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A DAY AT THE RACES

Queen

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Queen A Day At The Races album cover
3.77 | 370 ratings | 28 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tie Your Mother Down (4:46)
2. You Take My Breath Away (4:40)
3. Long Away (3:55)
4. Millionaire Waltz (4:52)
5. You and I (3:23)
6. Somebody to Love (4:57)
7. White Man (4:56)
8. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (2:54)
9. Drowse (3:41)
10. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (5:51)
11. Tie Your Mother Down* (1991 Remix) (3:44)
12. Somebody to Love* (1991 Remix) (5:00)

Total Time 52:39

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Freddie Mercury / vocal, piano, choir meister, tantrums
- Brian May / guitars, vocals, orchestration
- John Deacon / fender bass
- Roger Taylor / drums, vocal, percussion, pandemonium

Releases information

1976 & 1991 Queen Productions ltd. Re-released in 1991 by Hollywood Records with 2 bonus tracks noted with * in track listing. Produced by Queen

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
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QUEEN A Day At The Races ratings distribution


3.77
(370 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

QUEEN A Day At The Races reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Like it or not, Queen is here to stay, we must leave behind the questions whether they are Prog' or not because nobody is sure, I'm one of the persons who believe they were not a formal Progressive Rock band because of their high POP and Glam influences but there's no doubt that they had some Prog' material in their first albums but overall excellent music that combines different genres influences and even eras, and that's what really matters.

I'm sure most people will run and review A Night at the Opera because of Bohemian Rhapsody, which IMO is one of their highest achievements if not the higher, but as a solid and versatile album, I stay without doubts with "A Night at the Opera" almost a masterpiece that goes from Gospel and Blues influenced Prog to Vienna Waltz and Japanese melodies, simply outstanding with no fillers at all (Well, maybe Drowse).

There's another subjective factor that increases my preference for this albums above some others probably in the same or a higher level and it's because Somebody To Love was my first approach to Queen's music.

In the late 70's Radios and TV stations were property of Disco Music bands, so some Movie Theaters programmed concerts by Frágil (Peruvian Prog' band) and after the concert they gave us one extra hour of classic rock band videos that never reached our TV. One of my favorite videos was precisely the one in which a strange looking fellow in Ballet outfit with an incredibly beautiful voice sung this mysterious and bluesy song.

So very soon I bough my first copy of A Day at the Races, even when my proghead friends warned me about the dangers of Glam Rock and never was disappointed, loved this album from the first listen.

The album starts with a strange guitar intro by Brian May that seems to announce something really adventurous but "Tie Your Mother Down" suddenly turns in a good hard rock oriented song that doesn't offer anything really new except for the excellent bass and drums work by John Deacon and Roger Taylor.

The second song is "You Take My Breath Away", a classical ballad by Queen but the merit of the song is that they create a nostalgic atmosphere without falling in cheesiness (something that happens very often with less talented bands), Freddie Mercury is not only outstanding in the vocals (as always) but also very correct with the piano, a good chance to show his incredible vocal range, good chorus at the middle of the song, very beautiful track.

"Long Away" is one of the rare chances in which Brian May takes the lead vocals and I believe that if it wasn't for Freddie, Brian would have made good frontman and vocalist, the choirs by Freddie and Roger are spectacular, simple song but pretty effective.

"The Millionaire Waltz" is a apparently simple song played in Austrian Waltz tempo, with an amazing rock explosion in the middle of the track soon interrupted by the piano playing a repetitive chord but enhanced with Brian's guitar unique sound, but it's really a pretty complex track and very well elaborated. Never knew if this song was product of Freddie's sense of humor, but despite his intentions (which I don't know) the song is very good.

Only Queen can manage a simple and poppy tune like "You and I" and create such a solid track, all the band is impeccable and the mixture between piano, choirs and hard edge guitar is extremely beautiful, always loved this song especially for the incredible arrangements which combined with a simple and poppy track create a wonderful song.

