other artists featured in the video playlist include Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Umberto Eco, Patti Smith & more.

Related Content:

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To Make Great Films, You Must Read, Read, Read and Write, Write, Write, Say Akira Kurosawa and Werner Herzog

John Cleese’s Advice to Young Artists: “Steal Anything You Think Is Really Good”

Walt Whitman Gives Advice to Aspiring Young Writers: “Don’t Write Poetry” & Other Practical Tips (1888)

Ursula Le Guin Gives Insightful Writing Advice in Her Free Online Workshop

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

36 Artists Give Advice to Young Creators: Wim Wenders, Jonathan Franzen, Lydia Davis, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Umberto Eco & More is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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