A One Take Rhapsody

Marc Martel

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In 2011 a video Marc Martel created as an audition for Roger Taylor’s own Queen tribute act caught the world by surprise, and made him a viral household sensation. The short two-minute raw performance, seen by over 21 million on YouTube, was enough to thrust him onto the world stage, earning him not only the lead vocalist spot for the official Queen tribute show for 5 years, but also brought invitations to perform on the Ellen Degeneres Show, American Idol, at Abbey Road, national television commercials, video games, and appearances with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

Although Martel’s vocal prowess first made news nearly a decade ago, his worldwide audience, video views, and fanbase numbers have exploded, since Queen’s resurgence from the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody." Martel has performed for hundreds of thousands of people over the last 9 years, and has played in over 35 countries, across 5 continents. In late 2018, he uploaded another raw performance of a Queen song, the behemoth “Bohemian Rhapsody,” only this time in its entirety, with the added challenge of accompanying himself on piano. The video was originally titled “Bohemian Rhapsody - One Take” to highlight the lack of any video edits, and the sheer feat of skill and will-power required to perform the song all the way through without egregious errors. To his own surprise, the video quickly outperformed his first viral video, now having earned over 37M visits just on YouTube. “What a wild ride it has been over the last few years. Who would have thought that a simple video created in my home studio all those years ago, would have led to millions of people around the world asking me to perform Queen’s music”, muses Martel as he describes the shock he experienced when his second video blew up, earning him accolades on an ever broader spectrum, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and even CNN.

Since then, Martel has followed up “BoRap” with a slew of other Queen hits like “Killer Queen,” “I Want To Break Free,” and the aching ballad Mercury penned for his partner, Mary Austin, “Love Of My Life,” all with the “One Take” formula. All told, the view count of this series of raw Queen song performances has reached over 74M.

Martel is now offering A One-Take Rhapsody as a one-stop collection of the audio taken from all of his “one take” Queen performances, mixed and mastered for audio-only consumption. The songs were selected not just based on their popularity among Queen fans, but each song’s ability to translate well in a stripped-down, acoustic setting. A big Queen fan himself, Martel hopes that people will discover some of the band’s lesser-known material through his own interpretation of the music, such as the gorgeously haunting “You Take My Breath Away.”

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