Now it's the turn for my all time favorite Genesis track "Somebody To Love", a love song with clear blues influence but managed so well by the band that sounds almost as a new genre very close to progressive without falling into the excesses of Fusion, but that's not all, the choirs by the members resemble a complete Gospel choir with only the voices of the band members overdubbed several times. The vocals are the highlight of the song, even when the music is extremely beautiful the vocal work alone makes it worth, extraordinaire!!! Queen at their peak.

"White Man" is one of the weakest tracks of the album, too musically predictable for the capacity of the musician and composer involved (Even though the lyrics are more complex and politically influenced), not bad but a bit boring.

"Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" is another track in which the band shows their humorous side, creating a Vaudeville atmosphere, nothing pretentious but again they hit the head of the nail even when joking.

"Drowse" is a Roger Taylor track and that's the only important thing I can say about it, because sounds as a product of another Queen era, should never be included in this album.

The album is closed by the haunting and incredibly beautiful "Teo Torriate (Let's Us Cling Together)" where they mix the classical sound with an almost imperceptible oriental atmosphere only evident when Freddie sings part of the lyrics in Japanese. Very good closer for an excellent album.

There's an edition with two bonus tracks (1991 re-mix of Tie Your Mother Down and Somebody to Love), but in the case of the classics I only worry for he original versions.

Being that Drowse and White man are weaker than the rest of the tracks, I can't give 5 stars to A Day at the Races, but at least deserves 4 solid stars that should be 4 ½ if this was possible in Prog Archives.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#40875) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Often linked to its predecessor both about the title and the cover, this album is clearly a downstep from ANATO. It is very over-rated in the Queen dicography , but since so closely tied to its predecessor , I think most Queen fans forget to judge this album on its own merits.

No obvious prog epioc , plenty of pleasant pop tunes , some are rather outstanding in vocals harmonies (Somebody To love ) but is this really fitting in the Archives? Who cares , right! still a great album aimed at selling millions to male teenagers (Tie Your Mother Down), surfin and gliding on the Bohemian Rap wave , but there are many fillers here.

Still worth a spin , but hardly essential. For fans only! But I did give it that third star.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#43820) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I first heard Queen while listening to Radio Caroline in the early Seventies, it was Seven Seas Of Rhye, I was delighted about Freddy Mercury his great voice and sparkling piano and the exciting electric guitar work by Brian May. Soon I became a huge fan of their harder-edged art-rock sound, for me their first album is one of the greatest rock albums of all time, it can compete with Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath! The album A Day Of The Races had to solve the same problem as Mike Oldfield with Tubular Bells or Pink Floyd with Dark Side Of The Moon, how to make successor after a worldwide successfull and acclaimed album? Well, in my opinion they did very well, this is a very varied and tasteful record: a great and catchy guitar riff in the propulsive rocker Tie Your Mother Down, romantic piano in the mellow You Take My Breath Away, exciting shifting moods in The Millionaire Waltz (with that very distinctive guitar play by Brian May) and pleasant piano, vocal harmonies and bass in the swinging You And I, of course Brian May gives it an extra dimension with some fiery guitar runs, what a killer guitar player, so much R&R! My highlight is Somebody To Love, (of course) it has not the level of Bohemian Rhapsody but it's a great, very typical Seventies Queen song: the vocal harmonies, the piano sound, the tension between the tender and bombastic parts and the eagerly awaited, always top notch guitar solo by Brian May. A year later I witnessed Quee live during their News Of The World tour but that was also the last album I bought from Queen because they gradually lost their harder-edged side, for me it became too much pop-oriented.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#85792) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 04, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars By most people's opinion this is just a pale attempt to copy its successful predecessor. The title and the cover are similar, and some of the song's structures reminds a listener of certain tracks on "A Night A The Opera". But this album is much, much more than a copy. Perhaps it's lacking that sense of floating and conceptualism, and few tracks here are just the fillers, unlike it's predecessor, where all the songs are way above the average. On the other hand, this non-conteptual work is nicely rounded with the opening and closing theme, providing at least an illusion of floating and continuity.

The weakest two tracks, fillers really, are "Long Away" and "You And I", but even here the QUEEN's trademarks are presented well, excelent guitar work, beautiful layered vocals, and their skill to write lovely ballads. There are one or two unpredictable, heavier moments in the middle of the ballads, ranking them higher than average.

