40 years ago today: Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ single was released in the U.S.

“Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango?”

40 years ago today, Queen”s iconic-status-bound single “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released in the U.S.

The tempo-shifting song jumps from power ballad to operatic to heavy rock and sounded not quite like anything else on the radio, clocking in at nearly six minutes. Record companies thought it would never get airplay. But it became an unconventional hit, scoring Queen their first number one single in the U.K. It reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

The stateside release followed an October 1975 debut in the U.K. American radio RKO managed to get a copy of the tape and started to play it in across their network, which forced the hand of Queen”s U.S. label to release the song in its entirety.

The song has been covered and parodied by many artists, The Muppets”, Pink”s and Panic! and the Disco”s versions being ones not to miss. It also has a memorable and prominent place in the opening sequence of “Wayne”s World.”

Other notable December 2 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1965: “That Darn Cat!” opened in theaters. It was the last of six films Hayley Mills made for Walt Disney.

• 1978: Neil Diamond and Barbra Striesand's “You Don't Bring Me Flowers” hits the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

• 1983: Michael Jackson”s “Thriller” video debuted on MTV.

• 1989: NBC Saturday morning cartoon “The Smurfs” concluded its 8-year run.

• 2000: Smashing Pumpkins played their final concert at The Metro, the same Chicago club where they took the stage for the first time.

• 2003: Simon & Garfunkel”s reunion tour took the duo to Madison Square Garden and their first concert in New York City in 10 years. 

Birthdays: pop singer Britney Spears (turns 34 today), “Harry Potter” actor Alfred Enoch (27), pop singer Nelly Furtado (37), “Kill Bill” actress Lucy Liu (47), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Joe Lo Truglio (45), “Wayne”s World” director Penelope Spheeris (70)