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Queen - A Night At The Opera CD (album) cover

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Queen

 

Prog Related

4.29 | 916 ratings

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Losimba
5 stars I admit I'm quite mainstream with my feelings of this album. But it is very hard not to be, looking at the variety of the songs which already makes this album as complex as possible without looking at the really complex songs. There's only one superfluous track, God Save The Queen, but if you put it into context with the name of the band and eccentrics of some of the musicians, it finds some justification, too. But let's start at the beginning.

The piano intro to the first track is a first hint of what to expect and soon evolves into tehe accusing Death On Two Legs, a song directly aimed at the boss of their former record company who tried to have it banned, but without success. It is followed by the short and innocent Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon and the very heavy anthem of every proud European middle class twenty-odd year old man, I'm In Love With My Car. It is only after this fabulous song that the first half second of actual silence is set before the next song, one of Queen's classics, You're My Best Friend, the first ballad on the album. Number five is an up-tempo acoustic piece with Brian May at the microphone, '39 with some weird lyrics. It is followed by another Heavy Metal track, Sweet Lady, which is really good for a "weakest" song of the album, before side 1 ends with funky and funny Seaside Rendezvous.

All in all, 7 fine and nice short songs that would make a fine album for themselves if re-recorded in some extended versions. But then the extensions would probably only destroy the compact and strong feeling of those songs.

This all ends with the first track of the second side of the album. The definition of "epic" songs is a very wide one, and many prog fans use a certain length in minutes and seconds as the only parameter. While this is an easy and clear option, it sometimes does not do the songs justice. The Prophet's Song is one example, as many would not consider it long enough. But the song's structure more than makes up for the missing two or so minutes. The acapella section in the middle of the song is certainly not everybody's darling, but I like it not only because it hints at what will still come, but also for the show of vocal skill of all 4 band members. The outro is a direct link to the second ballad of the album, Love Of My Life which shows that Freddie Mercury might have been a strong contestant to Elton John in the race for best piano rock performer if he had wanted to. The album closes in to the end and gives the audience three and a half minutes to either dance or breathe through with the easy going Good Company before Freddie Mercury unleashes his opus magnum.

When I first heard Bohemian Rhapsody as a 13 year old lass, I hated it because I didn't understand the complexity of both music and lyrics. A few years later, when I had become older and wiser (yes this pun was borrowed from Alan Parsons), this epic song had become another of my all time top 5 songs and will probably never be relegated from this status. The gong at the end would be a perfect conclusion for the album, but this is Queen, so the British anthem was added as an outro and doesn't even spoil the overall impression of genius.

Full and undisputed 5 stars for one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

Losimba | 5/5 |

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