"Tie Your Mother Down" is your typical hard-rock/boogie-woogie number with nasty lyrics and sliding guitar solo too similar to LED ZEPPELIN's "Heartbreakers". However, it's the best possible candidate for an opener, and indeed the song was heavily utilised as an opener on their live gigs untill 1986., when it was replaced by fresher "One Vision".

Another ballad, "Teo Toriatte" contains mixture of English and Japanese lyrics and children's choir. A typical light-the-candle-for-the-peace-in-the world-ballad but not cheesy as this type of song could usually be.

The rest of the album? All the gems. "You Take My Breath Away" is most beautiful song Queen ever did. Calm, spiritual, gentle, a real craftmanship. One of Brian May's finest moments is here: multilayered guitars that sound like a beast's roar, but these growls are actually so quiet, like the most gentle string orchestral passage. Beyond description. "The Millionare Waltz" is lovely snobbish multipart composition with some fine piano and guitar licks are mimicking typical Strauss' moments. Nice details. Their hit "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" is most progressive-related pop-beat ever written. I have to admit that I didn't like this tune a lot, but after years of possessing this album, I finally discovered the charm that was hidden from my eyes (ears) all these years. Now it's one of my favourites. It's so silly, but it's gorgeous. When I hear it, I can't help myself; must nod my head. Oh, and not to forget the most expressive guitar solo that May ever did. Compared to this, Jimi's wah-wah weepings sound like a monotonous sine wave when heart stops beating. "Somebody To Love" is a well-known Queen's soul classic, and it's not worth describing it. All four aforementioned gems are of interest for a progressive rock fan, but however there are two more tracks worth exploring: "White Man" and "Drowse", both with excellent lyrics, but untypical Queen's efforts. The first one is very heavy, guitar-driven, raw-power song with lyrics slapped into your face, it sounds almost like a grunge prototype, while the second one is repetitive (but not boring) slide-guitar work, with Taylor's vocals about getting older. Very underrated track.

When we do the summary, we have four excellent prog rock songs, two excellent ones thay wouldn't fit under the prog rock umbrella, and the rest consists of above-average rock & ballad-rock fillers. It is important to mention that this excellent prog songs are holding the balance for the whole album, and I can't force myself to rate this album with less than four stars.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#97754) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 09, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Day At The Races was not as strong an album as the classic predecessor A Night at The Opera but nevertheless it sold millions of albums all over the world and continued to catapult Queen to even greater heights. ' Somebody To Love' to this day is one of Queen's most notable singles, even George Michael singing it so many years later at live gigs.Other highlight tracks would be the opener ' Tie Your Mother Down' and the closing 'Teo Torriatte'. A good album that was never going to eclipse A night Of The Opera but still good enough to maintain Queen's increasing momentum and popularity.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#103358) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 16, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "A Day At The Races" is another excellent album from Queen as a follow-up of the ground-breaking "A Night at The Opera". With the world success of "Bohemian Rhapsody" as major hit, Queen strived to maintain their position in rock music industry scheme. The result was really good. All songs contained in this album are excellent right from the opening to the end. With a hard driving rocker "Tie Your Mother Down" (4:46) as opening track, Queen maneuvered the music into a drastic break with a truly mellow track "You Take My Breath Away" (4:40). The band also adventured into the dance kind of music through "Millionaire Waltz" (4:52). The great choirs can be enjoyed through "Somebody to Love" (4:57) which reached excellent reputation as hit. For my personal taste, I like "White Man" (4:56) because it has excellent drumming. "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" (2:54) is a good example of how Queen combines pop music style with rock in good melody line which makes the band's unique characteristic. No other band which has this kind of music. The album concludes with excellent ballad: "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" (5:51).

