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A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Queen

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Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Finally we have Queen in the prog archives. Their first five albums are all prog, combinated with elements of pop, rock, swing, folk, blues, classic, musical. They played all these different styles and introduced the influences to the unique combination, which make Queen finally to one of the best bands the world had ever seen and heard.

The absolute masterpiece of their long career is without question the allmighty "A Night At The Opera" album, it's also the most flexible and monumental the band had ever done. On the record rule hard rockin' groovers like "Death On Two Legs" and "Sweet Lady", anthemic hard rock power ("I'm In Love With My Car"), eye-blinking chill-out melodies between jazz and opera-atmosphere ("Seaside Rendezvous", "Love Of My Life") and ambitious bombast-epics like the anthem "Bohemian Rhapsody". But the absolutely pinackle of the record is the best progressive hard-rock epic of all time, called "Prophet Song". Unbelievable how Freddie Mercury and the other members of the band handle these choir- tunes in the middle part! Any member of Queen was a great singer and also Brian May shows how a good singer he is, here in the magic "39". It is sensational, how Queen managed all of it here, to a time as the prog rock was going down and slowly died with the upcoming punk-revolution, which took control. With their grateful talents they builded up a bridge between avatgarde and hard rock and inspired not only the next prog giant in the form of Rush, but also younger talents like Savatage, Dream Theater, Symphony X or Spock's Beard.

R.I.P. Freddy Mercury

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#40811)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great album!!!!! I'm not even going to pick out songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "You're My Best Friend" because even those who despise this band have heard these songs at one time or another!! I will admit that "Bo Rap" is possibly one of the quirkiest most innovative and inventive songs ever written and recorded...but even I'm tired of hearing it, heheh!

I will pick out the songs that are seldom heard, the real meat and potatos behind this disc. The album opens with the moody rocker "Death On Two Legs," dedicated to Queen's management team who had been screwing them out of tons of money. They were sued, unsuccessfully! The lyrics were quite raw in 1975: "You suck my blood like a leech, You break the law and you breach, Screw my brain till it hurts, You've taken al my money and you want more." It goes on...very nice with some great vocals by Mr. Mercury and an awesome solo by Brian.

You have several great rock tracks included here: "I'm In Love With My Car" sung by drummer Roger Taylor, and "Sweet Lady", a terribly overlooked hard rock number. Then of course you have "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" and "Seaside Rendezvous" two vaudeville-esque oddities, the wonderful acoustic "39" sung by Brian May, "Good Company", another Brian lead track played on the ukulele, and the orchestral "Love Of My Life" which became a massive stage favorite later on, minus the harp of course!!! To say Queen is divere is an understatement! Find me a review that can say the same thing about another band!

The showpiece of this disc is the 8 minute plus "Prophet's Song." Like "Bo Rhap" this song goes through several movements, ranging from slow and melodic in the beginning, to a steady bass lead rhythm, building to a rather enjoyable and impossible to duplicate section of perfect vocal overdubs and melodies winding in and out and around each other, almost like a choir of angels if I dare say so...:) This finally builds into a rather heavy rock piece augmented by an amazing solo by Brian. This song, in my opinion is simply a perfected version of "Bohemian Rhapsody." Yes I am a die hard fan, and yes you can send hate mail for that comment!! Perhaps those who can't get past the cheese factor of "Bo Rap's" operatic section, this may be more to your liking!!

If you buy this disc, don't do it for the hits - do it to explore the range of Queen's musical output and form your own opinion.

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Send comments to silversaw (BETA) | Report this review (#40924)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best albums ever made in the whole pantheon of rock music not just progressive rock.

Whilst a lot of this record has no prog elements at all ("Seaside Rendezvous" and "You're My Best Friend" for example) a lot of it does. The best known song "Bohemian Rhapsody" is as prog as any song could but but with an idefinable wide spread appeal that has raised it to the iconic status it now holds

Beside "THAT SONG" other classy pieces of prog/pop crossover can be found in opener "Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To......" (a truly vitriolic piece of character assassination) and the monumental "The Prophet's Song"

If the later of these songs had been recorded by Yes, Genesis or Gentle Giant it would be widely revered as a prog rock classic. It is a prog rock classic but widely unkown and undiscovered in the purist Prog circles as Queen are ignored as not being really prog.

To any doubters about Queen being prog I say, maybe you are right but listen to "A Night At The Opera" and tell me it isn't worthy of recognition. When Queen did progressive rock on their first albums they did it really well and "A Night At The Opera" sees them doing the best they ever did.

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Send comments to Dave Preston (BETA) | Report this review (#40940)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No one would argue that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song with prog elements in many ways: the style, the changing tempo and of course the dark lyrics (even though lyrics is not a pivotal element to classify a song as prog). It's also good to see that this song has been known worldwide by all music buffs, be it pop, rock or jazz lovers. When I heard Marillion's "Script for a Jester's Tear" (the song) I remembered Bohemian Rhapsody. Not in terms of similar melody, but in terms of how the style changes with the flow of music with a nice transition between style. Yes, Bohemian is much more abrupt in change of style compared to Script. My point is simple: if we consider Marillion's music under prog category judging from Script, why not Bohemian Rhapsody?

This album is terrific; together with "Sheer Heart Attack" the two are I think the finest of all Queen albums. My best favorite track is odd to many people and probably to you, i.e. "The Prophet's Song". Why? The melody of the song is really touchy. Musically, I like the choral section of this song performed a capella. It reminds me to Gentle Giant even though the choir style is totally different. Whenever I listen to this song, my pulse is running swiftly and I cannot let my mouth shut; I always sing with the band. It's so powerful song! The other track that has also stunned me is the opening track "Death on Two Legs" which has touchy piano opening followed with dynamic / rocking music and powerful / accentuated singing style.

It's a highly recommended album. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild, GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#41040)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ah! This is it! The album which contains both Freddie's piece de resistance (Bohemian Rhapsody which is surely destined to go down as the most progressive chart-topper in history) and the amazing Brian May masterclass The Prophet's Song. Anyone who listens to these two wonderful epics will certainly baulk at questioning Queen's prog credentials.

The whole band is in outstanding form on this career-defining album and the playing on the two afore-mentioned epics is really a thing of beauty. May's controlled aggression in The Prophet's Song is as spectacular as Mercury's songwriting in Bohemian Rhapsody is inventive and ambitious. They are two of the greatest prog songs I've ever heard and on the basis of this two tracks alone, A Night At The Opera is worth owning.

Amazingly, the rest of the album is a fascinating diverse collection of theatrical hard rock (Sweet Lady and Death On Two Legs), folkish ballads ('39 and Love Of My Life), music-hall (Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Seaside Rendezvous and Good Company) and piano-pop (You're My Best Friend). While Roger Taylor's I'm In Love With My Car isn't one of my favourite tracks it doesn't stop this album from being a fantastic experience that somehow manages to project an impression of being interwoven musically (although I can't put my finger on too many examples).

While I still believe Queen II to be the group's greatest prog achievement, this is a very, very close second. ... 90% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#41048)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
ttaylor102003
4 stars Now I know, this is Queen's classic and most reveered album, but it just isn't worthy of 5 stars, while it is worthy of a good 4.5. This album, I think, is slightly less progressive than Queen II. However, this has its share of great progressive moments.

It starts off with a super dark fast heavy metal type song, 'Death on Two Legs' which features great riffs from May and great vocals from Freddie. Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon is what drags this album down. Its songs like these that make me want to jump out a window. Its like some goofy little old time 'Music Hall' song. terrible. Do not expect to like it, although you might for some reason. Luckily its short. However, this terrible crap is followed up by one of my top 10 Queen songs (and the best one sung by Roger Taylor)- I'm in love with my Car. Featuring great lyrics and vocals, and great melodies too. You're my best friend is a typical Queen pop song, but its still good. In fact, I think the other Queen pop songs are the typical ones, because this one, along with Funny How Love is, were the first. 39 is great Brian may sung song, very folky kind of. Sweet Lady is another good heavier song. Seaside rendezvous is another terrible song. Ugh.

Prophets song might be the best on the album. Queen's only sng over 8 minutes, it features excellent melodies and vocals from all, the only bad thing is the middle vocal solo can get a bit repetitive. Good Company and Love of My Life are both alright but fairly forgetable songs. Bohemian Rhapsody is a classic song, although the famous middle opera part is a bit too goofy for my tastes. The rest of it is dynamite though. God Save the Queen is a good short closer to the album.

So this album is pretty progressive at times, although not as progressive as my fav Queen album Queen II. Highlights are Death on Two legs. I'm in Love with my Car, 39, Prophets Song, and BoRhap. then comes You're my best friend, sweet Lady, good company and love of my life. The comes the two horrible songs.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#41054)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An album of considerable variation, both in style and quality. The best bits (Bohemian Rhapsody and The Prophet's song) are as good as it gets, using multiple overdubbed harmonies and searing guitar, characterised by May's masterful use of effects (as befits a man with PhD in physics). Other tracks are also enjoyable (39, You're my Best Friend, Love of my Life) but I've never really liked Roger Taylor's compositions or his lead vocals and I'm in Love with my Car is no exception; it sounds crude. The rest tends to have a Vaudeville feel and is just OK but, overall, the album doesn't quite have the consistency of it's predecessor, hence the 4* rating. Still well worth buying.

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Send comments to Tony Fisher (BETA) | Report this review (#41063)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the classic rock albums of all time!

BUT, is it prog? Here and there, yes it is. Putting aside my own mild reservations as to whether or not Queen should be in the archives, there is no getting away from the fact that this album is progressive in its own right. ANATO is a collection of brilliantly crafted, eclectic songs; fusing styles and moods with drama, comedy and camp. 'Death on Two legs' is a brilliant opener, with screaming guitar effects and a dramatic Cello build up, and witty bitchy lyrics about someone they know, but refuse to identify on the sleeve notes!

'Lazing on a Sunday afternoon' and 'Seaside Rendezvous' see Queen climbing into a comedic time machine and celebrating/lampooning a quintisessential English time gone by. Queen at their eccentric best!

'Prophets Song' is probably my favourite on this album. It's atmosphere of foreboding prophecy, is consolidated by the hypnotic depth of the multi tracked vocals, and dramatic heavy guitar interludes. May tinkles his mandolin over howling desert winds at the start of this semi epic, while Mercurys soft trembling vocals warn us of 'storm that gathers here' One of Queens greatest pieces IMO..

'Love of my Life' is simply a great love song, complete with wafting waves of Harp! The lyrcis are heartfelt and the piano part exquisitely sad. Dont listern to this at the tail end of failed relationship!!! Queen were masters at switching from comedy to tragedy in the space of a couple of songs, and ANATO is one of Queens finest hours in this respect. The beauty of this album is it's variety of moods and themes, which interweave with each other,cleverly avoiding any loss of continuity. The only weak points IMO, are 'Sweet Lady' and '39' and they're not that bad, just relativly not as good as the rest.

I need say nothing about Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a masterpiece, but I've heard it so much, that when I play this album, I always skip it! Such is the tragedy of radio/TV overplay. You cant blame Queen for that.

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Send comments to Blacksword (BETA) | Report this review (#41424)
Posted Wednesday, August 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Again I will rate Queen regardless of the "prog or not" debate as I will consider that this is one of the inevitable album of the 70's. I mean there was no escaping this album (or Queen in general) as you lived though those years! Even my grandparents had to admit to them being different , I even caught my mother humming a few songs (Best Friend , Somebody To Love , Scaramouchka the Bohemian that raps-sods-and-dies , etc...) simply because of the clever songwriting outstanding arrangements and sheer ingenuity. How could a male teenager resist the I'm In Love With My Car even if his car was a rust bucket?

Even so , I cannot help thinking that this album is slightly over-rated and mostly for Bohemians reasons. I mean there are weaker songs on this album , (I will not single them out, though) and songs thay are a bit too easy (Seaside RV) to my tastes! However , Queen must be a;long with 10CC the cleverest and most gifted pop/rock songwriters.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#41700)
Posted Friday, August 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In the early 90's, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey litteraly resurrected Bohemian Rhapsody from it's ashes. The movie Wayne's World really showed to a huge crowd of youngsters that Queen is a huge band. I remembered that the national radio station brought the song back on air at a very high rotation.

And it's true, Queen has tremendous, enourmous talent and the album A Night at the Opera is certainly not a bore. You won't yawn one minute.

It is a very, very good rock and roll record but also a fairly good attempt at making it progressive. As Queen would shout it loud: 'NO SYNTHETISERS!' This record has no synths and it feels good to change of pace. Queen were capable of standing on their own legs and even creating the wave. Roger Taylor had his style, so did Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Deacon. They were better musicians than the Beatles, they had crazy ideas like the Beatles and they did gave a chance to their band members to expand their tastes, but we do feel the shadow of the White Album once in a while.

Mercury had a strange taste for songs that sounded like a 1950 musical (think of Honey Pie Side 4 of the White Album). Those are not the most progressive but they're fun like hell!

I'm very impressed by the containing of the record. It aged kinda well (like most Queen albums) and it has a lot of humor in it. Not a 'progressive rock' masterpiece, but certainly a real rock n' roll piece of history. Owning this record is possessing a true, genuine gem of the 70's that you play over and over throughout the years.k

Long live the Queen!

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#42151)
Posted Monday, August 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I liked Queen from the beginning, buying 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' long before it became a hit. Nevertheless, 'A Night At The Opera' was the first of their albums that I bought. I always thought this one to be probably their best one, although a friend of mine, and equally long standing Queen fan, has always declared his favourite to be the previous one, 'Sheer Heart Attack'. The more I have listened to that one over the years, the more I have almost come to the same conclusion. Their best has to be one of those two, (although 'Queen 2' creeps into the equation as well at times). Anyway. Back to this album. I always admired the cover of this record, it is so neat and tidy, and looks almost Royal in its simplicity. Also, on the old vinyl LP, the record label is the same Queen crest as on the cover. This was a trick they were to repeat with the next offering, 'A Day At The Races', where the cover became black instead of white and the crest was altered somewhat. Even 'News Of The World' the next offering, had a crest for the label, although, again, it was an altered one. 'Death On Two Legs...' is an excellent opener, a rock song with good lyrics and harmonies, and nice piano. That has always been one of Queen's strengths, the wonderful harmonies. How Roger Taylor hits some of the high notes he hits, I dread to think. Pliers between the legs? Or is he a closet eunuch? The second track, 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon', is a typically theatical performance from the boys, very old fashioned in melody, with good piano and a concise but effective solo from Brian May. (My mother used to like most of this album!) 'I'm In Love With My Car' is a classic Roger original. Always the rockiest of the band, this is a simple but catchy song, with typically whisky soaked vocals from the drummer, and heavy guitar chords throughout. So simple, in fact, that even I was able to pick it up on the guitar! 'You're My Best Friend' was a single, and, again, is a catchy number, though not one of my faves. Interesting electric piano from John Deacon on this one. '39' has superbly atmospheric acoustic guitar work, and nice harmonies. Brian sings this one, and it conjures up what it is supposed to conjure up! Listen and see if you don't agree. Then comes the only average song on the album, the very ordinary, almost Stones influenced 'Sweet Lady'. Too heavy and strangely almost melody free. My least fave on here...and my mother didn't like this one either! 'Seaside Rendezvous' ends the old side one, and is another old-fashioned trip down memory lane. Well constructed, it again shows the writing talents of this outfit, and again has superior piano work. Another song to sing along to. 'Prophet's Song' opens side two, and is a genuine progressive piece, and the longest on here. Mysterious and enjoyable, with the classic ear-swapping vocals and guitar work shown off to good effect here. Listen through the headphones. 'Love Of My Life' is a nice ballad, starting off with atmospheric harp work that then leads in to that wonderful piano again. Not my favourite track, but a good song. 'Good Company', sung by Brian, is another old- fashioned tune, almost George Formbyish in construction, but very clever at the same time. Excellent. No need to mention 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as most people on the planet will know it. I used to play this loads, although even I am a tad tired of hearing this now. The instrumental version of the National Anthem, 'God Save The Queen' is a very apt way to end this record. I can't comment on the two bonus tracks, not having heard them, but this album is well worth the investment. Buy it!

