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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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5 stars This is the album where it all came together for Queen, the one they had been working towards, the one they would never surpass for all their subsequent success and world-wide fame. For a band whose music is based on a heavy style of rock, their songs are amazingly old-fashioned, perhaps because of the camp styles of the past so favoured by Freddie. Many of the songs are almost pure vaudville, and often corny in words and music, though it all works for the mainstream in spectacular fashion, listeners hearing all this through a haze of dazzling guitars, flashy vocals and stand-out drums. Ironically, just about the best song they ever did was Radio Gaga, written by their outstanding drummer, Roger Taylor.

The most famous song of course is Bohemian Rhapsody, and it is a real tour-de-force, albeit tongue in cheek at points, with its over-the-top moments, meaningless links, non-sequiter sections, and outrageously bad-taste J Arthur Rank gong at the end. For all that, in the moments where it hits dead centre, it's the real thing.

The whole Queen package is a triumph of brilliant musicians outwitting their own lack of song writing talent by drowning the whole thing in spectacular musical ketchup, craftily neutering any criticism of bad taste by including excess as a necessary ingredient in the first place.

And of course, having a fantastic showman and a great singer at your helm doesn't do any harm either.

giselle | 5/5 |


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