As far as rock music concerns, this is an excellent album that must be in your collection - without any doubt at all.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#120998) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Queen Marx time

There were many obvious clues with this release that it was intended to be "A night at the opera, part 2". The further use as a Marx brothers film name for the title, the similarities of the album titles, and the fact that the sleeve appeared at first sight to be a negative image of that of the previous album are just some of the more obvious hints.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual music, that is where the parallels end. Let me say straight away that I do not wish to imply that this is anything other than a competent and enjoyable album. It is not however anything like as innovative and pioneering as its predecessor. Gone (forever?) are the pop prog classics such as "The prophet's song" and "Bohemian rhapsody", to be replaced by a straightforward collection of ten unconnected pop songs. "A day at the races" is much more akin to 10CC than it is to early Queen.

Freddie Mercury of course adds a couple of his classics. "Good old fashioned lover boy" and "The millionaire waltz" with their retro feel and camp lyrics, and "You take my breath away", one of Freddie's most sensitive ballads, single handedly make the album essential. Roger Taylor's excellent solo track "Drowse" is surprisingly downbeat, but in the middle 8 he does a fine impersonation of Roger Daltrey. May's opening "Tie your mother down" builds the tension wonderfully before bursting into one of the band's hardest rock numbers ever. My personal favourite is "Long away", a nicely understated song which features May on lead vocal.

With all four band members contributing one or more songs, the quality and diversity of the product is undeniable. Songs such as Freddie Mercury's "Somebody to love" and Brian May's "Teo Torriatte" are excellently produced and impeccably performed works. The former features some appealing choral type vocals but when pared back to its most basic form, the song is prosaic. Likewise "Teo Torriate" is a sensitive but undistinguished composition, brought to life by the anthemic, sing-a-long nature of the chorus. This was the first album by Queen to contain songs which I had completely forgotten about over a period of time. "You and I" and "White man" have the hallmarks of a Queen song, but they lack substance or character.

In all, a highly enjoyable album, but the first indication that the band were moving away from their innovative and experimental phase and into a more straightforward style. Perhaps the lure of the rewards from great chart success was all too strong.

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Posted Saturday, June 16, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Queen - one of the most well know bands in history of music

This album is so underrated because the album doesn't have a standout classic, all songs are evenly fine...., to me is one of their best. Here they continue the tradition they left on previous one in the same manner. A classical Queen album.

After the previous succes of A Night At The Opera Queen was left with the impossible task to surpass their masterpiece. No worries, they had the skills and the idea's, but in comparison A Day At The Races will always remain in the shadow of it's immortal predesessor, still a very good album. So a 4 star album to me, very enjoyble, just listen to You and I, super.

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Posted Friday, September 07, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another Marx Brothers title (I am found of these guys, the Brothers, I mean).

Queen has now reached stardom. So, how the hell can they cope with this? By releasing a better album than A Night? Or using the same recipe and presume that it will be received as well as its glorious predecessor.

The latter option is of course more comfortable. No risk.

Same great and wild opening song as Death On Two Legs with Tie Your Mother Down. A beautiful and melodic sweet song like Love Of My Live with You Take My Breath Away. So far, so good. But a bit of repeated work, right?

A Night At The Opera is not my fave album of the band. Too many average to even poor songs were stretched along the album and prevent it to be a masterpiece IMHHO. The history is repeating here as well with Long Away. Even if it is a May song, it is the weakest one of this album (on par with the closing Teo Torriatte.

On the contrary, The Millionaire Waltz (Mercury, of course) is brilliant. Varied, fresh, unpredictable, gorgeous, melodic, rocking, theatrical. Ever heard of this before? Yes, it has more Bohemian flavour as some other song featured on this album. My fave here. By several miles...

And amazingly, You And I is another powerful pop track. A usual combination of great piano and sumptuous vocals; but who would doubt about this genuine Queen quality? My fave Deacon composition ever.

Somebody To Love is of course another highlight of this album. Reminiscent of the fabulous Bohemian Rhapsody. Fabulous vocals and great choir work (based on the 10CC technique used in the extraordinary I'm Not In Love). The problem being that this song tries to compete with these two gigantic pieces of music and is just shy of them of course.

The band is distilling some good hard-rock song with White Man. May is again rather convincing as a guitar player but even more as a song writer. It will appeal to any hard-rocking oldies as I am.