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#42881)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the first albums ever heard. Well I mean some songs of it. I can't forget the first time I heard Bohemian Rhapsody and totaly hate it. I was a little young to apreciate it. Only 9 years old you see... It is only a few weeks that I bought the lp and I trully belive that the other songs are in quite the same level. With the exception of some small fillers that are not even anoying the others are true dynamites that can make happy everyone from a clasic rocker to a prog fan who likes realy clever compositions with especialy superb vocals. My opinion is that this band are 2 people. The breathtaking Freddy Mercury and the talented Brian May. You can buy this album only to listen to those unique gentlemen...

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Send comments to freddie (BETA) | Report this review (#46613)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Queen's music is definitely Progressive related, although the album has element of Prog, the album can't be defined as a Prog album but the elements are definitely there, Queen in the 1970s often conbined Pop Rock with a touch of Prog. Before this album QUEEN were financially struggling with royalties etc, in the end they ended their contract with their original record management, Queen needed to gain money to cover the costs, and the success of this album and the nimber 1 UK single "Boheimien Rhapsody", made them a household name. The opener is Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...) , "I'm in Love With My Car" is a favourite track of mine because it is catchy one to pick up on, '39' is another favourite I think it is a great epic track, acoustic guitars and harmonies give it that Prog feel. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is extremely overlooked in my view, it is their anthem IMO, sign of Prog include the changes throughout thje song, it is like two or three songs in one track, fantastic guiar works from Brian May. Queen, are like a rock opera band, with heavy riffs, poppy prog tracks.

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Send comments to PROGMAN (BETA) | Report this review (#49942)
Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Magnifico-o-o-o

"A night at the opera" is generally recognised as Queen's finest, and indeed most progressive album. Having been preceded by the phenomenally successful 6 minute single "Bohemian Rhapsody", the album was guaranteed a chart topping position even before it was released.

The title "A night at the opera" is taken from a film by the Marx Brothers, but aside from the operatic section of "Bohemian Rhapsody" there isn't actually much opera to be found here. Indeed, this is not a concept album, although the tracks do tend to sit well together.

There is of course the usual variety of styles. Freddie Mercury slips in a couple of his brief, effeminate songs ("Lazing on a Sunday afternoon" and "Seaside rendezvous") both of which sound instantly familiar. He also contributes another fine ballad along the lines of "Lily of the valley" with "Love of my life". Roger Taylor comes up with one of his best compositions in "I'm in love with my car", once again one of the album's heaviest tracks.

One of my personal favourites is Brian May's "'39", a haunting upbeat ballad. "Prophet's song" is actually the longest track on the album, at over 8 minutes. A fair portion of this is taken up with some multipart vocal acrobatics by Freddie Mercury assisted by some tape loops, similar to Brian May's guitar sections on "Brighton Rock" from the previous album. While the novelty of this was undoubtedly appealing when the album was released, it can wear a bit thin these days.

For me, the only real blooper on the album is "Sweet lady" which sounds weary, with a rather pathetic chorus.

So what of "Bohemian Rhapsody"? There had been successful singles previously which had breached the usual 3 minute limitation, "Hey Jude" by The Beatles and "McArthur Park" by Richard Harris come to mind immediately. Nothing however had prepared the music world for the sheer pomp and audacity of Queen's new single. The track moves through more moods and styles in 6 minutes than most bands manage on an entire album. One minute your listening to pseudo opera, the next your faced with a heads down straight ahead burst of rock. Despite the record company's misgivings about the wisdom of releasing the track as a single, it was helped in no small part by a superb video. At the time of its release, such videos were rare, MTV still being some years in the future. In the UK, the song took up residence at number one in the singles chart (at a time when a hit single still had some relevance), and the video was played repeatedly on TV. Even today, it is not hard to see why the song was so revolutionary, indeed if ever "prog-related" needed defining in a song, "Bohemian Rhapsody" would fit the bit perfectly.

So is "A night at the opera" Queen's best album? With the benefit of 30 years hindsight, I'd have to say in my opinion, no. While it was undoubtedly a landmark release, which had a major influence on many genres including prog, I consider "Queen 2" to be the better album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#63008)
Posted Tuesday, January 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars QUEEN were at their creative peak in the begining of their career, as this and a couple of other albums suggest. The problem is: only TWO albums could stand the challenge of time with me, and those are Queen II and this one, A Night At The Opera. Despite being extremely different from each other, one is bombastic and epic, while the other is more calm, romantic and varied in songs, with a not so strong flow between them, i believe that QUEEN didn't miss the target on any albums on their attempt to vary their music style - both worked perfectly.

This album contains a lot of "fan-favorites" tracks like "Love Of My Life" and "Bohemian Rhapsody", which are truly classics from the band, but i hesitate on listening to them nowadays due to their constant playing, which caused me to get bored of both songs. I do admit that they are beautiful works by the band though, and "Bohemian Rhapsody's" video-clip is one of the most well done music videos ever. The real gems here aren't so known though, and i'm talking about "Death on Two Legs" and "Prophet's Song". The former is an amazing opener with delightful arrangements, and the latter is another glamorous epic, which only fails on the acapella part, which is TOO long for my taste...and a bit annoying. "39" is this album's piece by MAY, and it is much better than "Some Day One Day", it is very moving and nostalgic. The rest of the album may look like a group of fillers, but how i wish all the fillers on prog world were that good - "Lazing on ...." , "You're My Best Friend" , "Seaside Rendezvous" and the closing "God Save the Queen" are short yet very good pieces proving that "size doesn't matter" - therefore those songs shouldn't be ignored. The problem on this album - and one of the reasons it is not a masterpiece - is, of course, "Sweet Lady". This song just destroys the album's flow, making it not so consistent. They tried to make a rocker but failed miserably, producing a mediocre quasi-metal piece which is extremely annoying. Aside from that, the rest of the songs make this album deserving the 4 starred rating.

While not perfect, ANATO is QUEEN's most diverse album, but the problem is that the most diverse an album is the higher is the risk of one or another song end up not pleasing everyone, and this is what happened here. But the great majority of its tracks is top class and it is not one or another bad song that will take off the merits of the band on producing one of the most amazing pieces of art-rock ever. Only QUEEN II can win this seminal work of this extremely creative band from England.

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Send comments to Eclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#63776)
Posted Sunday, January 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
blah@hotmail.
5 stars This was the very first album of Queen's that I heard, and it made me the huge fan that I am today. In my opinion, it is an ideal introductory album to those wanting to explore the band's music in more detail.

I think the beauty of this album is in the diversity of the music. From the simple, jovial 'Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon' to the heart-felt 'Love of My Life' to the complex prog masterpiece 'The Prophet's Song' (my all-time favourite song), 'A Night at the Opera' leaves nothing to be desired. Like most of Queen's albums, the song-writing is shared - it is not dominated by Freddie, the listener gets an insight into Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon's talent.

I've heard this album being described as 'the Led Zeppelin IV' of Queen albums, and rightfully so. If there is any 'signature' Queen album, this is it. Absolutely fantastic.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#66754)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
ah@ah.af
5 stars A Night At The Opera, one of the most succesful album ever created including hits like Bohemian Rhapsody and You're my best friend. Well I just can't stop loving this album. It is wonderful, from the heavy "Death On Two Legs" to the calm and beautiful '39 and the masterpiece Bohemian Rhapsody. The whole package is just wonderful, joy of music. Even the poppish "You're my best friend" is just amazing, I could hear it like thousand times in a row. Doesn't matter if it is prog anyway! Then some amazing piece of music like "I'm In Love With My Car" just blows your mind away. Not to forget the amazing Prophet's song. This album could be a strong candidate for the "Best album ever"- title. Whoah.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#67093)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I listened to Queen way before I was even introduced to the progressive rock scene, and think that the "prog or not" debate should not even be an issue. Regardless, this album is a classic. If anything, The Prophet's Song is a reason to purchase it. A blend of excellent electric rock instrumentation, coupled with the meandering melodic phrasing and mild rhythmic syncopation make the song quite enjoyable. All in all, for anyone interested in Queen, this is a great introductory album.

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Send comments to Jennifer (BETA) | Report this review (#67307)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the best Queen album, and probably one of the best albums ever. With wonderful songs like Bohemian Rhapsody and The Prophet's Song. The Prophet's Song, in my opinion, is the greatest song on the album, which has an extremely well done vocal overdub in the middle of the song which just takes my breath away.

This is one of those albums that too fully enjoy it, you have to listen to it from start to end. A lot of people will disagree with, as this being a prog rock album, but indeed this album is definantly proggressive. There are many prog elements in this album, including some very orchestral sounding guitars, insane vocal harmonies, very complicated put together songs with many changes.

A Night At The Opera is definantly a must have for every prog rock collection. This is a great album, and for anyone who has never listened to this entire album, I recommened you go out and buy it, get the 30th Anniversary issue. Awesome album. A Night At The Opera is Queen at it's best.

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Send comments to cushlinkes (BETA) | Report this review (#69379)
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
fedebarlari_2
5 stars This album is the Queen's masterpiece. Every track has something special that make you don't get bored with it and is from the Queen's best era (when they were a progressive band). So here is my review track by track:

Death on Two Legs: a typical sound of Queen with a furious lyric. Great track!!

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon: a short song with an operistic taste. Is not bad.

I'm in Love With My Car: a good rock ballad with Taylor on vocals and an excellent chorus (that is the part of the song that takes my breath away).Good track.

You're My Best Friend: one of the Queen's classic. A good song with a very good vocal perfomance by Freddie.

'39: a song that it sounds like a encampment's song with May on vocals (and he sings very good!!).

Sweet Lady: this is a hard rock song with a stupid chorus I think and a very good solo by May at the end, but still good.

Seaside rendezvous: this song is similar to Lazing on a sunday afternoon. It's a funny romantic song with a good instrumental part I think.

The Prophet's Song: this is the most progressive song on the record. It starts with good work of acoustic guitar and then the vocals enter (and the instruments enter). It's like a medieval song. It has an incredible operistic section in the middle that blows my mind every time I hear it. The Freddie's vocals are really excellent here. And the song goes on with a very good solo by May and finishes with the acoustic guitar. Excellent track!!!!!

Love of My Life: Beautiful!!.This is in my opinion the best ballad of all time. The vocals are excellent again. May plays the harp here. The instrumental part is very good and it's a song that became a favourite on their shows because everybody sing it, everybody knows it. It's another Queen's classic.

Good Company: this is my least favourite track. It's very simple and I don't enjoy it very much. Here we got May on vocals again who plays koto: a very strange instrument I think.

Bohemian Rhapsody: the album's masterpiece!!! Amazing!!!!! Incredible!!!!!! Fantastic!!!!! The best song Queen has ever done, no doubt.

God Save the Queen: the England's hymn orchestrated by May's guitar. A perfect close to a perfect album.

Highly recommended album. The best place to start with Queen.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#69533)
Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I consider Queen's "A Night At The Opera" as their best album. Though II was more proggy, but this is more stronger in album. This contains everything: From prog to pop and hard rock, and all are world-class.

The first song "Death On Two Legs" starts with the funny proggy intro and grows to a very strong hard rock song. Death On Two Legs tears you apart, I bet you. Great song.

Then comes the funny and short (thank god) lazing on a sunday afternoon. This song is written in 20secs, well it's funny and listeanable but nothing close to the other material in this album.

"I'm In Love With My Car" is a damn good hard rock song, sung by Roger Taylor. Taylor's vocals are stunning. This song shows his ability to sing. I love this one.

"You're My Best Friend" is the pop-song here. I love it though this is progarchives :). It repeats the same beautiful melody but Mercurys vocals (and the beautiful backing vocals) keeps this as a strong song, one of the finest pure pop songs ever.

"'39" is Brian May's own beautiful guitar intensified song. The vocals are beatiful and the melody as well. A great song.

"Sweet Lady" is somewhat funny, theatretical song. Not very good but not very bad either, usually skip it.

"Prophet's song" is the first prog song here. It's amazing. This song shows the whole Queen's vocalic talent. No other band could have done this song.

"Love of My Life" and "Good Company" are basic pretty poppish 70's Queen and of course, great. Both great and entertaining songs. I like them.

Well do I have to say anything about "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Well IMO it is in my top10 of greatest songs ever written. That's all. "God save the Queen" is a good ending for this magnificent and entertaining album. God bless the Queen.

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Send comments to Ounamahl (BETA) | Report this review (#73896)
Posted Sunday, April 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I guess Queen fits in well with the rest of the art-rock movement. This is their most popular album, but not necessarily the best. It is a masterpiece, nonetheless. There is enough variery, pomp and tongue-in-cheek camp to earn it a well deserved place in the prog archives. It basically pulls into these directions: hard-rocking instrumental breaks, operatic choruses, tongue-in-cheek 30's music-hall type songs, and pmopous little oddities like "God Save The Queen".

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Send comments to EMinkovitch (BETA) | Report this review (#77641)
Posted Tuesday, May 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is maybe Queen`s best album.

I bought this album in mid 1980. I listened to Queen for the first time in 1976, not being very interested in the band. It was until early 1980, when I listened to their "Live Killers" album that I really liked their music. So, I bought this album, which I listened for the first time in 1977, without being very interested then. But in 1980, after repeated listenings, I liked very much this album.

All the songs in this album have very good arrangements, mainly in the vocals. It also has some funny songs which contast with the more elaborated "Progressive" songs. My favourite song from this album is "The Prophet`s Song", which includes great guitars and great vocal arrangements."Bohemian Rhapsody" is another very good song, again with great vocal arrangements. "You`re My Best Friend" is one of my favourites, a very good song composed by John Deacon, with good lyrics. "I`m in Love with my Car" has very good guitars, and very good lead vocals by Roger Taylor, who also wrote this song. "Love of my Life" is a very good ballad. Among the funny songs are "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" and "Seaside Rendezvous".

In conclusion: a very good album, with very good arrangements. All the musicians shine, but again, Brian May made sound his guitars very well, and maybe he shines more than the other musicians, but Queen was a very good band as a whole.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#79919)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go !!"

