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YouTuber listens to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the first time, gets blown away
It might be hard to believe, but there are still people in this world who have never heard of Queen or the rock band’s 1975 mega-hit “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even if you missed when the Freddie Mercury masterpiece was first released, it got new life in the early 1990s with the head-banging-in-the-car scene in Wayne’s World. And the song will likely receive yet another big boost in popularity when the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody hits movie theaters in November.
But YouTuber Joey Reacts—who reacts to songs he’s never heard before, records those reactions, and then sets them loose on the social media platform—had apparently never heard the famous tune.
In fact, he’s not even sure of the song title before he hits the play button, but 13 seconds into the track, Joey Reacts makes the simple pronouncement of, “This is dope.” His reactions only get better from there. He coos over Mercury’s voice, expresses amazement at the content of the lyrics, goes googly-eyed at Brian May’s guitar playing, and rocks out at the appropriate part.
Based on Joey React’s other videos, we can ascertain that he’s completely open to taking a dive into the music of Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Chris Stapleton, and Beethoven. He’s reacted to all of them in the past few weeks—and he’s getting more popular. With nearly 700,000 views of his “Bohemian Rhapsody” reaction video, his subscriber count has risen from a little more than 3,000 last month to 33,000 as of this writing.
Does that speak to the power of Mercury and Queen, or do people just love to watch other people listen to something so special for the first time? It doesn’t really matter. As most of us know, even if you’re a poor boy from a poor family, a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody”—whether you’ve heard it 10,000 times or are breathing it in for the first time on your YouTube channel—is bound to send shivers down your spine.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.