The difference between A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races is the following IMHHO : the former holds two magical numbers (The Prophets Song and Rhapsody) but several useless short tunes. This one doesn't hold any of these two, but on the other hand it is more consistent. No such masquerade as Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon or Seaside Rendez-Vous. Even if Drowse is the poorest Taylor song so far.

This is anothe strong Queen effort. Four stars, but don't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album?

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Posted Friday, January 18, 2008

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Even with the frills stripped away, QUEEN did a great job in out-pomping most other bands. Gone are the extended progressive workouts, the crazy camp approach to things, replaced by a serious assault on the world's album charts. While there is still the occasional reminder that this is a special band, this album is so much less than we ought to have been given.

'A Day At The Races' begs to be compared to its predecessor: the choice of album title and cover guarantees that. Publishers do have that sort of clout. However, while 'A Night At The Opera' was by turns progressive, poppy and vaudeville, this album is quite a different beast: rock tinged with the remnants of a progressive outlook. It's an average album, worthy of the occasional spin, but no more - unless, of course, it's part of your nostalgic childhood.

'Tie Your Mother Down' sounds like it's going to be an all-out QUEEN assault, but it turns out to be strangely lukewarm. 'Take My Breath Away' is a beautiful vocal exercise, but hardly bears repeated listens. 'Long Away' is a gentle track, something I could imagine THE SEEKERS putting together in a spare moment. At least with 'Millionaire Waltz' QUEEN extend their vision a little, even if it is overlong. 'Somebody to Love' is nice, but ought we not to be expecting far more from one of the wildest and most creative talents in rock? 'You and I' sums up this album: sweet, inoffensive and completely irrelevant.

And so it goes.

Listening to this is like rummaging through a lucky dip, hoping to find something with an interesting shape or sparkle. It's as though FREDDIE and the boys found the vamp switch and turned it down to 1. A great strategy for widespread popular acceptance, but I can imagine many people who, like me, were left scratching their heads at the subdued fare offered here. The ingredients are still there - intricate vocal harmonies and MAY's special guitar - but though this sounds like QUEEN, there's only so much that can be done to dress up sub-par compositions.

No moments of drama, no pop standards, nothing essential to the QUEEN canon. Go about your business, nothing to see here.

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Posted Saturday, March 29, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars A day at the arena

A Day At The Races is in many ways a transitional album. While being a companion album to the previous A Night At The Opera bearing many similarities to that album, A Day At The Races was also where we saw the first signs of the direction the band would take with their next album, News Of The World. This change of direction is hidden somewhat behind the first few seconds of the first track which is a precursor for a song that comes later on the album, White Man. But as soon as the main riff of Tie Your Mother Down kicks in it is apparent that they are moving towards the kind of Arena Rock characterising We Will Rock You and similar later Queen anthems.

Indeed, the two album titles A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races are perhaps very appropriate pointing towards the fact that in their early days they had mainly been playing smaller venues and night clubs, while now they were moving towards playing larger outdoor venues in broad daylight (perhaps culminating with their performance at Wembley Stadium in 1986 available on DVD). Another apparent change from earlier albums is that on A Day At The Races all the songs are separated and do not flow into each other. Songs like Tie Your Mother Down, Somebody To Love and Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy are more hit songs than most earlier songs by the band, perhaps with the exception of songs like Killer Queen from Sheer Heart Attack and I'm Your Best Friend from A Night At The Opera.

The similarities with A Night At The Opera are as apparent as the dissimilarities. Long Away is this albums counterpart to '39 and The Millionaire Waltz is the counterpart to Bohemian Rhapsody. White Man fills the same role as Sweet Lady but also reminds of the Prophet's Song (but without the out-of-this-world a cappella section). Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy is the same type of song as Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon or Seaside Rendezvous. You Take My Breath Away does not really have a counterpart but it is an excellent song that would have fitted well on A Night At The Opera. Drowse is Roger Taylor's moments to shine and this is not his best but certainly not his worst either. It reminds more of Tenement Funster than of I'm In Love With My Car, but is not really similar to any of them.

The album closes with Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) which is partly sung in Japanese! This is one of the best songs on the album, together with You Take My Breath Away and brilliant The Millionaire Waltz.

