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Queen A Night At The Opera album cover
4.30 | 1097 ratings | 82 reviews | 57% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...) (3:43)
2. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (1:08)
3. I'm In Love With My Car (3:05)
4. You're My Best Friend (2:50)
5. '39 (3:25)
6. Sweet Lady (4:01)
7. Seaside Rendezvous (2:13)
8. Prophet's Song (8:17)
9. Love Of My Life (3:38)
10. Good Company (3:26)
11. Bohemian Rhapsody (5:55)
12. God Save The Queen (1:11)

Total time 42:52

Bonus tracks on 1991 remaster:
13. I'm in Love With My Car (Remix by Mike Shipley) (3:05)
14. You're My Best Friend (Remix by Matt Wallace) (2:50)

Line-up / Musicians

- Freddie Mercury / lead, backing & operatic (11) vocals, piano, woodwind (7) & vocal orchestrations
- Brian May / guitars, piano, ukulele (10), toy koto (8), harp (9), lead (5,10) & operatic (11) vocals
- John Deacon / bass, double bass (5), Wurlitzer electric piano (4,14)
- Roger Taylor / drums, percussion, brass orchestration (7), lead (3,13), operatic (11) & backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: David Costa

LP EMI ‎- EMTC 103 (1975, UK)
LP Parlophone ‎- QUEENLP 4 (2009, UK) Remastered

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 46207 2 (1986, Europe)
CD Hollywood Records ‎- HR-61065-2 (1991, US) Remastered by Stephen Marcussen w/ 2 bonus tracks
CD Parlophone ‎- CDPCSD 130 (1993, Europe) Remastered
CD Island Records ‎- 276 442 2 (2011, Europe) New 2011 Bob Ludwig remaster

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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QUEEN A Night At The Opera ratings distribution

(1097 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(57%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

QUEEN A Night At The Opera reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marc Baum
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

Review by 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

Review by 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

Review by Tony Fisher
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.
Review by Blacksword
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.

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by Menswear
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!

Review by chessman
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!
Review by 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.

Review by Eclipse
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.

Review by Guillermo
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.

Review by 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....
Review by WaywardSon
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.

Review by 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.

Review by 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.
Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Flucktrot
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.

Review by kenethlevine
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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
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 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?

Review by Sinusoid
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.

Review by russellk
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).

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 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.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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 ?

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by progpositivity
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!

Review by Matti
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury 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.

Review by thehallway
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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by 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.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The I was completely aware of the Queen rise to the top of the pops with this album--which was all the rage throughout the U.S. of A.--I was a hard sell; I just didn't like most of their music. Though I loved "Killer Queen" and "White Queen" and a few others from Queen II, the famous pop concept album was very hard for me to get into. Too much of their music was "over the top". I even went to see them in concert on their "Day at the Races" tour in 1977 and hated it: as impressive as Freddie Mercury was (despite having a head cold), the rest of the band SUCKED! Their warmup band, Thin Lizzy, was FAR more exciting and engaging.

I've never heard or felt any connection to anything Brian May played (I find his preferred guitar sound grating to my ears). Were it not for the sheer and unarguable genius of Freddie, this band would never have found its way into my record collection. Yes, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is one of the pinnacles of experimental music--and it astounds me to this day that it ever reached such heights of popularity much less achieved radio play and success--but the rest is eminently disposable, in my opinion. The band's better albums were in the past (II) and in the future.

Review by Necrotica
5 stars When we use the term bombast, many people have the term "progressive rock" come into their minds. This is definitely a true statement, but it can sometimes be used a bit too much, even for the genre. Some bands, however, show the label proudly. Those bands utilize the aforementioned word without a care in the world what people think. A band that carries this status (or did, rather) at the fullest is Queen, and they reach their peak here, with A Night at the Opera. While their previous album Sheer Heart Attack was a breakthrough release for the group and showed their potential, this is really where they hit said potential with full force.

Once again, the main aspect of the group happens to be Freddie Mercury, the frontman and vocalist along with being a founding member. His singing has improved a lot in this stage of his career, and cements his reputation as being one of rock's best vocalists. Brian May also makes a large amount of contributions to this album as the guitarist. He does plenty of overdubs, a signature playing style for him. John Deacon brings out his songwriting in the elegant ballad "You're my Best Friend", while Roger Taylor writes the song "I'm in Love with my Car", one of his best songs yet.

What's so interesting about this album is the fact that it can change so many genres in an instant. Take the epic Prophet Song for example. It begins with a nice acoustic guitar intro with Freddie singing, yet all of a sudden it erupts into a prog rocker complete with the epic feel and beat shifts. Afterwards, it goes into a lengthy A cappella interlude with massively overdubbed vocals by Freddie Mercury. Then it goes for the solo, the chorus once again, and an ending with the acoustic guitar coming back into play. It should also be noted that this is the longest song on the album, clocking in at over 8 minutes. The point overall is that these great genre changes are common in the album.

The John Deacon contribution "You're my Best Friend" is a nice highlight to the album. It eases things up a bit, especially in the middle of the album where it's needed. It's starts with opening chords on a Wurlitzer piano. This song generally focuses on Freddie Mercury's vocals, along with the multiple harmonies supplied by Roger Taylor. Overall, it's just a nice, gentle, and graceful tune. It would definitely be the best song written by John Deacon.