My brother is a big Queen fan. I remember, when he put this band on the CD player, I always listened to it on the 'background', not really paying too much attention to their music. Well, I was wrong !! So, I listened carefully (a lot of times) to "A Night At The Opera", their so called 'best' or 'masterpiece' album, and without a doubt, this is a real classic, with some songs that will be reminded forever, like "Bohemian Rhapsody" ,"You're My Best Friend" and "Love Of My Life". This was the album with the expensivest production (the FIRST, yes, the FIRST musical video was "Bohemian Rhapsody", so it costed a lot, considering on that times that is an innovation) when released on 1975, and the one that made Queen become famous. Well, let's go to the music. The production, as I said before, is really good, close to an actual CD. The songs (except "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Prophet's Song"), aren't progressive, but it's an excellent album, innovating !! No one will disagree that Queen are superb musicians, with an own style: the best voice in music, Freddie Mercury, the characteristic guitar sound of Brian May, and the operistic choir too !! That's Queen. Here they combine glam rock, rock, hard-rock, pop, folk and even classical. Every song is played perfectly; it semms that it took a lot of work to record finally the songs. The tracks:

"Death On Two Legs": starts with classical piano, and then enters a very nice (classical) guitar solo. When the voice enters, I go into the typical Queen climax, I can't decribe it with words ... This is a haevy rock song; the guitars are very distorted, and that fits well with the 'terror' or 'dramatic' ambient here. Nice opener !!

Then comes the crazy "Lazing In A Sunday Afternoon" is a comedial (?) song, seems that it can go well to describe an scene on a theatrical piece. The chords here look like typical, I mean, the first time I heard this song, I thought I've listened to it before, a bizarre situation !! Funny guitar solo at the end. The song finishes from a moment to another.

The following song is "I'm In Love With My Car". Here Roger Taylor sings. The first time I heard this, I laughed a lot !! But then the song seemed more serious to me. Very catchy chorus and vocal melodies. The guitar solos seems like David Gilmour has done them. Good song.

"You're My Best Friend" is one of those classics you can find on the CD. I love this song, very sentimental. It has a hazy electric piano motif. Nice vocal melodies (incredible voice).

"'39" is the acoustic camping song. I can imagine all the hippies reuned, (smoking) and applauding on the rhytm of this song. The same thing happens to me with the traditional Led Zeppelin's "Brown Y-aur Stomp". Here Brian May takes the vocals. I think John Deacon hasn't sang a word during all Queen's career. As it happens to me with "Lazing In A Sunday Afternoon", I think I've heard this song before, maybe because of the chords. But nice song.

The Hard Rocker "Sweet Lady" comes next. I like very much that Deep Purple - like riff. Yeah !! We need some hard rock here. Powerful and very energetic song, this ROCKS !!

"Seaside Rendezvous" is another piano-based crazy song, on the ambient of "Lazing In A Sunday Afternoon". Classic stuff.

The first prog song of the album "The Prophet's Song". Starts with a wonderful acoustic guitar intro, wonderful !! Then goes like a typical mid tempo song, but after the second chorus tha "vocal game" starts: it's Freddie and his amazing voice (duplicated several times, that it seems a choir) singing and repeating things like "Listen to the man", "Now I know !!", and others. Very, very crazy and innovating !! The guitar solo that comes then is beautiful. Very good song !!

"Love Of My Life" is one of the most beautiful ballads I've ever heard. Simply beautiful. Some of the best Freddie vocal performances. Very romantic, the song I would put to the girl I love (it would be a nice strategy to pick up a chick, really !!). This is the favourite Queen song of argentinean fans. BEAUTIFUL song ...

"Good Company" .... CRAZY song !! Yes, another very crazy song. May uses a rare instrument on the middle of the song that sounds VERY FUNNY !! Overall, funny song !!

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is, as everybody knows, one of the most famous songs of all time, and the song that made Queen famous (specially by the video). What could I say ? Surely on my top 10 favourite songs. This IS a prog track. Starts with nice piano, like a ballad, and one of the best vocal performances ever that really touches me and takes me to tears sometimes ... On the interlude, the famous choir comes, with phrases like "Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go !!" and "Galileo - o - o - o - o" that will be reminded forever. One of the most known parts of a song on rock history, definitely. Well, then, really, rocks, yeah, it ROCKS !!, with the heavy guitar riffs, and some of the best solos I've ever heard ... Overall, one of my favourite songs of all time, and by far the best one on "A Night At The Opera".

"God Save The Queen" is, as everybody knows, Queen's interpretation of the United Kindom's hymn. Nice to finish an all-time classic disc.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection, and I do not give it five stars because it's not prog enterely, and some of ProgArchives people may do not like it because of that. But it's a very original and EXCELLENT album !!

Rating: 4.2/5

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Send comments to Barla (BETA) | Report this review (#80948)
Posted Sunday, June 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars QUEEN addition to the PA has been one of the most controversial issues in the recent times on the forum. Of course, the debate over "is this band prog or not" can go on and never stop, so let's try to focus on this album. "A Night At The Opera" is usually considered to be the band's highest achievement, where they showed great ability to craft interesting, innovative and melodic songs. Blending many influences of pop culture until that time proved irresistable to audience, especially young teenagers who find in this record everything a perfect pop product must have. Yes, I surely adored "Bohemian Rhapsody" in my high school, with its "operetic" and "symphonic" elements - it seemed to me so "avant-garde". Well, after many years I gave it another listen just to try to refresh my memory after a long abstination of QUEEN, which is justified by their crappy mainstream pop career after "The Game". This time, I finally confess, "A Night At The Opera" proved to be just a dated experiment which lost much of its appeal over the years. Simply, for the year 1975 it can go pass the mark as one of the best albums of "glam-rock" era, but now it is just worth checking for historical reasons. Surely, I am no fan of QUEEN and the best opinion I can give about them is that they were surely capable of great showmanship and amuzement. Alas, from music (especially prog, avantgarde or artistic...) I always expected much, much more....

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#80961)
Posted Monday, June 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
BertstownOH67
5 stars 'A Night at the Opera' came from a Marx Bros. film and like the movie, the album has everything! It has the remanants of 'Grand Hotel' by Procol Harum, 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' by Elton John, and 'Sgt. Pepper' by the Beatles. 'Death on two legs' has a great piano and guitars sounding like sirens. 'Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon' has that 1900's vaudville sound. 'I'm in love with my car' is a good hard-rocker. 'You're my best friend' is a good soft-rocker. '39' has a Galeic sound with guitars sounding like bagpipes, whistles, and fiddles. 'Sweet Lady' has a glam-rocking sound. 'Good Company' has a 1920's jazz sound with a ukelele and guitars sounding like clarinets, trumpets, and trombones. 'Prophets Song' is a very mystical song with a koto and guitars sounding like a full orchestra and a choir that tags along in the bridge. 'Love of my life' is actually a lead-in to 'Prophet's song'. But it's a very good ballad. 'Seaside Rendevous' has that same feeling as 'Winchester Cathedral' with kazoos, a ragtime piano, and Rudy Valle-like sound. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is the most ideal art-rock song ever! It has a great piano flourish, guitar solos, and operatic arrangements. 'God Save The Queen' is a great way to end an album. It even rivals Jimi Hendrix's 'Star Spangled Banner'. A Must for art-rockers!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#81176)
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album is a classic if ever there was one! Queen were ahead of their time! The first four Queen albums were their best, after this masterpiece they gradually got weaker and weaker, going in a horribly commercial direction.

The vocal harmonies on "The Prophet Song" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" are absolutely mindblowing (considering this is 1975) Roger Taylor´s drum sound on this album is fantastic and it is great to listen oh headphones. A very well produced album.

There isn´t one weak track on this album, they are all classics, from the ballad "Love of my life" to the proggy "Bohemian Rhapsody" There isn´t a dull moment because all the songs are so different from each other. "Good Company" is a sad but brilliant song written by Brian May, while "Death on two legs" is an angrier rocker written by Mercury " Then there is the acoustically driven´39" and the rocking "I´m in love with my car" All the band members have turns in the songwriting credits.

No real album/CD collection is complete without this CD/album.

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Send comments to WaywardSon (BETA) | Report this review (#84620)
Posted Sunday, July 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
gsummers@malo
5 stars A funny story: When I was nine years old, I had a cardiac catherization prior to undergoing open-heart surgery. I was told to bring my "favorite" record since the procedure is done while the patient is awake. Most kids brought in 70s children's music or disco (this was in 1978); I brought in Queen's "A Night at the Opera." Though I did not remember much of the experience, the IC nurse told me that the doctor performing the operation actually demanded that the album be turned off because she was afraid the "noise" would cause her to make a mistake. (She had managed to make it through all of side 1, but apparently "Prophet's Song" was too much for her!) Since I'm still here, I cannot complain too much.

Queen was my favorite band throughout my youth. Their first four albums are as brilliant a debut as any band ever had. (IMHO, only Marillion and perhaps Utopia come close to the same degree of excellence right out of the gate.) And while Queen II is the band's progressive work, this one is their most eclectic. From the opening piano notes of "Death on Two Legs" through the closing guitar of "God Save the Queen," every song on this album is a winner. It's too bad that Queen could not sustain the brilliance of these initial works and this album especially; though they made some good records following this, ANATO was the pinnacle: it's all a downhill slide from here. But, OH! What a majestic view from this hill. This album belongs in every music fans collection, regardless of whether they're a fan of prog music or not. This album has something for everyone. (Even my mother loves this album, which says a lot!).

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#84793)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's debatable whether or not QUEEN is a prog band. Though I suppose any band that plays as diverse a range of musical styles as Queen while still sounding instantly identifiable deserve to be called progressive. Prog or not, A Night at the Opera has to be one of the all time great rock albums. The album is named after the Marx Brothers movie from 1935, which can't be a coincidence, as many of the songs on the album are spoofs on the music of that era. This album's so good I'm going to go through it track by track

'Death On Two Legs' begins with some beautiful piano playing and startlingly original guitar work. It's an angry song about corrupt management and is sung with real venom by Mr Mercury. Stunning vocal harmonies and awesome guitar playing abound.

'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon' is a short but brilliant spoof on the popular music of the 1920s/30s (such as 'Keep young and beautiful' )when singers used to sound ever-so-upper-class while singing through megaphones, giving their voices that strange nasal quality. The effect is nicely recreated on this song. Brian May's little guitar coda at the end is beautiful.

'I'm In Love With My Car' is a good Roger Tayor song elevated to greatness by a mighty production. "Big" is the best way to describe the production values on this song.

'You're My Best Friend' In some ways this song seems to be a homage to early Motown music. A crisp, catchy pop song featuring yet another unique guitar solo by Brian May.

'39' Is a song that sounds suspiciously like 60s vocal group The Seekers. On the surface the words come across as a conventional song of love lost. However, on closer listen, it tells a poignant tale of quantum physics: a search-party is sent out "across the milky seas" to try and find new lands. It's unclear if "the milky seas" actually means the sea or if it means the milky way. On their return, it transpires that although many decades have passed on earth, they have only aged a year. (time travel seem to be implied here) So when our brave traveler looks in his now grown-up grandaughter's(?) eyes, he sees his wife looking back at him through the years. This explains the paradoxical line: "Write your letters in the sand for the day I take your hand in the land that our grand children knew."

'Sweet Lady' is a straight ahead rock song that ends with some highly inventive guitar work from May.

'Seaside Rendezvous' This song is nothing short of miraculous. It's another spoof on 1920s/30s song and dance routines and is done to perfection. Check- out the wonderful instrumental section where all the instruments - trumpet; trombone;violin - are recreated using only the voice (obviously inspired by the Mills Brothers, who played with Ella Fitzgerald in 20s and 30s) and some inventive sound manipulation. Perfect! An interesting aside about this song and Queen's take on the 20s/30s in general is, it's sometimes difficult to know if their inspiration for these songs actually came from the music of the 20s per se or whether it came via 40s/50s Hollywood and its nostalgia for 20s as seen and heard in, say, some Gene Kelly movies. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that 'Seaside Rendezvous was inspired by both the source material from the 20s/30s and 40s' nostalgia for the 20s. I hope that made more sense to you than it did to me.

'The Prophet's Song' This is the song that prog-heads rate highly. For the most part it's a heavy, gothic, deliberately over blown song full of heavy guitars and ponderous drums. Wonderful stuff: very atmospheric. And then comes the stunning multi tracked vocal section. Massed Freddy Mercurys singing in canon to the words "Ah, ah, people can you hear me". A delicate coda leads directly into...

'Love of my Life' This song is a masterpiece on every level. A tongue-in-cheek but moving take on the over sentimentality of late Victorian/Edwardian music hall love songs. It's beautifully written and performed, featuring some delicate and ornate piano playing from Freddy Mercury (he really was an underrated musician)and exquisite orchestral-sounding guitar textures from May.

'Good Company' is yet another glance backwards to the 30s, and gives a nod to none other than George Formby . The song features what has to be one of the most remarkable guitar breaks ever recorded. May pulls out all the stops to create, down to the last detail, an entire trad jazz band complete with sliding trombone, glissando clarinet and muted trumpet. This isn't about mind boggling technique, it's about the power of imagination. And on that level, Brian May raised the bar by a hundred miles.

Bohemian Rhapsody' Forget driving your car and head banging to the heavy bit! Forget making mock operatic gestures during the mock operatic bit. Forget playing air guitar to the guitar solos. This is not a novelty song. Forget all of that and sit down and actually listen to this song for a change. Listen to the harmonies at the beginning; the quality of the production, the nuance of the vocal inflections. Listen to the emotional intensity of that first guitar solo as it sings its lament. Listen to the audacity of the mock operatic section; a Gilbert and Sullivan send up of the highest order. Listen to the tongue-in-cheek fury of the heavy section. Listen to the spine-tingling, heavenly wash of guitar harmonies and orchestral- sounding dynamics as the music crescendos then sinks back down to earth. Listen!

Now everyone stand . Queen, we salute you.

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Send comments to The Mentalist (BETA) | Report this review (#87813)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the ultimate rock album, every home should have this. Queen were at their creative peak and their previous hit (killerQueen) made them enough independant to again go about it their own way. The result is a nearly if not completely brilliant piece of rock music with huge variety in styles and movements.

To compare Queen with previous masters was possible with earlier recordings, Led Zep, Deep P, Hendrix, Beatles, The Who, etc. name them all, would come by, but with this recording they set themselves apart as a brand all for themselves. Combining the fun to listen but hard to accept simple idea's, like vaudeville, with heavy metal and even Opera, and make all those idea's melt into one coherent recording, really awsome.

The album starts with a fabulous piano intro, evolving into a very heavy piece of furieus anger. Elton john showed piano could be used to create a heavy metal piece, but Queen surpassed the point of dramatic piano use, and just involve the piano to make it all happen with Death On Two legs, listen yourself, Great. The following Lazing On A sunday Afternoon is one of the most astonishing songs I know, just a little longer than 1 minute, but more happening than in the 23 minutes of Supper's ready from Genesis (little excageration, but based on the keychanges I think I'm right), fabulous piano, with a great and totally suited guitar orchestrated solo.