The conclusion is that this is a pretty typical early Queen album with all the band's trademarks, and it is highly enjoyable! In my view it holds together slightly better than Sheer Heart Attack and much better than the incoherent News Of The World, but it is still mostly far behind the masterpieces of Queen II and A Night At The Opera. Still, it is a great album and the last great Queen album for a long, long time.

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Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars What are you planning to do to my mother??

Queen's fifth album is a step away from what they'd been doing up to this point. Although it proves to be a good sister album to A Night At The Opera, this is the album where Queen started going more for the concise rock songs than the experimental approach that they'd taken leading up to this point. While this is where Queen starts to get really well known in the rock world (well, moreso on the last album, this one just builds off it) this is also where they more or less turned away from the progressive tenancies that they had going. A very good album, this has a lot of Queen's better known songs - just don't expect anything progressive like March Of The Black Queen or The Prophet's Song.

The album is still very good with the short songs. It seems that the band really got a hold of melodies and put them to use in well thought out pop-rock songs, many of which can be found on may radio stations and compilations even today. Fan favorites that are played live these days even without Freddy at the helm include the rocking, rebellious opener Tie Your Mother Down and the always popular (in the rock world) Somebody To Love. As stated before, this is where Queen really started to go song for song, as there's no short interludes or tracks that link together to form a kind of suite. Each song stands on it's own as a good piece. Drowse is the song on the album which gets voice by Roger Taylor, and what a job he does! This one isn't heavy like some of the other songs he voiced for the band like I'm In Love With My Car or Tenement Funster, but it makes for a zoned out relax-fest with Taylor's smooth vocals harmonies.

The slower songs on the album do tend to drag a bit though. The second (and longest) song on the album, You Take My Breath Away is a delicate ballad which is at times far to silent. Coming right after the powerful opener as well this song seems to be wildly out of place. The closing Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) is a better stab at a slow piece, but it doesn't measure up to some of the more impressive pieces on the album.

Still, there's some utterly fantastic moments on the album that really make it worth it. The previously mentioned Drowse is an easy standout, as is the soft-yet-still-pressing Long Away and the powerful White Man with it's malicious instrumental sections and it's accusing lyrics.

Like many of the Queen remasters, this album comes with some remixes. Tie Your Mother Down and Somebody To Love each get some treatment, but to be totally honest there's no use in listening to them unless you're such a big fan that you really feel the need to.

All in all a very good rock album but for prog heads only to be gotten if you're into the band. There's nothing here like there is on the last albums that will blow your head clean off your shoulders, but if you enjoy good rock and roll then this one will satisfy. 3 stars out of 5 for a prog collection, which is semi-unfair because it really isn't a prog album. Recommended for those who want to rock and roll.

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Posted Thursday, September 04, 2008

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars For me, this album means shift from classic rock sound to more art rocking music. When compared with "Night", I'd rather choose this one. OK, it lacks Bohemian Rhapsody, which stands for them all, but even this one has a lot of strong ones. Like a "The Millionaire Waltz". Let's face it, I love waltz rhytm. Combine it with Queen sound and instant catcher for Marty is born. /////To feel like a millionaire, once we were young...///// then we have, not fillers, but not so promiment tracks.

Don't take me bad, they are enjoyable and very good to listen, but nothing can beat my waltz. Did I said nothing ? Well, one can. "Good Old-fashioned Lover Boy". This tiny track has even guitar solo inside, which is quite a strange. Then "Somebody To Love" is another more significant.

And all of them, some are just a little bit better.

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Posted Thursday, July 09, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars "A Day at the Races" is Queen's answer to "A Night at The Opera" that transcended Queen history with its masterful 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

So this album is the act that follows, a difficult task, given the status of the previous album. It begins with a backwards musical section and then the killer 'Tie Your Mother Down' crunches out, a song that became a live staple for the band and an excellent opening track showcasing Mercury's inimitable vocal style.

'You Take My Breath Away' is a soft ballad like a dull lullaby and I never did like these Queen ballads.

