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




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4.29 | 950 ratings

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3 stars Within A Night at the Opera, one can find all the ingredients that would make Queen arguably the most irritating band of a generation, at least among those who achieved mass success - the snarling disdainful rockers, the flowery fey ballads, the striking of poses for the sake of it. There was something so plastic and manufactured about Queen that was evident enough at the time, but is embarassingly obvious now. From an artistic perspective, they could only succeed at the novelty song, and one album of such material is quite sufficient. That album is A Night at the Opera, which actually works on a number of levels, from the swipe at some politician or another on "Death on Two Legs" to the jolly eclectic hit "Bohemian Rhapsody", and even parts of the "prophet's Song" do pass muster as a sort of Star Trek version or madrigal music. Some of it, like "I'm in Love with My Car" and "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" only work because we have not yet had it up to here with the whole absurdity schtick, but "39", however tongue in cheek it may or may not be, is just a fine song.

After A Night at the Opera, Queen produced a second Marx brothers inspired album which was basically identical except they forgot to, or were simply unable or unwilling to, include any good songs. If you don't know Queen, and I can't see quite how, or if you just feel you must have something by them, you can start and stop right here, because it's all downhill afterwards, much in the manner of the British Empire and its namesake monarchy.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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