From Lazing we go into the hard rock of I'm In Love With My Car, which isn't really my favourite song, but when listened to once in a while you will love the absolute 70's hard rock flavour. On occasional listen really great, just don't listen too much (which I did years back for it totally entranced me).

after the grand opening where Queen showed what was up their sleaves, You're my best friend seems like a nice little throwaway, but really it's more than that just listen to the really fabulous guitar and wonder with me why did the best May guitar solo's where the mixing cement that made the Deaon compositions so great. Easy answer deacon wrote fabulous music for guitar within a seamingly simple piece of rock music. "39 is again a seemingly simple accoustic guitar folk rock song, but lyracly it goes behond the scope of folk, and the futuristic elements are marked with some electric guitar orchestration as only Brian can create, just fabulous.

Sweet Lady is one of those typical heavy metal May songs, maybe not brilliant, but very enjoyable and probably needed, for the next song is very hard to preceed. One of those lovely Mercury compositions Seaside Rendezvous makes you forget you are listening to a 70's rock album, suddenly you'll find yourself in the late twenties courting a lovely lady from the upper class. nicely accompagnied by mouth-instruments resembling all kinds of brass instruments as provided by Roger Taylor. just brilliant, just don't over-play it.

Prophet's song is a great piece. Starting with some accoustics, turning bombasticly heavy, with great vocals from Freddie, with an accapela center piece where vocals run over each other, brillaintly produced so the individual repeated lyric lines produce new lyrics together. after the heavy final the song turns accoustic again, and leads us to one of the most fabulous love songs I know, the piano drenched love Of My Life, how good can a simple song get, fabulous piano, and naturally Freddie's voice which I can never find a match for.

Good Compagny might be a forgetable tune for many, but those who are willing to listen, they'll hear a complete orchestra all build up with guitar, as a song it's part jazzy 30's music, with lots of mandolin, and the work that has gone into producing this hidden gem is not wasted on me, it really showcases Brian's abillity to make everything happen with just his guitar.

Next in line is the well known Bohemian Rhapsody, if you don't know this song, than it will be the first step to take, forget graduating from school, who cares about promotion, if you haven't heard it, leave whatever you are suposedly doing and track it down and listen. little title reminder Bohemian Rhapsody.

The album ends as any classic album should end, paying hommage to the native land it comes from, so this classic finishes with the English anthemn. Very suitable considering the bands name.

One of the all time classic albums, there only a few of those albums, and this one belongs to those. Do yourself a favour and buy it, for your record collection can't be taken seriously without this album

REQUIRED LISTENING

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#92024)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars No Synthesisers!

INTRODUCTION

I remember my brother coming home late one evening in December 1975. He had bought two albums, one all wrapped up in black plastic (this mysterious one I will review also in the near future) and one white album. Boy, was I excited! The white album was the fourth Queen album and the first one I got to know. I already knew Queen from their fantastic singles "Now I'm Here" and "Killer Queen", and "Bohemian Rhapsody" was just released. This was however my first introduction to their non-single discography. ANATO turned out to be a very fine album and for me it was the start of a journey discovering all of their wonderful previous releases.

TRACK by TRACK

1) Death On Two Legs (10/10)

2) Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (9/10)

3) I'm In Love With My Car (7/10)

4) You're My Best Friend (5/10)

5) '39 (5/10)

6) Sweet Lady (6/10)

7) Seaside Rendezvous (7/10)

8) The Prophet's Song (10/10)

9) Love Of My Life (6/10)

10) Good Company (6/10)

11) Bohemian Rhapsody (10/10)

12) God Save The Queen (6/10)

CONCLUSION

Together with "Queen II" "ANATO" is as proggy as it can get with Queen. The variety of musical styles, the bombast, the vocal harmonies, Brian's unique way of guitar playing, the constant changing of moods between ballad and rock in one song. Everything that made Queen such an interesting band is present here.

There is however one thing about Queen that always puzzled me. And that is the way they always seemed to "succeed" in incorporating one or more les memorable tracks on their albums. On ANATO these tracks are "You're My Best Friend" and "'39". They are not bad at all, but they are way behind magnificent songs like "The Prohet's Song", "Death On Two Legs" and "Bohemian Rhapsody". That makes that this album just comes a fraction to short of being a masterpiece. Nevertheless I definitely regard it as an excellent addition to any prog music collection!

Album rating: 74% = 4 stars

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Send comments to Draconean (BETA) | Report this review (#97156)
Posted Sunday, November 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Along with the "Queen II", this album is often being used as a proof that QUEEN must be considered "progressive". However, if you try to do not-so-deep analysis of all the track included one by one, you will soon find out that this album is not very progressive at all, except for the few tracks. It's very good, nonetheless. We heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" on airwaves so many times (despite the lengthy clocking) that this masterpiece became almost annoying.

The album provides plentiful of good tunes, the opener "Death On Two Legs" is an excellent example, with it's nasty lyrics and unusual chord progressions. "I'm In Love With My Car" is another brilliant piece of hard rock, sung by Mr. Taylor the drummer and with outstanding drum passages. I'm often wondering why he didn't used to grab the microphone more often. He's got harsh, rocky, ballsy voice similar to Joe Cocker's, if not better.

Another nice hard rock tune is "Sweet Lady" often overlooked by the fans themselves, but not bad at all.

As the opposite of the hard rock songs, we have a bunch of vaudevillian mockeries, such are "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" (with unbeatable Freddie's voice mimicking pre-WWII pronunciation), "Seaside Rendezvous" and "Sweet Lady" utilising ukulele, and vocal imitations of woodwind and brass instruments by band members. I really appreciate when someone is able to make a masterpiece and without any hesitation implement a solid amount of good humour inside. "You're My Best Friend" was the first huge success written by the band's quiet man, Mr. Deacon. The first (and perhaps the only one) appearance of the electric piano on Queen's track., but aside from that fact, it's nothing special.

"Love Of My Life" is another very lovely ballad, usual ingredient of Queen's concerts. Quite poppy, but excellent work. One gem often overlooked by progressive rock fans is one of Brian's masterpieces, country-blended "'39". Progheads are reluctant to listen or analyse this song because most of them are not fans of the country 'n' western music. Well, neither am I, but hereby I'm responsibly making a statement: this song is a masterpiece of progressive rock. Why? I know that lyrics are less important aspect for defining a genre, but...did you've ever heard about the relativity of time? Of course you did. You know, there's that phenomenon that good old Einstein noticed for the first time - the fact is, if you travel with a , let's say, spaceship close, similar, or even faster than the speed of light, the time will not be passing with the same speed for you and for someone that you left on the ground outside of your faster-than-light vessel.

(Warning: Spoiler following.) Anyway, in the year of '39 a group of astronauts-volunteers started to look for the new home in the stars, and they had left their wives and families. A bit later, they came back to their planet, and one of them recognised his infant daughter in a grown-up lady because her eyes reminded him of eyes of her mother passed away long time ago... Beautiful. Touchy and tear-jerking. This tremendous story is wrapped with simple country guitar chords, but with the multi-vocal chorus that resembles the real science-fiction atmosphere. Again, no synthesizers.

On the other hand, "The Prophet's Song" is a real prog rock piece even form the purist's point of view. Magnificent vocals and guitars, and all the other song's attributes can gain only superlatives. I dare to say that this song is the first progressive metal song ever.

And last but not the least, "God Save The Queen", a brief adaptation of British national anthem will be their concert-closer for many years to come. This one is much more majestic than GENTLE GIANT's version labelled "The Queen".

One more thing must be mentioned: Queen's ability to float the songs smoothly from one to another, giving the album almost conceptual feel. The best example is interlude between "The Prophet's Song" and "Love Of My Life"; it's really difficult to say where one song is ending and another one beginning.

There are a few more things that could be mentioned, but they are not so relevant, and I think I exposed more than enough parameters to present my vision of this album. For overall rating, count the stars carefully.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#97755)
Posted Thursday, November 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1975 .....A Night Of The Opera. What a year for progressive music, what a year for Queen. Definitely their best work with a blend of pop, progressive rock, folk even!, choral pretentious opera type epics like ' Bohemian Rhapsody'. Queen were ably suited in the vocals department but it has to be said that Freddie Mercury probably IMHO has the best ranged vocals I have ever heard. This album was made the same year as 10cc's ' The Original Soundtrack', they too influenced with orchestral arrangements. Must have been the year to unleash these classics for progressive rock. The album does not have a weak moment but check out ' The Prophet's Song' the poppish ' Your'e My Best Friend' and well you already know the epic ' Bohemian Rhapsody'. Yet another mega band to emerge from the UK in the 70's. This album deserves a solid 4 and a half stars.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#103357)
Posted Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great album by Queen. Contains their most famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody, which is for being so well known, a really good track! Bohemian Rhapsody however, is not the only good thing on this disc. The album as a whole is very good going from agressive songs (death on two leggs) to funny songs (seaside rendez-vous) to the calm song ('39).

The best song on the album, even better than bohemian rhapsody, is "The Prophet's Song". Queen's longest track of all they ever made, and probably one of their greatest too.

This album is not as proggy as a real prog album, but contains some very great prog moments too!

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Send comments to Autoband (BETA) | Report this review (#106284)
Posted Saturday, January 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oh, Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia

An album that shows once again Freddie Mercury's fascination for the Opera, his tendency to multi-vocal arrangements expressed in a very theatrical way and his awesome and incredible talent.

This is really a CD to listen and follow since the first to the last track and enjoy the orchestration and cohesion this British musicians achieved. Following the album series that make the whole world turn to them, Queen really reaches an excellent connection reflected in the quality of this release. These guys explore through symphonic and hard rock passages wonderfully finished by the sweet voice of Mr. Mercury, adding the strength of Brian May's guitar, the solid groove in the drums by Taylor and a pretty decent job in the bass by Deacon.

"Death On Two Legs" is a song that makes you jump off your seat and feel every single guitar riff, each verse, and each one of the moments perfectly harmonized by each band member. Without a doubt, this is one of the best moments of this album.

An extremely happy song with the shape of a Broadway musical show is the one that follows this work; "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" has a great performance by Brian May, who still shows his writing ability on each part of the album and it's perfectly stylized by Freddie's voice.

"I'm In love With My Car" was written by Roger Taylor and shows the versatility of every single Queen member. It's about the passion this last one feels for the cars and dedicated to John Harris, one of the early Queen's roadies. "You're my Best Friend" breaks a little bit the line marked on the previous tracks, even though it's a very poppy and cheerful theme that brings some rhythm to the album

In a very folk way with a simple acoustic guitar, Brian May introduces this song written by himself with some pretty intricate lyrics with astrology allusions; that was Brian's major before his entrance to music industry. 39' is spiced with the particular voice that turned this band into a legend.

"Sweet Lady" has the romantic style adding some Hard Rock influences and takes the guitar power back and the soundness on the drums.

"Seaside Rendezvous" is full of French expressions that bring the romanticism Mercury wanted since this language was considered the language of love. Voilá!!!

If you thought that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was the only masterpiece in this album, you were wrong. The Prophet's Song is one of those tunes that could only be made only one band in the world, and Queen knew nobody could ever imitate that kind of chorus. Similar to the opera section in 'Bohemian Rhapsody', this song was made by a cappella chorus layers put one after the other in a recording studio.

"Love of My Life" is a pretty blue song, very calmed and soft that lack of success as a single, even though is one of the most emotive track this band has written. The voice full of melancholy longs that love that has already gone and will never back again. The musicality achieved in this track is sublime, one of my favorite ballads of all times.

A song that does not need introduction, the most played, listened, covered and well-know Queen's song. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is an excellent song that continues the structure built by "Prophet's Song".

"Good Company" reflects that Queen was more than a simple rock band, where they adopt the Hawaiian style adding a moving taste to this release.

The only song that wasn't written by any of the members of the band to be featured on an studio album. This song shows the patriotism and pride that Queen had for their homeland.

After finishing my review, the indecision and doubt drown my mind. This is a very digestible album, it really catches you since the first listen, but I don't consider it a masterpiece of progressive music, but this doesn't stop it of being a gem of Rock & Roll History with great progressive elements added to the mix. Definitely this is an excellent addition to any collection. I'll give it a 4 stars rating.

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Send comments to MadcapLaughs84 (BETA) | Report this review (#110350)
Posted Thursday, February 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is truly one of the greatest albums of all time. All of the songs on it are amazing. Freddie's vocals are especially interesting through this whole album, compared to the others. "The Prophet's Song" being the highlight of his vocal works on this album. Starting out on "Death on Two Legs..." and ending on the brilliant "Bohemian Rhapsody" into "God Save the Queen," this album starts and ends fantastically. I'm sure this album can please anyone at one time or another. I recommend it to anyone.

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Send comments to tehcrazydiamond (BETA) | Report this review (#111150)
Posted Friday, February 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I've never been a big fan of these guys although I love it when they rock out. There is no question that Mercury was an amazing singer and I really like May's style. I heard May being interviewed on a Toronto radio station years ago and he said he used a coin instead of a pick to play his guitar.

"Death On Two Legs" is mostly about all about May and his beautiful playing. "Laxing On A Sunday Afternoon" has some funny vocals and piano although the song ends with some great guitar. "I'm In Love With My Car" is a powerful song with tremendous vocals and guitar. This one is my favourite off the album. "You're My Best Friend" makes me smile as it is a song of my youth (14 yrs.). I've always liked this pop tune. " '39 " is very Folk-like with strumming guitar. It reminds me of THE STRAWBS. "Sweet Lady" is a great little rocking tune. "Seaside Rendezvous" is a funny, romantic song.

"The Prophet's Song" has a lot of good vocals and harmonies although the vocal section gets too repetitve and goes on too long. I'm not a fan of "Love Of My Life", but I do like "Good Company" a fun, catchy tune. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a brilliant, amazing song that was unlike any other that had been played on the radio up to that point. The guitar solo before the 3 minute mark is beautiful. The song then becomes operatic and funny at the same time before it really rocks out( my favourite part) then winds back down."God Save The Queen" is ok, although the drums are annoying.

I totally agree with Seyo's review, this is good but not an essential addition to your prog collection. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#114304)
Posted Monday, March 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars PROG OR NOT????

I think so when I hear Bohemian Rapsodhy and Prophet's Song, but the rest of the tracks are mainly pop/rock numbers, except Seaside Rendezvouz and Lazing On..., which are funny and a little old-fashioned, as 30's decade music.

However, Queen is mostly a pop/rock, mainstream band, more commercial than any prog band. But this is their peak, and this one is, IMO, the only album that can be called "prog music". From a band like Queen, this is easily an absolute masterpiece, and for historical importance, give the fifth star.

I would like to stand out the impressive voices work on Prophet's Song; Mercury is the best rock singer of all, and it's verified here! Bohemian Rapsody is one of the most well-known rock pieces of history, with also a great vocal work and surely the most progressive song of the band. Personally I like 39' too, with an accoustic touch and May singing (well, his voice isn't incredible, but not awful either).

From my point of view, the low point of this album is "I'm In Love With My Car", composed by Taylor. This song is pretty simple to any progger, and Roger's raspy voice is not aproppiated to a Queen song I think.

Mainly, IMO, for historical importance, this is undoubtely an excellent addition to a prog music collection. Four stars.

