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




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4.30 | 1024 ratings

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4 stars This album needs my review just about as much as a fish needs a bottle of Coke, but I just thought it would be nice to have a look at this celebrated rock classic which I listened to at my mid-teenage years. First I must admit that Queen has never been even remotely among my favourite bands.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' is the most famous track, and it competes with Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' as THE best of all-time rock songs (at least in Finland I've seen such ranking). And yes, it deserves that status. It's like a mini opera with some amazing multi-layered vocal work in the middle part. But the whole album operates in a poignantly overblown, self-mocking level in which many various musical styles meet. Glam rock and hard rock with a good measure of progressivity had been Queen's own field already on their earliest albums. Here they throw in also some campy old-time British theatre music ('Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon' and 'Seaside Rendezvous'). Drummer Roger Taylor delivers his best known piece 'I'm In Love With My Car' with parodic frenzy, and '39' written and sung by Brian May is nicely country-flavoured. Freddie Mercury gets sentimental in the tender 'Love Of My Life' and naiively happy 'You're My Best Friend'. The proggiest moments besides Rhapsody are in the 8-minute 'Prophet's Song'.

A Night At The Opera (no closer connection to the Marx brothers film) has so unique and bold identity that even if I haven't listened to it in perhaps over twenty years, I have no difficulty to remember it (though I have seen a TV document some time ago to refresh those memories). The production is wonderful but a large part of the charm is in the way they didn't take themselves too seriously. This album is bursting out some kind of humour. It is campy so deliberately that it's totally disarming. Even if I'm still not longing to get it onto my shelves, I simply feel no right to give this classic less than four stars.

Matti | 4/5 |


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