Most Difficult Songs to Play Live

The songs which are a nightmare to play in front of a live audience, but a beauty on the radio or mp3 player. Any genre can be added.

The Top Ten

1 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

The operatic section was done with 180 overdubs... even Queen recognised it as impossible to play live which is why they generally only did the 'mama' section and the solo, then left the stage to play a tape of the operatic section. At least they refused to lip-sync when they were supposed to be playing live... which is more than I can say for some other artists.

I have tried, but is was unsuccesful.

Is your voice high enough? Mine's not. - aeromaxx777

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2 Art of Life - X Japan

Sick... But in a different style, "Jake to the bone" from Toto seems to me more difficult.

Oh my God! I don't think I have much stamina for this. Where can I get an orchestra to play with me? - aeromaxx777

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3 Pull Me Under - Dream Theater

I always lose concentration because of it's time signature. - aeromaxx777

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4 November Rain - Guns N' Roses UListen to Sample
5 All Nightmare Long - Metallica

Requires every band members to pay attention because of such fast tempo. - aeromaxx777

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6 Holy Wars... the Punishment Due - Megadeth

Stumps all but the best. Long live Megadeth! m/

So easy to make a mistake in this song especially playing in front of thousands!

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7 Psychosocial - Slipknot

9 Instruments All in unison, That is Extremely Hard to Pull of in the Case of Metal.

You might need a couple of more instruments to pull this off. - aeromaxx777

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8 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin UListen to Sample
9 Hotel California - Eagles

I can't memorize it all :( - aeromaxx777

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10 Through the Fire and Flames - Dragonforce

A million apologies because I forgot to put this on this list a few months ago. I only heard it some time in the past and I was blown away.

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The Contenders

11 The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater UListen to Sample
12 Parallels - As I Lay Dying UListen to Sample
13 Painkiller - Judas Priest

Rob is really pushing the limits of human voice, it's impossible to sing it live, like he did in the studio!

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14 YYZ - Rush UListen to Sample
15 Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

You know this song is almost 9:00 on album, which means 11 minutes live.

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16 Given Up - Linkin Park UListen to Sample
17 Speed of Sound - Coldplay UListen to Sample
18 Technologic - Daft Punk UListen to Sample
19 21st Century Schizoid Man - King Crimson

Very technically difficult, and impossible to accurately recreate live. Especially the guitar and saxophone solo. The studio solos have never been played live in concert, they've always been improvised. To prove how hard it is, just go listen to Crimson perform it live.

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20 Chandelier - Sia UListen to Sample
21 Plug in Baby - Muse UListen to Sample
22 Roundabout - Yes UListen to Sample
23 Dave's Gone Skiing - Toto UListen to Sample
24 Close to the Edge - Yes UListen to Sample
25 Supper's Ready - Genesis

This song is so much harder to pull off than any of the songs in the top 10. You need to know every section of this 22 minute song (which there are 7 of) with absolute certainty. And not to mention, the Apocalypse in 9/8 section where the key solo above the 9/8 rhythm switches between 4/4 and 7/8. Try staying in time with all that going on. There are so many little nuances in this song that make it so difficult yet brilliant. There are harmonies, multiple guitar parts, and beautiful key work (plus some difficult rhythms coming from the bass/drums).

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