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Send comments to sircosick (BETA) | Report this review (#114998)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't mind if Queen is a prog band or not, anyway this is one of the best rock albums of all times

Bohemian Rhapsody, Death on two legs, '39 and Prophet's song are perfects, and most of the others nearly The changes into songs are amazing and Brian May's guitar sounds good anytime, cause it has sense not like others metal bands that consider speed like a bendition and nothingelse. And i don't forget of course Mercury's voice, simply brilliant, although i can guess the vocal parts of Bohemian Rhapsody and Prophet's song are impossible to reproduce on a concert (too complicated to be possible)

I only missed slide guitar, a pitty, but it's still a great album that any rock lover should have

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Send comments to .vMv. (BETA) | Report this review (#133478)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars "A Night at the Opera" is recognized by most of the fans and critics as QUEEN'S Magnum Opus and there are many reasons to agree being the strongest "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Prophets Song" despite I agree musically is the most solid, I have a special weakness for "A Day at the Races" that will try to leave behind when writing this review..

The band had reached their maturity and the harder edge of their first albums for a more eclectic and explorative sound that dared to escape from Rock to touch the doors of Vaudeville, proving how versatile this great band always was

Now, many Prog purists (including myself) made a scandal when QUEEN was added to Prog Archives, but with the pass of the months almost all of us are convinced that they deserved to be mentioned because their relation with our dear genre can't be denied.

But without more empty words, lets check the album:

Death on Two Legs seems like a return to the heavier roots but much more elaborate due to the excellent piano intro, but it's clearly a Brian May track with plenty of room for his unique guitar performance and a lot of drama in the vocals.

Lazing on the Sunday Afternoon and the posterior Seaside Rendezvous should be seen as two of a kind, the Vaudeville is back after decades od death, nice relievers that add a bit of comedy and relief to the dramatics of other pieces, this is the way in which an album gets balance, mixing hard with lighter tracks to avoid saturation in the audience.

I heard people saying the two are just fillers, but I believe they play a very important role in the album keeping the balance.

I'm in Love with my Car is probably the weakest spot of the album, the heavy distorted sound and the good vocals by Roger Taylor can't save it from the monotony, well not every album is perfect.

You're my Best Friend is a cute track, not memorable but good enough, the powerful vocals by Freddie are the highest point of the song, this added to a nice melody make of it a very pleasant listening experience.

39 is an incredibly beautiful song, the acoustic folksy sound combines perfectly with the voice of Brian May and the melody is simply perfect, simple but one of the most memorable tracks of their whole career.

Sweet Lady is another hard track that is another weak spot, not bad but neither in the level of the rest of the album,

Now it's time for the real deal Prophet's Song is absolutely perfect, the quintessential QUEEN Prog track, has absolutely everything great piano, outstanding guitars, the rhythm section is just perfect and the powerful vocals by Freddie and his choir is just breathtaking, the best song of the album by far.

Love of my Live with the harp and the romantic feeling may sound cheesy for some fans, but is a song full of a different kind of drama, the band achieves perfectly the task to transmit a very strong feeling without falling in the common cliché, more important than the lyrics is the way they are song, you really believe what Freddie is saying.

After a short epic, a dramatic song and before a pompous stravaganza the band required another comedy relief and Good Company provides it, lowering the tension and preparing for the most famous track of their career, the ukulele gives a very nice touch, cute little song that fulfills it's purpose.

Without any doubt Bohemian Rhapsody is the song that catapulted QUEEN to the fame, as any Opera, starts dramatic and exaggerated with very theatrical lyrics that describe the situation as in a theater, the changes are soft but not for this reason less radical, they manage to make a great transition from one to the other until the point where Brian's guitar announces the operatic vocal madness of Freddie and the band, everything is perfect and to end a strong heavy section, another track that has everything.

The album ends with God save the Queen which is simply an anecdote and the perfect closer for every concert from then till the death of Freddie, where the story of the band ended, because no matter who they hire, there's no QUEEN without Freddie Mercury in the vocals.

Some people believe everything they did after this album seems pale in comparison, but I do believe "A Day at the Races" is the twin album, not so pompous but equally strong.

I would love top rate "A Night at the Opera" with 5 stars but there are some small flaws and according to the interpretation of the guidelines, no Prog Related album should be rated with the maximum, so 4 stars may sound unfair but IMHO is the precise rating, because "A Night at the Opera" has a clear connection with Prog, if not I would have to go with 3 stars, thanks God I didn't had to make an injustice in this case, maybe in a non Prog site I would go with the top rating.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#134938)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Queen again fail to deliver a prog masterpiece, but that's just fine, because I really don't think that was their goal in the first place. What we have here is a collection of hard rock, progressive rock, and a genre that is composed entirely of Freddie Mercury's odd musical flights of fancy (usually the lowlights of any Queen album for me, by the way). Even though it can sound so varied, every element here has that Queen uniqueness.

The rock: Death on Two Legs, I'm in Love with My Car, '39, Sweet Lady. Of course I bought this album for Bohemain Rhapsody, but these rockers really made me confident in my purchase. Death on Two Legs has one of the most effective uses of the Queen chorus that I can think of, and plenty of heavy guitar from May. The same goes for ...My Car and Sweet Lady, except they are a bit less catchy. '39 was a great surprise: a thoughtful, reminiscent tune that demonstrates May's songwriting versatility.

The prog: The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, God Save the Queen. The Prophet's Song is also a real find--to me it's a glimpse of the kind of music that Queen would have produced if they would have remained in their Queen II mindset. You'll also hear a unique, multiple-Freddie echo section that demonstrates the band's musical ability to harmonize so quickly and creatively. Of course, the band saves their best for last, and Bohemian Rhapsody is where Queen put together all their potential for energetically and concisely combining their rocking, symphonic, and operatic facets. It's overplayed for a reason--it's unique, catchy and creative music. Also, great touch by rounding out the album with the overdubbed guitar piece, God Save the Queen.

The eclectic Freddie moments: Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon, You're My Best Friend, Seaside Rendezvous, Love of My Life, Good Company. Of course, the whole band was on board for these tunes, but I don't think they would ever have been recorded without Mercury. Most of them are goofy or overly sappy, but thankfully they are short. Unfortunately, for me they really inhibit the cohesiveness and flow of the album as a whole.

Plenty of great moments, and also a number of forgettable ones. If you want an introduction to Queen, this is a good place to start, but I think that each of their earlier albums is at least as proggy as this.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#140754)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars i guess i really don't get it.

I bought this album with extremely high hopes, but got nothing i enjoyed (but am always amused by Bohemian Rhapsody)

My parents always said Queen was one of the greatest bands of all time, wrote incredible music, and had some of the best vocal performances. I disagree. The members of Queen are undoubtably creative and imaginary, but i just plain don't like the songs! None of the songs on this album caught my ears. A curse with lots of music is as an album progresses the music starts to repeat itself, talent aside, the same overall sound can get old if not played with enough. Maybe its just me... Freddy Mercury has a ridiculous singing range and really hits those notes, but the material does absolutely nothing for me.

I don't really have too many comments on this album except i can't get behind Queen's sound at all, the tempo changes and operatic vocals don't get to me as much as i thought they would.

I don't regret purchasing it, because i think its important to be aware of standards in music, but i just don't like their sound at all.

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Send comments to therevelator (BETA) | Report this review (#142317)
Posted Friday, October 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
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.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#157548)
Posted Thursday, January 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars THURSDAY 18th DECEMBER 1975

It was the day I have purchased this album. Just before attending Jaws. These two events are closely related in my old mind.

As usual, one gets a fabulous opening song. Death On two Legs belongs to the great Queen songs. Fabulous vocals harmonies, superb and wild beat, sublime May work. It should have last longer. With such a start, the best can be expected.

But the worse is just next door, unfortunately. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon is a short and stupid song as Queen has already gratified the fans (same applies to the almost ridicule and useless Seaside Rendez-Vous). Press next and get straight into Roger's powerful I'm In Love With My Car. Very few drummers in the rock history will hold such a great role in a major band. Composing work and excellent vocals. He is of course always on the hard edge of Queen. But still, the melodies are not forgotten.

The childish Deacon You're My Best Friend has never been a fave of mine and the country-like 39 can't be called a masterpiece either. Or am I wrong? But we'll get into more powerful and serious territories with Sweet Lady. Nothing sweet, I bet you. A wild hard-rocking number as I like. The craziness of Brighton Rock is there again. Totally disjointed. A more typical May song and far much better than 39. Obviously.

Side B starts with an incredible track (May again). The Prophets Song is another jewel of this very good album. Not easily accessible, it features a very powerful and special a cappella vocals part. Maybe a warming up for some more to come.It ends up into a real heavy number. Just to remind us that Queen is of course not a prog band.

This song ends up with a fine acoustic guitar work which nicely flows into a jewel of a melody. Love Of My Life is such an easily recognizable Mercury theme. A dual song with piano and extremely melodic vocals. Did you say Queen ? A great song indeed.

Unfortunately, another silly tune follows. Good Company is a jazzy May composition which could have been avoided. Press next to reach God Save The Queen. I guess that the band could not avoid this.

Oh yes. I forgot to mention that there is another song before the closing number. It has been aired a few times and some people might have heard it once or twice. This song will never make a chart entry of course (too long to do so). Mercury had to distribute the single to have it played at the radio stations. Can you imagine? Almost six minutes! It will never work.

Well, it worked. An awful lot of course. It even became a number one in the UK and it remained there for nine weeks. Unprecedented. Can you imagine to combine opera and hard-rock? And it fu..ing works! One of the greatest song in rock history of course. But no one talked about prog in these days. and to me, this incredible song is not prog for a penny.

This album might suffer from having one of the most brilliant rock song ever-written. When I discovered it ages ago, it blew me of course. And I must confess that I never turn the radio off when I hear it. Again and again and again.

Anyway the wind blows...

Four stars but don't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album?

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#158977)
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Probably the album that represents the ''prog related'' collective. Queen is not a band one would typically think of when the words ''progressive rock'' come to mind, but A NIGHT AT THE OPERA has some of the perks that any good prog rock album carries. They key here is the number of styles Queen covers; it's not that they span the gamut from sea shanties to rock operettas to dramatic theatre rock to spacey folk to etc., but it's that Queen covers these styles so naturally that the multitude of genres covered is more of a positive, something that I cannot address to most bands that try this e.g. the Beatles.

In my mind, the theatrical opener is one of the best the album has to offer; ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' gets a little too much over-exposure and ''The Prophet's Song'' is prog excellence with subpar production. The rest is up to the discretion of the listener; the only song I find crap is the soppy ''Love of My Life'', but there are others like ''I'm in Love with My Car'' and ''Sweet Lady'' that are heavy pick-ups.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#160608)
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The key to understanding this, the last of QUEEN's 1970s progressive albums, is that it is not really a progressive album at all - at least in the conventional sense. It is, instead, an album of uneven music dressed in theatrical clothes by turns progressive and vaudeville. It sold by the truckload, prompted by THAT song and its accompanying video, but I bet the album's contents surprised - and bored - many casual listeners.

'Death on Two Legs' is a typical QUEEN song: interesting without being outstanding. It is followed by the first of the vaudeville numbers, and then two excellent pop/rock singles, a ROGER TAYLOR rocker (that sounds more like STATUS QUO than QUEEN) and an anthemic feel-good track (albeit with a stolen keyboard riff). '39' shamelessly steals LED ZEPPELIN's 'Bron-y-aur Stomp' - ah well, they probably stole it from someone else - and I wonder why they bothered, as it's all rather innocuous. I don't think QUEEN do this sort of serious stuff very well: this lot are clowns at the circus, not troubadours. 'Sweet Lady' and 'Seaside Rendezvous' drift by, rock and vaudeville, with nothing to suggest that this is anything but a continuation of the downward slide of 'Sheer Heart Attack' - a few excellent songs padded out by dross.

Except for Side Two. 'The Prophet's Song' is a throwback to the glory days of 1973/4, when they wrote with abandonment. This song almost, almost gets back to the heights of 'Queen II', and is certainly the most adventurous they were to be until the very end of their career. Even so, the central vocal section has little of the verve of 'March of the Black Queen'. Nevertheless, this section and the guitar that follows are excellent. More dross, then 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

Look, there are apparently a few protozoan beings on Pluto who haven't heard this song, so I don't really have to say anything - except to express my admiration of the band's daring. Fancy picking this as a single! I'm glad it worked. Great story, excellent if slightly cheesy lyrics (weren't they always) and fabulous musical dynamics. It was a hit for a reason - soft piano, raucous guitar, operatic vocal harmonies, a full-blown musical experience wrapped up in six minutes.

There's another song, another pointless novelty, that that's all. Pack up your bags. Take home two great progressive numbers, two very nice pop singles, and leave the rest behind. And that, sadly, is how we might summarise the rest of QUEEN's output (except you can delete the progressive numbers, and on occasion - 'Hot Space' - the pop singles).

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#165278)
Posted Saturday, March 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A rock masterpiece, a prog masterpiece, and musical masterpiece.

For a band that never really took themselves seriously, they put out some seriously good music. This is the pinnacle of their career.

Maybe the most diverse rock album ever recorded, A Night At The Opera takes you on a trip to every side of the rock spectrum. There's biting hard rock (Death On Two Legs; I'm In Love With My Car; Sweet Lady), extremely well-written pop-rock (You're My Best Friend; Good Company), two excellent slices of vaudeville (Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon; Seaside Rendezvous), the beautiful Love Of My Life, and three brilliant progressive pieces that belong on the list of great prog works ('39; The Prophet's Song; Bohemian Rhapsody).

Throughout all this genre-swapping, the quality never diminishes, everything here is great, most of it is downright brilliant.

A must-listen.

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Send comments to SilverEclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#171423)
Posted Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars It was with A Night At The Opera that Queen really found themselves. The Led Zeppelin undertones of their first two records had long gone and the sound established on Sheer Heart Attack was now fully under control. Yet its more than that, pieces like the infamous Progressive Rock Opera Bohemian Rhapsody or its lesser known counterpart The Prophet's Song (featuring some of the most dense and complex vocal arrangements in popular music) are the clearest evidence possible that Queen, in one giant step, crowned themselves one of the greatest bands in history. There is a high dosage of quality running through each and every track here, the moving balladesque numbers like Love Of My Life and '39 deserve much more respect than is received from the casual Queen fan and few can argue with the fuzzy guitar-driven Rock riffing of Sweet Lady. Even the silly songs, I'm In Love With My Car (Sung by the spectacular countertenoring drummer Roger Taylor), Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon and Seaside Rendezvous deliver the goods and one can't help feel good about life while listening to You're My Best Friend. Uplifting and infectious, weird and experimental A Night At The Opera is an album never topped by Queen or many other bands at all for that matter!

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Send comments to TheRocinanteKid (BETA) | Report this review (#171622)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars A night at the Prog opera

As a long time Queen fan, I cannot quite decide if Queen II or A Night At The Opera is the best Queen album, but they are clearly both masterpiece albums for me. Queen is one of my favourite bands of all time and it is fair to say that if it wasn't for Queen I would probably not have become aware of progressive rock. Queen converted me from 90's alternative rock to classic 70's rock and I have never looked back since.

With a great self-titled debut album, a masterpiece second album and a third, very good but not perfect album under their belts, this fourth album was a very important one for the band. A Night At the Opera was to become the band's breakthrough to a wider audience much due to the amazing mega hit Bohemian Rhapsody, possibly the most progressive song to ever become a number one hit.