'Millionaire Waltz' is a strange fractured tracks with trademark Queen harmonies. There is even an odd waltz like lead break and it moves from minimalist piano to duel guitars, sounding like a bourgeoisie dance hall song at times. Innovative and complex structure and takes off towards the end.

'You and I' is a piano led track with medium paced drums and bass and multilayered harmonies.

'Somebody to Love' is a famous Queen anthem with very layered bombastic harmonies and it builds to a majestic conclusion, once again a fan favourite and often sung on a live set.

'White Man' is one of the highlights with excellent structure and strong guitar melodies and riffs.

'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy' is terrible Mercury and piano lyrical nonsense that is corny to the max but thankfully only short.

'Drowse' has some cool guitar slides and is very different where May takes the vocals I believe.

'Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)' is one of the better ballads with piano, and features some foreign language creating an intriguing song, though it is as self important, pomp and bombastic as other ballads. It feels all a bit dated and kitsch like 'We are the World', uplifting but corny in the style. At the end a backmasked musical section bookends the album.

So it does not live up to its predecessor's reputation, but it is not too bad with some of the best Queen tracks in their history.

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Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars While this is not the worst of the Queen albums, this may have been the most disappointing. Their first four albums are all works of wonder, with intricate hard rock, some softer ballads, but always at least a hint of darkness. Maybe it was having a huge hit in the MOR single You're My Best Friend from the previous album "A Night At The Opera" that convinced either the band or the record company executives to soften Queen's sound, but whoever is to blame, it took hold here. And here is where Queen started down the path that would have their songs featured not on hard rock radio stations, but on the ones that featured Teri Garr in their TV ads.

Don't get me wrong, the guys could still play. Songs like Tie Your Mother Down and White Man (which almost sounds like a Kansas rocker) are strong hard rock tunes, but both lack the inventiveness and feel of the great early Queen rock songs.

And there is the heavily overdubbed vocals that Queen had been known for. But this time, instead of usig them to simulate an operatic chorus, as they did in Bohemian Rhapsody, they chose the simple path of simulating a gospel choir in Somebody To Love. And the majority of the rest of the songs seem to want to simulate early 20th century foppish pop. The band does this well, but to me it is much more regressive than progressive.

At least they haven't started singing stupid songs about women with fat butts. Yet.

2.5 stars. I guess since they made much worse albums than this, I'll have to round it up.

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Posted Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Queen - A Day at the Races (1976)

Queen is one of the few bands that almost all people seem to like. Some like them for their up- tempo classics, some for the amazing vocals of Mercury, and others for their intelligent song- writing. And though Queen has many high-quality songs, they have few albums that can be called flaw-less. A Day at the Races is one of those albums, it has only two real slip-ups.

Tie Your Mother Down is a classic glamorous rocker, You Take my Breath Away is an intense ballad, Somebody to love a classic hit with an original approach, White Man a strong rockin' political effort, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy; yet another very intelligent classic and the strong ending 'Les us Cling Together. An impressive list of good songs, but I've skipped Long Away, Millionaire Waltz, You and I and Drowse. These songs are of less interest to those who are interested in the sophisticated song-writing and great arrangements of Queen.

Conclusion. Perhaps I'm having a bit of trouble with giving a decent rating here. Queen definitely is prog-related, but their glamorous approach is sometimes a bit to cheesy for me. Somehow I don't feel like this is very important music for collectors of music per se. Three stars, but a very strong classic rock album with a lot of their 'hits'.

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Posted Monday, March 21, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A Day At the Races is a clear step down from A Night At the Opera - and I've gone on record here as saying that A Night At the Opera is a rather overrated collection of a few great tunes padded out with excess filler. Here the quality is a bit more consistent at least, in that none of the songs are quite as useless as the most forgettable tracks on Opera, but at the same time the album simply has no songs to put on a par with Death On Two Legs, Bohemian Rhapsody - or, hell, even You're My Best Friend or I'm In Love With My Car. The closest the album comes to an iconic moment is Somebody to Love - an awful, overhyped, overplayed and overpompous anthem - and the best track is probably Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, which is around on a par with one of the more bearable vaudeville moments on Opera. Truly disappointing.

