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




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4.29 | 950 ratings

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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!
chessman | 4/5 |


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