Like Queen II, A Night At The Opera flows extremely well; many of the songs flow into each other making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The sum of its parts would already add up to a considerable sum in its own right, but it is the album considered as a whole that really makes it into a masterpiece. All of the band's trademarks are here in full bloom. The hard rock, proto-metal of the early albums is still present, the commercial side of Killer Queen is also present as well as the progressive and experimental side of the band.

The four band members are all excellent musicians and Brian, Freddie and Roger all have very distinctive singing voices that compliment each other perfectly. As usual the three of them does backing vocals and also lead vocals on some songs. Roger sings his I'm In Love With My Car and Brian sings his '39 and Good Company, for example. John, the bass player is 'the quiet one' as far as his personality goes, but he never misses a beat.

Brian's guitar sound and technique is also instantly recognizable and unique. As usual on 70's Queen albums there are no synthesisers. But Brian's unique ability to make his guitars sound like any other instrument makes up for it. He even makes them sound like trumpets on some parts! Together with Steve Howe and Steve Hackett, Brian May is one of my favourite guitar players of all time. In addition to the more traditional instrumental attack of guitar, bass, piano, drums and vocals, we also find electric piano, banjo and harmonica as well as some less common instruments like a Japanese koto! There are also many vocal and instrumental effects, and various bells and gongs, etc.

The styles of music vary from acoustic Folk ballads to hard rock to almost experimental music, but all the time staying true to the distinctive Queen sound. The moods similarly vary from very serious and reflective to almost comedy to more aggressive. It is remarkable how well it all holds together given all the diversity. The Prophet's Song is a truly progressive song with an amazing a cappella section and driving hard rock.

A Night At The Opera is a masterpiece of progressive rock and a true must-have album for all Prog fans.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#176997)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Truth
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars OK first off you have to admit, Queen is not prog but they are pretty close in the category of creativity. This album is my favorite all-time undoubtedly not only because of the legendary song Bohemian Rhapsody but the entire album!

Death On Two Legs is an amazing song with a cool guitar riff which, (like a lot of Queen songs) was originally the piano part. It is an ode to someone who Freddie Mercury must have totally hated because of how vile and demon-esque his lyrics sound.

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon is a rather silly song, (it is sung with a microphone in a bucket) but you have to love the guitar solo at the end.

I'm In Love With My Car is probably Roger Taylors best song ever which isn't prog at all but is still one of the stand-out tracks on the album.

You're My Best Friend is John Deacons love song, a soft keyboard based tune with awesome four-part harmonies. It is pretty easy to see why this was one of the hit singles.

'39 is one of the best songs on the album, a folk-rock tune with a prog-lyrical theme, (Something to do with a astronaut who went to find a new planet for the people of earth to live on but when he returns they're all dead.) The harmonies are very well done on this track as well.

Sweet Lady is one of the best rock songs with an odd time signature ever and although the lyrics seem a little rushed it is still pretty catchy.

Seaside Rendevous is another silly track in which the band actually imitates big band instuments. A very entertaining tack to listen to.

The Prophets Song is a masterpiece! The way it changes tempo so smoothly is incredible and Mercurys vocal performance is very well done.

Love of My Life is another soft love song, this time by Mercury, that keeps you amazed at the performance from start to finish.

Good Company is, like '39, sung by May and the main instrument is the ukelele-guitar, (It's not a ukelele or a guitar, it's a ukelele-guitar.) The song is a very pleasent listen no matter how silly the ukelele-guitar sounds.

Bohemian Rhapsody is Queens best track ever with its beautifully sung verses, the insanely... opera bridge and the hard rock ending. Probably the best song in rock history.

God Save the Queen is a beautiful guitar arrangement by May which ends the album perfectly.

All-in-all you gotta get this album if your a fan of rock... or your life isn't complete.

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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#211770)
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The big cheese...

Cheesy as hell. That is the main flaw of this album. I don't consider it a flaw, but some might hate it. It is certainly a precursor to Meat Loaf.

First off, Queen sacrifice some of their pure hard rock roots in lieu of glamming everything up several notches. They add several levels of pomp and Operatic grandeur. Death on Two Legs has a great rocking melody, and it seems that when they do rock out, it has more of a true identity. The lyrics are still bad, but can we really ask for them to have amazing lyrics? I suppose you could, but you won't get it. Instead, you get I'm In Love with My Car(after the fine little Lazing ditty), which sounds so much like Deep Purple, only better. As Deep Purple never knew how to gruff it up with dirt and glam like Queen does.

They seem to pay much more attention to melody and composition compared to their previous efforts, as well. You still have radio commercial sound. You're My Best Friend is the best example of damn fine glam garbage. The laughably bad lyrics and overdubbed skillful vocals are all part of the crass package. I still can't shake the feeling that they are just a commercial machine, though. But that doesn't effect the music, which is in top form. They experiment with styles more, here, as well.'39 has an acoustic beginning, and Lazing before was just silly. '39 turns into a ...country rock swagger ballad? Yes, and it sounds good! Toe Tappin' to be sure. I'd say the most progressive thing about queen is their ability to meld so many different styles into one album.

Sweet Lady drops the ball a bit, as it doesn't have anything beyond their hard rock roots, and feels mundane. A mediocre sag. Seaside Rendezvous has more jumping stylistic jumps and changes. Very popping Broadway in it all. The Prophet's Song is a longer tune than what we have found so far. It rocks well, and has some good opera moments. The vocal harmonies are grand. One of the most progressive pieces on here. The A Capella vocal section grates on my nerves, though. It is bereft of sensible melody, and plodding. At least it does a fine job of rocking after the fact. Love of My Life has a soft introduction, and scales at an almost majestic atmosphere. This I suppose could be the closest thing to a full love "power" ballad on here. The soaring guitar solo is quite nice.

Good Company is strange in a way, but not terrible. It just doesn't amaze me. It is a weak musical idea they tried fleshing out, but it doesn't come off well. At only 3:30 I still feel it goes on for too long. Perhaps due to the painful simplicity of it compared to the rest of the album.

And we have here a miniature rock opera. Bursting out with powerful vocals, multiple sections, deft melodic accentuation, mass multitracking, and is the album's centerpiece. Emotionally, and in compositional terms. Tale of a Bohemian who dies, basically. This is the best I've ever seen Queen, lyrically. IT still isn't perfect, but these are solid. I will say that that two note Guitar... "groan" is so out of place, that it is the only real problem I can find with the song. Opera rock at its peak. The album closes with a short rendition of God Save The Queen. I think it fits nicely.

In all, this album shows Queen at its most creative and melodic. They embrace pomp and opera in full, and still have time to do some hard rocking. The lyrics are not amazing, and some of the musical ideas aren't strong enough to support full song backing, but these are minor complaints as this is a very good record.

Best Song - Bohemian Rhapsody (I can't deny..)

Worst Song - Sweet Lady

**** Strong Stars

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#213064)
Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Queen was the first band I ever got interested in as a child, at age 8 I would come home from school, and listen to queen until I had to go to bed. Reviewing an album by your favorite band is always difficult because you're going to be very bias but in this instance regardless of bias this is one of the best albums of all time. This album incorporates a lot of elements, and it really goes to show what you can do with a band full of singers who can also play instruments. The album is definitely an easy listen; songs go by reasonably quick, and that's one of the geniuses of this album, great 3 to 4 minute songs that flow exceptionally well together with the occasional epic. Vocals are amazing, great harmonies and Freddie's lyrics are so inviting it's hard not to be impressed with this album. Musically this album is an A+ drifting from hard rock to ragtime, and the guitar work is just crippling. Being this is the album that contains the famous epic, "Bohemian rhapsody", it's hard not to fall in love with this album. An easy 5 stars.

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Send comments to DASistGrantTeeL (BETA) | Report this review (#230371)
Posted Friday, August 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'A Night At The Opera' - Queen (8/10)

Music aside, 'A Night At The Opera' was a massive undertaking. At the time, the album was the most expensive in terms of production, and each moment of the album was created under the meticulous eyes of the band, who could take as much as a day to even produce 30 seconds of material. It's safe to say that Queen were out to make a real masterpiece here, and while there is some material on the album that doesn't hit me in a big way, the majority of it makes it up to be true to it's intent. 'A Night At The Opera' is indeed; a splendid work, and arguably the best in Queen's repetoire.

As I've said, many of the songs on the album are great, with but a few small exceptions. The only real stinker here being the epilogue track 'God Save The Queen' (which I usually skip through anyway,) the less potent songs are still decent rockers that aren't out of place on this album.

There's a very prevalent classical influence on the album. From the operatic harmonies of Freddie Mercury in the bombastic climax of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to the erudite piano introduction to 'Death Of Two Legs,' it really sounds like Queen is making a brand of classical music for the new generation of music. That's certainly not the only style shown on the album however. The most personal and moving track '39' delves straight into the realm of skiffle-folk. On another note, the most progressive song on the album, 'The Prophet Song' takes a much heavier approach, and has even been called by some as being the first 'power metal' song ever done (althought I tend to disagree personally.)

The best known song here is easily 'Bohemian Rhapsody' which is the climax of the album. I can't say this for many songs I've listened to, but the performance on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is well near perfect.

With the great load of effort and talent that was put into this album, it's not hard to say that this is a masterpiece. It's not one of my favourite albums, but the world would not be the same without this gem of music. This is one to cherish.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#233339)
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Queen at its best, but ... For a long time, I've tried to avoid this album. I loved "A Day At Races" and though that this is its older, more famous brother who gets all credits, fans and more than fair share of admiration. Oh, how wrong I was. They both are good.

Guitars, they attracts me here most. It's simply something that Brian May can do very well and I'll always admire him for it. Even there's basically only one song I knew from previous encounter with songs from this record (Bohemian Rhapsody, yes this spectacular song), they are surprised me. They're better (mostly) than others. OK, I suppose that I should believe all these rumors (and ratings) about Opera, but I wasn't sure. I tended to keep with my dear old Races. From guitar paradise in first track to typical Queen, little bit ironic meant, partly seriously intended little song, quite uplifting. Only disappointed is The Prophet's Song, which is, well, weird. Maybe it just needs time.

5(-) for pleasant surprise. And for most of course, important rock album with a lot of prog elements. They clearly to heard, aren't they ?

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#252723)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
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Prog Metal Team
5 stars This was my first Queen studio album and it became an instant favorite of mine! Eventually after exploring the rest of their 70's back catalog I exchanged the top position for the slightly superior Queen II. But being my first Queen album I will always have a soft spot for A Night At The Opera and it's safe to say I'm not the only one!

There is no real purpose for me to talk about the individual tracks because we all know that this album is considered to be both a critical and commercial success. After all, A Night at the Opera has been consistently voted by the public as Queen's finest work and one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

The only composition that I'd like to highlight is the underrated Prophet's Song which is my personal favorite from the bunch. The track has some progressive influences but don't expect anything resembling Yes or Genesis. It starts off very atmospheric which is quite unusual but it's just as unique to hear an eight minute long Queen song! To think of it, this is the longest piece of music that Queen has recorded (not counting the multitrack medleys) and it's truly a magnificent piece of work.

This is an excellent release from start to finish and I definitely recommend it as an introduction album instead of all the horrible and inconsistent Queen-compilations out there. An essential piece of music for any rock music collection!

***** star songs: Death In Two Legs (3:43) Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (1:08) Prophet's Song (8:17) Love Of My Life (3:38) Bohemian Rhapsody (5:55)

**** star songs: I'm In Love With My Car (3:05) You're My Best Friend (2:50) '39 (3:25) Sweet Lady (4:01) Seaside Rendezvous (2:13) Good Company (3:26) God Save The Queen (1:11)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#262287)
Posted Sunday, January 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It Ain't Over Till The Fat Bottomed Girl Sings

Wading through the fields of rhapsodic blather that surrounds the making of this record, I had to fight the very strong temptation to conclude that deprived of the Beatles, Rock's finest scribes in the UK seemed desperate to adopt A Night at the Opera as the rather effete 70's child prodigy of Sgt Pepper. Judging by the more avuncular appeals for caution emanating from the other side of the pond, it seems Uncle Sam's appraisal of his nephew as nothing but a calculating little sprog not remotely equipped to follow in his father's footsteps, didn't fall entirely on deaf ears.

Despite some 300 million sales globally, Queen were always viewed with some suspicion in the USA as their provocative cocktail of pomp, glam, vaudeville twee and 'campness aforethought' did not sit easily with the regimented corp d'esprit of the heavily armoured division of rock fans. Amongst the 'earnest and hirsute', Fred and his troupers were considered too faggy to be heavy, too glib to be deep, too shiny to be dark and too goddamn ironic to be assimilated into any 'our gang versus the establishment' rallying cry. The rest of the world seemed more forgiving of their undermining of the traditional testosterone grunt of rawk and it could be argued that Europeans in particular, were more cognisant of the stylistic reference points that Queen employed (Noel Coward, cabaret, Music-Hall, Ivor Novello, operetta and those daring stage outfits worn by Mercury that were tantamount to Privates on Parade)

As far as musicianship goes, we can draw some telling comparisons with the aforementioned Fab Four e.g. apart from possibly Brian May, no-one in Queen or the Beatles would ever come close to be being described as a virtuoso but both bands also had three brilliant songwriters, one brilliant singer and one very ordinary drummer who sang all the crap songs.

Death on Two Legs (Dedicated To...) - The 'just dessert' course of Mercury's splenetic portrayal of one of those reptilian svengalis that inhabit the music biz. (The starter being that of Flick of the Wrist) Rarely has Freddie sounded this vicious and although it's easy to surmise he might just 'protest too much' and relish this villainy more than he abhors it, the lyrics leave no margin for such ambivalence:

Do you feel like suicide? (I think you should) Is your conscience all right does it plague you at night do you feel good, feel good?

Although the dedicatee is unnamed, their previous manager Norman Sheffield attempted to sue the band for defamation when he heard this track. Word to the wise Norm, if there's a smoking gun on the carpet, don't stoop to retrieve it with the casual rejoinder:

Whoops, I was wondering where I'd left that, thank you constable

May really steps up to the plate on this song and his crescendo of dissonant guitar effects on the intro sets the hostile atmosphere perfectly.Those familiar with Vincent Crane's piano on Gershatzer will probably detect a whiff of same from Mercury's florid scalar passage that precedes the sung sections. Great use is made of contrasting dynamics between the Spartan verses and massive choruses with the latter being punctuated brilliantly by Queen's signature stacked harmony layers.Yep, one of the 'hosepipe gang's' very finest songs.

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon - Talk about contrasts, the inspiration here is clearly Noel Coward and British music-hall on a delightful (but all too brief) pastiche of 78 rpm wax cylinder antiquity. Even Brian May manages to coax a sepia tinted flavour out of his indelible guitar sound.

I'm in Love with my Car - This was probably the point at which most Queen fans started to approach a Roger Taylor track with the sort of trepidation that Beatles fans reserved for those by Ringo. Whether this burnt-out wreck was an attempt to sell Queen to the 'monster truck lovin' sh*t kicker' demographic is a moot point, but every tiresome boy racer cliché is here in abundance.