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Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "A Day at the Races" is the 5th 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 December 1976.

"A Day at the Races" is in many ways the sister album to "A Night at the Opera (1975)". Stylistically the cover artworks of the two albums are very similar but more importantly the eclectic music style of "A Night at the Opera (1975)" is very much continued on "A Day at the Races". There are elements from theatrical/progressive rock, hard rock, pop and cabaret music on the album. The incredible vocals/backing vocals/choirs are the greatest assets of the music but like the case has been on every preceeding album the instrumental performances are also on a very high level. The compositions wether they are of the more challenging or of the more easily asseccible kind are all very well written. They can be both epic, tongue in cheek humourous, sweet or hard rocking. The latter is certainly the case with album opener "Tie Your Mother Down" but also "White Man" is a pretty hard rocking track. Tracks like "The Millionaire Waltz" and "You Take My Breath Away" represent the more thetrical/progressive part of the band´s repetoire.

In terms of quality I think "A Day at the Races" is a slight step down from "A Night at the Opera (1975)". But only a slight step. This is still a high quality release deserving a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating.

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Posted Sunday, July 08, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars A classic Queen album from 1976 that pairs along with the stronger A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. WHile not quite as consistently good there are still some great numbers here: "Tie Your Mother Down", "Somebody to Love", "WHite Man", and "Teo Torriate". However, a good number of weak tracks like "millionaire ... (read more)

Report this review (#733633) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.5/10 While many may see A Day at the Races as a mere copy or an unworthy successor to the superb A Night at the Opera, I am of those who see the album as a masterpiece in its own right. Yes, there are obvious similarities with its predecessor (starting with titles - both were taken from t ... (read more)

Report this review (#681225) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, March 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A Day at the Races ? 1976 (3.6/5) 12 ? Best Song: Somebody to Love Night at the Opera had a sequel, didn't you know? It was released the very next year, with a strikingly similar album cover, and the titles say it all, don't they? They were interconnected records intended to be taken togeth ... (read more)

Report this review (#445876) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is very under-rated I think, well at least HERE, because people consider it one of Queen's best albums, second only to ANATO, apparently. But I also think Queen II is better (their best album). The main complain about this album is that it's a "copy" of it's predecessor. Well, I do ... (read more)

Report this review (#419369) | Posted by TheLionOfPrague | Monday, March 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After the previous succes of A Night At The Opera Queen was left with the impossible task to surpass their masterpiece. No worries, they had the skills and the idea's, but in comparison A Day At The Races will always remain in the shadow of it's immortal predesessor, still a very good album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#92027) | Posted by tuxon | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars what's more remarkable about Queen is that in all their studio albums, each and every song could stand on its own...they are all so much different from one another that you never get bored listening to them... that's what's happening here too.. you have 'Tie Your Mother Down', grabbing you from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#86549) | Posted by toolis | Friday, August 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars No Bohemian here..... But still indelibly Queen, terrific vocal harmony, and Queen sound. This album is so underrated because the album doesnt have a standout classic, all songs are evenly fine.... Poppy progressive rock but so what :D ... (read more)

Report this review (#67358) | Posted by chas2u | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars ...just one star for "somebody to love" and one for "tie your mother down"..This is not what I mean for a prog album, and also for a rock album...there lots of songs that seems to be put in the cd casually, they don't come from author's passion...they seems to be here just to full the album...Only t ... (read more)

Report this review (#65640) | Posted by Kord | Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The truth is that A Day at the Races looks like A Night at the Opera but it doesn't matter.Classical Queen album and surely masterpiece!as every Queen it contains many different songs!For example compare White Man With The Millionaire Waltz,they are very different songs but both of them are ... (read more)

Report this review (#65639) | Posted by | Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It was now 1976 and Queen had the task of following up the massive popularity of "A Night At The Opera" and its major hit single "Bohemian Rhapsody." How exactly do you follow up a masterpiece? Well, with another masterpiece of course!!! In my opinion, "A Day At The Races" perfected the for ... (read more)

Report this review (#41070) | Posted by silversaw | Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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