Told my girl I just had to forget her, rather buy me a new carburettor

There is not even a vestige of self-depreciating irony in Taylor's delivery and wedded to a composition that is a guttural dirge of droning barre chord angst, it just induces armchair road-rage in your reviewer. The hissy little oink even locked himself in a cupboard until Mercury relented in allowing this wretched song to appear on the B side of the Bohemian Rhapsody single. Now had the 'three talented ones' come up with an auto-mobile inspired tune, they might have populated a sleek cockpit with Danny La Rue as a drag racer (and I would pay to hear that).

You're My Best Friend - The Wurlitzer electric piano at the start always reminds me of Deep Purple's Demon's Eye but there the resemblance ends abruptly as we are ushered quickly thereafter into a sunny slice of breezy pop that would not disgrace even someone as accomplished in this medium as either Fleetwood Mac or Steely Dan. Although hardly prolific, Deacon's first two compositions certainly enhance both the albums they appear on (see the even poppier Misfire from Sheer Heart Attack)

'39 - I've never been a big fan of Brian's voice because as decent as it is, he just comes across as a bit well, sickly and delicate or lacking in conviction I guess. Throw in a sci-fi story about time travel accompanied by a country and western 'hand on belt buckle' hootenanny thang y'all and you have one very unhappy furry listening critter. The high pitched and 'other worldly' backing vocals are inspired but despite this enticing promise they never actually herald the tune deviating from what was inevitable from the outset. Times like these a man gets to thinkin'...them horses look mighty purty.

Sweet Lady - Despite a promising riff in what is for a heads down stomper, an unusual 3/4 meter, this is ultimately very disappointing. Freddie could normally salvage some mediocre riffing with a memorable tune or sheer wanton bravura (eg. Tie Your Mother Down, Stone Cold Crazy) but fails miserably to deliver on this occasion. Even the section in 4/4 time that follows just resembles a slowly deflated imitation Zeppelin.

Seaside Rendezvous - A quite ingenious, brilliant and outrageously tongue in cheek appropriation of Trad Jazz/vaudeville scat featuring a 'sung' brass section where Mercury and Taylor imitate with astonishing realism, clarinet, trumpet and tuba. They also provided the 'tap dancing' percussion interlude via the surface of the mixing desk with thimbles on their fingers. Rock bands with a sense of humour that surmounts body fluids, body parts, groupies and fart gags are rarer than eskimo porn.

The Prophet's Song - Perhaps the most overtly proggy track of their career and that it was penned by Brian May should come as no real surprise as of the four, it was he who was responsible for stretching and pushing his colleagues into new and uncharted territory the most. A brooding and foreboding song that paces its development very carefully and even features a very ambitious vocal canon which due to its daunting complexity, was seldom tackled in the live realm. This was another piece that May reputedly conceived while recuperating from a near fatal bout of hepatitis while in hospital. Given such a perilous and fragile condition it's hardly surprising that some of the lyrics and imagery betray a dawning sense of his own mortality couched in terms of an apocalyptic biblical flood:

and two by two my human zoo they'll be running for to come out of the rain oh flee for your life who heed me not let all your treasure make you Deceive you not the fires of hell will take you should death await you

The influence of Zeppelin is at its most palpable on Prophet's Song but I can also detect faint traces of Yes, Wishbone Ash and even Sabbath in places. A killer verse melody that leads into an addictive chanted chorus and if the intention of the a cappella canon was to replicate the audible symptoms of delirium, they have succeeded wholesale.

Love of my Life - One of the most beautiful and regularly covered numbers in Mercury's hugely impressive songbook. Depending on which source you believe to be the most reliable, it was a heartfelt sentiment addressed to Freddie's first (and probably only) long-time girlfriend Mary Austin. 'Good' songs cannot probably be appreciated to their full extent from out-with their referential context, but 'great' songs like this encounter no such obstacles to communicating directly to the human heart in a universal language every single one of us can understand.

Good Company - like Seaside Rendezvous this inhabits a similar territory to the Beatles When I'm 64 but its 'George Formby washboard ukelele' surface hides a salutary moral tale contained in a witty and punning lyric sung by Brian about the perils of material success:

Now marriage is an institution sure, my wife and I our needs and nothing more All my friends by a year by and by disappear but we're safe behind our door I flourished in my humble trade my reputation grew The work devoured my waking hours but when my time was through Reward of all my efforts my own limited company.

Bohemian Rhapsody - Notwithstanding I became bored scatty by dint of its stay at Number 1 in the singles chart for what seemed at least 3 years of my adolescence, there is very little that remains unsaid about this particular landmark in popular music. Even stripped of the celebrated mini operetta that lies at its centre, Bohemian Rhapsody would still consist of an achingly beautiful and powerful ballad that builds towards a coruscating heavy rock finale unmatched in any mainstream rock or pop genre.(Prog just might be the only conceivable exception) With the benefit of hindsight, In the Lap of the Gods from the previous Sheer Heart Attack album could be viewed as a precursor to this ambitious extravaganza and there is ample evidence to suggest that not even its composer Mercury had any real concrete idea what it would sound like until its completion.There are several factors that make the piece's success all the more remarkable e.g. it has a multitude of climatic peaks throughout but no conventional chorus to speak of, it's nearly six minutes long dammit and how many chart topping singles have 6 discrete sections that vary so dramatically in texture, tempo and style?

The lyrics are deceptively simple but have a carefully considered ambiguity that has long fascinated me and to this day I have yet to arrive at any clear cut consensus even in my own befuddled head as to their meaning.There are some clear references to both Goethe's Faust (where the hero sells his soul to the devil in exchange for all worldly knowledge) and Albert Camus' The Outsider (where the hero shoots a man for apparently no reason and is subsequently sentenced to death) but neither really square up to the nightmarish imagery that Mercury's disassociation of the real and the imagined presents. Some commentators have speculated at inordinate length that the song represents our Fred's 'coming out' and bidding farewell to a heterosexuality he never felt comfortable with couched in terms of his fear of being judged a 'deviant sinner' with the resultant shaming of his family and his own Zoroastrianism faith. Whatever, like the equally cryptic Lamb Lies Down on Broadway it is unequivocally a moral fable concerned with atonement and redemption albeit expressed in a deliberately allegorical style

God Save the Queen - Maybe the praise heaped upon the young Brian as the new fastest gun at the 'geetar' corral had gone to his permed head. Covering your own national anthem on a guitar solo will inevitably result in two things: Your efforts will be compared to the frankly daunting precedent set by Hendrix and: you might just consider yourself fit to be deserving of such a comparison. Dream on not so clever clogs (The ego has landed)

I know I'll be swimming against the tide here but as enjoyable, accomplished and ground-breaking as A Night at the Opera undoubtedly was, I consider it in many ways an inferior album to its predecessor Sheer Heart Attack. Both are worthy additions to anyone's music collection but for me, the latter's songs are uniformly strong and the Roy Thomas Baker 'ear candy' had yet to rot the band's teeth (i.e. Queen had more balls m'lady)

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#276300)
Posted Sunday, April 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars There's nothing really I can say about Queen, they are a monument of music. They have been heard by everyone, they have been liked by everyone, and if you haven't heard of them, then you must have been in a cave for the last 100 years.

This album is quite monumental, it's not a masterpiece in my opinion, there are some areas which I think should have been shown more and some songs that I wasn't too much enjoying.

This album did spawn one of the most known songs of all time, so maybe my rating doesn't match it's effect, but to be honest, I am just a speck of dust on the monument that is Queen.

1. Death On 2 Legs - Yea, an amazing song and a feeling that should have been more promiment on the album. Amazing vocals (as always) from Mr. Mercury.

2. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon - Obviously a homage to old matinee like songs. Very nice and very fun to listen to.

3. I'm In Love With My Car - Very Spinal Tap. I'm not the biggest fan of this song to be honest, a wee bit annoying, and I find drummers singing annoying (except for Phil Collins & Nick D'Virgillio obivously).

4. You're My Best Friend - This song just makes you happy.

5. '39 - Very Jethro Tull. All the Brian May songs on this album sound like Jethro Tull. I love the vocal harmonies on these songs.

6. Sweet Lady - Not a massive fan of this song, I like the sleazy nature of the song.

7. Seasdie Rendezvous - A tribute to George Formby I believe. Again it has a comical and jaunty nature.

8. The Prophets Song - Why did the rest of the album not sound like this. Very Rush and very epic. The accapella section was very cool and very experimental. One of their most underlooked songs in my opinion.

9. Love Of My Life - An amazing ballad song which shows off again Freddie's vocals.

10. Good Company - Another weird folky song. This isn't the strongest one in my opinion.

11. Bohemian Rhapsody - Don't need to really comment. If you haven't heard this song, then you need to basically.

12. God Save The Queen - Very dire and completely pointless.

CONCLUSION: Classic album basically. Could have had a few emisions and it would have been way better.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#278048)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars 1. Death On 2 Legs - Flick of the Wrist part II. Somehow does not quite work as well as FOTW, but still a decent opener. 6/10.

2. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon - If I want to listen to novelty and joke songs, I'll put on a John Shuttleworth CD. 2/10

3. I'm In Love With My Car - Cliche after cliche, but maybe that was the intention. I like this one, a decent slow rocker. 6/10

4. You're My Best Friend - Gag! 2/10

5. '39 - Another inoffensive ditty. 4/10

6. Sweet Lady - Starts well enough with heavy guitars, but quickly descends into a tuneless mess. 3/10

7. Seasdie Rendezvous - If I want to listen to novelty and joke songs, I'll put on a John Shuttleworth CD. 2/10

8. The Prophets Song - You see, they could still produce great music if they tried. The vocal section is kind of like Brighton Rock with the larynx, not sure it really works though. 8/10

9. Love Of My Life - Gag! 2/10

10. Good Company - If I want to listen to novelty and joke songs, I'll put on a John Shuttleworth CD. 2/10

11. Bohemian Rhapsody - Over played and over-rated, but still a milestone track. 7/10

12. God Save The Queen - Adds nothing tothe album 3/10.

Thanks to the previous reviewer for the song titles!

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Send comments to gingernut (BETA) | Report this review (#278069)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?

The 2079 word thesis above has said it all; Queen's 'A Night at the Opera' is a definitive album of 1975, a year when prog was asolutely flourishing with many bands producing their best material. If you look at the best prog albums of the year, it reads like a veritable Best of Prog list. Let's put this into perspective before tackling why Queen's album is a let down. There was Scheherezade and Other Stories by Renaissance; The Rotter's Club by Hatfield And The North; The Snow Goose by Camel; Warrior At The Edge Of Time by Hawkwind; Free Hand by Gentle Giant; Minstrel In The Gallery by Jethro Tull; Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd; Godbluff by Van Der Graaf Generator and Electric Silence by Dzyan, among others. So Queen produced this album at the height of prog and yet did not include a single prog element except one penultimate song that we have all become accustomed to.

Of course I speak of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to gush over this song. I believe it is quite simply the greatest rock song in history. It features a rock opera within its complex structure. We can all recite its Wagnerian lyrics with multi layered vocal harmonies:' Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me, (Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro, Magnifico!... Bismillah! No, we will not let you go (Let him go!)' It is safe to say that the song became ingrained into pop culture as a result of this section alone. The structure is really three sections encompassing three distinct genres of rock.

The piano driven rock ballad begins the track after an intro of harmonies. The ballad speaks of a man who has killed a man, shot him in the head and now he is facing death row. As he is waiting in his cold cell for the bell to chime reflecting on his past life and it doesn't have much time (Iron Maiden, anyone?), about to walk down the corridor of no return to the electric chair, he hears angelic choral voices calling him; a battle between good and evil ensues in the murderer's mind.

The opera section is the most celebrated, most discussed section in Queen history. Using operatic terminology and harmonies the song defies anything done before or since. As the song builds to a crescendo the paroxysm of lightning explodes onto a power riff that is pure metal. The doors are blown apart with dynamite.

Section three is metal complete with the killer riff, lead break and screaming vocals. The murderer has escaped, a violent struggle and he is free. Mercury is stunning in this section as he screams to the world: 'So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye, So you think you can love me and leave me to die, Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby, Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here ?ah!' It is a short section really and yet has managed to be the head banging national anthem. 'Wayne's World' captured it perfectly as the boys banged heads furiously in their car during this section. It all ends with a bookend, more piano, same melody as beginning; 'nothing really matters' and like all good operas finishes on a resounding gong. That's how you create a masterpiece.

That's about it, isn't it? Oh, that's right there are other songs. They pretty much disappear in light of this track but they are worth a small mention. The problem is the BR track is so massive that if you are expecting more like this you are in for a shock as nothing comes close and nothing is prog. This is disappointing and Queen had a huge opportunity to present a masterpiece and it is not even a pale imitation.

There are good tracks such as the single, 'You're My Best Friend' with a radio friendly catchy melody that I like a lot. 'I'm in Love With My Car' is fun with quirky lyrics and even quirkier structure. 'Prophet's Song' is very strange with great hooks and an acapello section repeating Mercury's vocalisations over and over, no music just masses of multi layered vocals. Weird and memorable but annoying on subsequent listens. And the live set and album closer, the bombastic patriotically British 'God Save the Queen'. Of course this is infamous for the track where Mercury appears on stage at the end in flowing royal robes and royal crown. He dips his crown to the loving crowd and retains his enthroned position as Queen of rock. Looks good in concert but sounds rather bombastic on CD.

Of course pomp rock was Queen's Curriculum Vitae but there is a lot of very ordinary music on the album. 'Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon' is short but appalling. 'Sweet Lady' is kitschy and corny. 'Seaside thingy' is eccentric trash. 'Love of My Life' is a crowd pleaser where Mercury gets crowds to sing along and that may be great to hold lighters up in the air and sway, but on album it is mediocre at best. So all this considered, here is an album that does not live up to the hype. Yes, it features Queen's and rock history's greatest song, and a killer single, but is that enough to gain masterpiece status? On a prog site I cannot recommend this, although the songs mentioned should appear on any progger's list, and you can get these on any Queen compilation which are recommended over this. You will get all the best songs of this on 'Greatest Hits' and the latest 'Absolute Greatest'. I think 'A Night At The Opera' is a worthwhile album but you may well find yourself using the skip button to get to the good stuff.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#279219)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
progpositivity
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Although this album contains their "signature song", the unusually structured and intricately arranged (if also somewhat overplayed) rock masterpiece "Bohemian Rhapsody", this is not Queen's magnum opus. For that, see "Queen II". This album is an interesting "grab bag" of songs ranging stylistically from hard rock to popular rock, art rock and even to 1920's era popular jazz.

Place the opener "Death on 2 Legs", a diatribe against a previous band manager, I'm in Love with my Car, Roger Taylor's requisite rocker, and Sweet Lady in the hard rock category.

Put "You're My Best Friend" and "39", into the popular rock category.

"The Prophet's Song" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" earn their distinctions in the art rock category. Both songs prominently feature rather unique vocal sections.

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Seasdie Rendezvous, and Good Company sound to me like they were influenced by popular jazz music from the 1920's.

"Love Of My Life" is a pop/art-rock hybrid. With "God Save The Queen" wrapping things up as a fun arrangement utilizing overdubs of the classic Queen guitar sound. It is worth noting that back in the 70's, almost nobody else had a guitar tone like Brian May's. It was a "signature sound", which made a song like this "stand out" all the more.

Why the 2 star rating? Although this is a high quality eclectic rock album, it only offers 2 songs that I would consider of high interest to Prog Fans (solely from a Prog Rock perspective). One of those two songs has been so overplayed by commercial radio that it has lost much of its effect for most listeners.

That said, check out "The Prophet's Song" if you get a chance! Even if you aren't a Queen fan, you just might like this song!

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Send comments to progpositivity (BETA) | Report this review (#282181)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
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.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#291288)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars This was the last great Queen album. Sure, they continued to have success and popularity, but the price for that was to compromise their creativity, and water down their songs. But this album also marked the turning point in their careers. While they had a huge hit in the highly progressive Bohemian Rhapsody (you've probably heard it), they also crossed into adult contemporary radio with the saccharine hit You're My Best Friend, a maudlin piece saved by some nice bass playing by Roger Deacon. It's that AC sound that became their signature sound for the majority of the rest of their albums.

The album starts off heavily and darkly, with Death On Two Legs, a fierce rocker, which, unlike a later pop song of theirs, actually says "Do you feel like suicide? (I think you should)". Another good prog moment comes in The Prophet's Song, a heavily produced piece that features some great work with an early form of delay (probably created with tapes).

The rest of the album is a nice mixture of various styles of pop and rock, from the retro songs like Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Seaside Rendezvous and Good Company, which, amazingly, has Brian May simulating a dixieland band on his guitar, to hard rock (Sweet Lady and I'm In Love With My Car) to folk rock ('39). The only truly boring song is the maudlin Love Of My Life.

It's too bad Queen never could get back to their roots after this album.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#359746)
Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to giselle (BETA) | Report this review (#428414)
Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Apart from "39", "The Prophet's Song", and "Bohemian Rhapsody" there's not much else here that is not music hall quirky tunes, pop, and balls-our overblown boring rock anthems. Of course, this is just one guys opinion...But of course, those 3 songs are MONSTERS! "39" is a beautiful and haunting Brian May sci-fi folk song that I can never get tired of. His voice sounds better than ever, here. "The Prophet's Song" is a return to the classic bombastic Queen of their earlier days and is an all-time Queen great number. And of course there's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Nuff said. This is not a great album, and it is not their most proggiest (Queen II?), but because of those songs I cannot give it any less than 3 stars.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#449390)
Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Bombastic, expensive, amazing. A Night At The Opera flows like a well-chosen programme of classical music, only characterised by guitar riffs, vaudeville ditties, home-made jazz, thicker than thick vocal harmonies, and billions of overdubs. I love the diversity here, and the complexity of song structure that adorns a lot of the band's earlier records.

Of course, the dense, crazy style of composing rock that sounds like opera reaches a peak with 'Bohemian Rhapsody', which I really need not describe. It's not my favourite on the album though. That would be the hard-edged, piano-led opener 'Death On Two Legs', with it's King Crimsoneque tri-tone cello opening, and totally "[%*!#] you" lyrics, uncharacteristic for the sweet Freddie Mercury. The little song that follows without a gap, 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon', is equally fun and enjoyable. The guitar solo is in a totally unrelated key; things like this just get overlooked with Queen when people focus on their showmanship and power chords. They are more musically accomplished than most prog bands.

The not so great tracks are basically 'I'm In Love With My Car', a bit of a throwaway thrasher from drummer Taylor, and 'Sweet Lady' from May, which is a good, Zeppelin-style rock song, but just not in the same compositional league as the rest of the album. A Night At The Opera is otherwise perfect, continuing with the slice of warm, electric piano pop, 'You're My Best Friend', Deacon's well- crafted single, and another 30s dixieland-style piece from Freddie, 'Seaside Rendevous', which is just lovely to listen to with all of those brass instruments (which are actually treated vocals). Mercury also lends his greatest ballad to the album, 'Love Of My Life', which has melodies to die for.

Meanwhile, Brian May spoils us with three of his best pieces, the stomping space-folk ballad '39', with beautiful chords and lyrics, the ukulele-led 'Good Company', with plenty of jazzy guitar effects, and great cadences, and forming the centrepiece of the album, the prog-rock effort 'Prophet's Song', which would be mediocre if not for that middle section, in which three a cappella Freddie's sing their harmonised hearts out. Stunning, and original, like the rest of the album.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' followed by a guitar-led rendition of 'God Save The Queen' is probably one of the greatest ways to end an album, which has already delivered more than necessary to be given 5 stars. Luckily, this evening's opera can be listened to again and again, which is what I have done, and will continue doing. This album is very special, with a warm feeling, faultless production, and enough creativity to challenge The Beatles. Worth all the hours they put in.

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#536492)
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A transitional album, A Night at the Opera finds Queen poised on the tipping point between campy art rock and full-blooded proto-prog metal. The album's sheer diversity of musical styles is both is strength and its weakness - it's almost certain that there'll be songs you love on here, but unless you have exceptionally broad (or uncritical) musical tastes it's also likely there'll be songs on here you can't stand.

For my part, I love Death on Two Legs and I'm In Love With My Car, find You're My Best Friend and Bohemian Rhapsody too catchy not to enjoy, think The Prophet's Song is OK but could do without the overlong a capella sections, but the rest of the album comes across to me as filler, nothing more and nothing less. A decent listen, but there's severe consistency issues creeping in.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#547003)
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although not a truly progressive album, I find that it is perhaps one of the greatest albums ever.

its ambient/mysterious start to the first track is the perfect start for any album. The majority of "Death on Two Legs" is however, quite heavy. The album then seamlessly moves into the next track "lazing on a Sunday afternoon. A tale of what the narrator does in a standard week. The music is quite upbeat and catchy. There is another seamless transition into the Roger Taylor sung "I'm in love with my car". The song depicts a perhaps romantic relationship with the narrator's car. He sings he will have to "forget his girl" in order to buy a new radiator. The music, despite its simple chord structure has been made complex with various solos and piano parts. The album carries on into one of queen's better known song "My best Friend.' This song is in my opinion is not one of the greatest songs on the album. The electric piano sound isn't one I would place in my own work, It is hard to believe that John Deacon was just learning to play piano was the keyboardist. The lyrics depict a lover's relationship as "Best Friends." Despite the Electric piano part I can see how some can find it catchy. The Next song is "'39" Musically the song is very folky in nature. Lyrically the song is about a spaceship that sets off in the year of 39. They return 100 years later although only one year had passed on the spaceship due time dilation. It is a quite sad tale I'd have to say. I can see the prog influence on queen in this song. Some of the chord progressions are quite complex. The album goes on to in my opinion one of the weaker songs on the album "Sweet Lady." To me there is nothing special about it other than a few fancy rhythms, Its your typical mid-70's Rock song. The album moves on into "Seaside Rendezvous" This song is one of the more entertaining songs of the album. The lyrics depict a possibly secret love between two patterns. The male is basically asking for the Female's love and being put off. The music the most entertaining part there are multiple 'Vocal Trumpet' solos and riffs. It is a very light hearted and upbeat song.

The album then flips over (for all you vinyl fans) to perhaps the most Prog Queen song ever: "Prophet's Song" The song opens with a mysterious and ambient guitar and mallet part then goes into a heavy guitar part and lyrics based on Noah's ark. The complex chord and song structure at this point is evidence of Queens Progressive influence/Relation. In the middle of the song is a choral cannon sung entirely by Mercury and Towards the end Taylor and May. It is an absolutely choral part rivaled only by "Bohemian Rhapsody." This song is probably the most under-rated Queen song. The song ends with the chorus followed by a soft guitar part and seamless Segway into "Love of my Life." Love of my life is a ballad about trying to get someone to come back to the narrator. The music of this song reminds me of a Mozart/Classical era Senate. The album moves into "Good Company" a lifelong tale of a man trying to seek good friends. The music is quite unique. I find the rhythm guitar sound like its cross between a banjo and a ukulele.

Now what I believe to be the greatest song in the world. A song for all genre-lovers. "Bohemian Rhapsody" Opening with a choral part (which is just Mercury and Taylor multi-tracked) and then moving into the intense post-intro. Then the famous Middle "trial" part in which the lyrics have been seen as mostly nonsense and in-between a murder trial. Then into the Hard Rock part and perhaps the escape of a criminal. The song concludes the way it began in an intense piano-guitar part. This is perhaps the suicide of the criminal. This is an absolutely incredible song. I believe it has a Genre aspect for everyone. It has Classical, Choral, Metal, Rock, Prog and Art. I cannot imagine how anyone can hate this song. The album ends in a guitar-Heavy instrumental version of God Save the Queen. It is just the right song after the climax of Bohemian Rhapsody.

As a Whole, This album flows very nicely for not being a True prog album. I would consider this to be Queen's finest album. It is quite Eclectic and has something for everyone. I would not only call this a masterpiece of prog but also a masterpiece of Prog but a Masterpiece of music. Anyone who likes any form of popular music should have this album. It is that good.

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Send comments to progistoomainstream (BETA) | Report this review (#547372)
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10

I'm with love with this album.

Surely everyone has heard of the Queen. Since I had little contact with this band, and although it has never been a fan of them always had appreciation for his songs. Now, it was a surprise when I found them here on the site as a Prog Related artist! I do not care if Queen is a progressive rock band or not - they are a rock band, period.

The question is: how many styles of rock they play?

Look at A Night In The Opera. This is a great album. It's not just a rock record. It's one of those memorable works that are rooted in the history of music and who can please Greeks and Trojans. Yes, everyone has heard of Bohemian Rhapsody and Love of My Life, but the album goes beyond this and offers a complex range of styles (hard rock, country, classical music, vaudeville, pop, etc ...) in 43 bombastic minutes . Having been at the time the most expensive album ever produced and it has been recorded with meticulous (not obsessed ... just perfectionism, said Mercury), it was essential to the Queen that A Night In The Opera do succeed, otherwise it would be the end of the band. Needless to say they succeeded! Above the commercial success was the critical success, and not for nothing that album is revered as one of the best rock records ever made.

As much as I really love this album, there is a considerable amount of songs absolutely "useless" here. Ironically I hate only one of these: Good Company, which is really a weak song and unemotional with a poor use of the ukulele (besides being sandwiched between the two greatest hits album, which was really bad). Lazing on a Sunday Afternoom is so clueless that I really love you too much (the voice of Mercury that seems out of a bucket is one of the most kitschy and fun I've ever heard), Seaside Rendezvous is another fun time with their vocalizations woodwinds and brass to give it an air of pseudo-scholar and God Save the Queen is a strong and short end that although it is not bad to me it seems more appropriate if it were the opening of the album, and not vice versa.

But the other eight songs ... what is this? Wow! Even my father, a big fan and longtime connoisseur of the Queen, was surprised with the songs on this album. On the Side A have Death In Two Legs (Dedicated To ...) is a non-tribute to the album's producer and has everything that is typical of the band's strong vocal work, intricate guitar (May is really a gem of his generation) and memorable passages. I'm Love With My Car is an amazing piece sung sung by Taylor, while You're My Best Friend is a nice pop song that was a success. 39 is another highlight, being sung by May and cool lyrics - treble vocals are amazing! - and Sweet Lady is another hard rock piece with traces of Led Zeppelin, i think.

The B side is no less amazing to have, besides the two songs disposable are three masterpieces. The Prophet's Song is the largest of them, and frankly, I'm beginning to think this is one of the best songs I ever heard in my life! Unfortunately it is very underestimated - does the fact that it is the most progressive that the group has created has something to do with it? - But when you look at their sections and for the hard rock and May´s works with eletric and acoustic guitar and koto you understand what I'm talking about. And for all those who love opera section of Bohemian Rhapsody ... the harmonies in the middle-section in this song will leave you speechless. If there is something in which I love are the Queen is the vocal works of your members. And in this song it is taken to the peak of perfection, resulting in more powerful harmonic vocal section of all time.

The other songs everyone knows. Love of My Life is one of the greatest ballads of all time, highlighting the great work of Mercury (those vocal harmonies shivers down my spine) and May guitar now emulates a cello now emulates a synthesizer.

And Bohemian Rhapsody ... need to say something? perhaps the single most progressive of all time, and I do not think a song could be successful are so complex! You see, it starts with an a cappella section, a small part to verse-chorus section that is broken by a great guitar solo of May, and then we come to his very famous the "opera", it really is brilliant! All this and the best is yet to come: after the dark line "Beelzebub is a saint but the devil for me, for me, for me ..." the song explodes into a powerful hard-rock section until things calm down and the music close to the beat of a gong, and almost all in 6 minutes (gosh, I'm just tired of describing it!) - do not forget their lyrics fantastic, parodying opera and telling a really cool story! Definitely one of the greatest rock anthems of all time!

5 stars is the maximum I can give to this album, but he certainly much more mercy. Prog or not, this is a timeless masterpiece!

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#570827)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm in loooooove... with this album

Queen's fourth release is one of their best. It shows that every member can write a great track, especially Freddie and Brian, who are both very accomplished songwriters (lyrics and music).

I love the old style of Queen. Great vocal harmonies, one of the best male singers of all time, a unique guitar sound and progressive songs. We put these elements together and the result is... QUEEN!!!, a unique band.

Highlights include the hate letter "Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)", the vocal explosion "The Prophet's Song" and... "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY".

In conclusion, this album is mixing musical genres in a good way.

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Send comments to geneyesontle (BETA) | Report this review (#716577)
Posted Sunday, April 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "A Night at the Opera" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK rock act Queen. The album was released through EMI/Parlophone in Europe and Elektra/Hollywood in the US in November 1975. Having released "Queen II (1974)" "Sheer Heart Attack (1974)" within a year, "A Night at the Opera" was the 3rd album by the band within a two year period. Queen were undeniably on a creative high and especially with "Bohemian Rhapsody" they would also make an incredible commercial impact.

Listening to a track like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the equally theatrical "The Prophet's Song", it´s obvious to me that the times were very different back in the seventies. Such intricate, flamboyant, progressive and clever compositions would never make it unto the radio had they been released today. A track like the more pop oriented "You´re My Best Friend" would though but that doesn´t make it any less interesting. In fact no matter what music style Queen touch on "A Night at the Opera", the outcome is quite brilliant. The band are such skilled performers and composers that they can pull off this eclectic blend of styles with ease and great conviction. As usual it´s the outstanding vocals/backing vocals/choirs that steal the show, but there are some really powerful and intricate instrumental performances on the album too. Paired with a warm and organic sound production we´re talking a high quality release. Favorites for me on the album are the above mentioned "The Prophet's Song", the opening track "Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)" and of course "Bohemian Rhapsody". The latter might be one of the most well written and intriguing rock songs I´ve ever heard. Even though it´s been played to death on the radio, it still moves me in the most incredible way every time I hear it.

"A Night at the Opera" is an interesting release as it features some of Queen´s most theatrical/progressive moments but also more than hints at the more easily accessible nature of their future material. It´s definitely an album for those who like their music with variation and can appreciate elements from many music styles. I guess I´m one of those and I think a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#764951)
Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 | Review Permalink

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