Other great tracks like "I'm in Love with my Car"(Roger Taylor's contribution about his love of cars) and "Sweet Lady" are also in here, but who could miss the great Bohemian Rhapsody? While a tad overrated, it's easy to see why people liked the song. It mixes to many genres into one song, yet comes out so well. Thus, it is a definitive piece of classic rock that will be remembered for a long time.

One thing has to be admitted with this record, however: With indulgence in one's own works, some music may meander a bit. Queen isn't one that escapes from this fact either. To be honest, Prophet Song is probably the prime example. The A cappella part, While great, is unnecessarily long at points.

That doesn't detract too much from the album, however, and actually the band can also be quite cohesive in their sound. Overall, this album defines the style they tried to find all along. They would continue down this path with a large string of great albums up until 1982. This right here is bombast at its finest.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars In reading the reviews of Queen's well-regarded Night at the Opera one can see many different opinions on whether this album is "prog," vaudeville, classic rock, or '70's pop-rock. The answer is that the album is a little bit of all of those. It's an enjoyable blend of Queen's bouncy throwbacks, hard hitting arena-rock, artistic extravagance, and flamboyant style. While I think the album is very over rated here on Prog Archives, Night at the Opera has some real gems that rightfully help it stand out among the rest of Queen's offerings, even if the album as a whole isn't really a master piece.

"Death on Two Legs" is a creative and noisy hard rock opener with lots of style that makes it easy to imagine Mercury strutting around in a neckerchief and phallic microphone baton singing his heart out. Same goes for "Sweet Lady," one of the forgotten Queen gems that sounds great but won't make it into the Greatest Hits. "I'm in Love with My Car" has appealing instrumentals but eye-rolling lyrics, making it a mixed bag. These are the only classic-rock songs to be heard, and the band plays them well and energetically.

Scattered throughout this album are four (!) playful and folksy songs that end up being homages to vintage sounds of earlier days (think barbershop). They're well produced, often with layers of vocal overdubs and a variety of guitar sounds; however, with the notable exception of "'39" they're little more than diversions that'll get your toe-tapping for two minutes while you're waiting for something more interesting to come up. Bouncy, fun, and forgettable.

"'39" is deserves talking about though. This is a warm acoustic ballad with an irresistible feel and lead vocals by May, whose voice fits very well here. The story and lyrics are beautiful, as is the lush production of the song. A standout track.

"The Prophet's Song" is the other big song here. It's a heavy, plodding, and dramatic song that, although qualifying as prog in the sense that its: A) long, B) weird, and C) ambitious, isn't all it's cracked up to be. It feels like an experiment that sort of misfires. The 2.5 minutes of experimental vocal overdubs haven't aged well, and May's guitar soloing doesn't impress. It's not bad, just not amazing.

What is amazing, however, is "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a rare example of artistic excess that has all the right elements to make it a mega-hit and classic-rock staple. This song is over played and well known, and deserves it.

So in the end a very enjoyable experience. Certainly recommended for fans of the band or those thinking about exploring Queen beyond "Greatest Hits". I'm close to giving Night at the Opera 4-stars, but it's inconsistency in instrumental work and song writing makes it fit better as a good but not essential release. However, those who purchased this album just for "Bohemian Rhapsody" should find plenty more to enjoy.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars By the time their third album "Sheer Heart Attack" had been released and run its course, QUEEN found themselves perched on a rather peculiar precipice. Not only had that album launched them onto the world's stage with two huge hit singles, a Billboard top 20 album charting and a successful debut headlining tour that took them across the world on a 77 show live circuit that lasted several months but due to the rather unscrupulous shadiness of their business manager Norman Sheffield, the band was left in a state of unthinkable poverty despite the new found success, a state of affairs so utterly dismal that drummer Roger Taylor was even advised not to drum too hard because they couldn't even afford to replace the drum sticks if they happened to break.

This left QUEEN in a very strange position where they would either soon become irrelevant and fade into history as a mere footnote of obscure 70s flashes in the pan or on the contrary go back into the studio and create one of the best albums of all time. After acquiring the management skills of John Reid who had helped Elton John become one of the top stars of the 70s, the band went into many studios and cranked out their fourth album A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, which took the name of the famous Marx Brothers film and it should go without saying created their most successful and revered album of their entire career. Fate was truly on QUEEN's side as EMI Records not only welcomed the band's return to the studio but had enough faith to grace it with a lavish production job which would make A NIGHT AT THE OPERA the most expensive album ever recorded at the time.

With this do or die situation at hand, the 70s version of the Fab Four: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Deacon and Roger Taylor spent months in various studios crafting their most ambitious album yet and in many ways, the album that the previous three had been hinting at all along. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA took QUEEN's eclectic styles of genre skipping with a lush complex production that implemented unthinkable layers of overdubs and multitrack recording techniques. All the efforts proved successful of course with A NIGHT AT THE OPERA going platinum on both sides of the Atlantic and spawning the band's most successful single of their career "Bohemian Rhapsody," a multi-segmented song so magnanimous in nature that it single-handedly made QUEEN one of the most popular rock bands in history.

Like the albums prior, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA continued QUEEN's signature mix of catchy pop hooks, classically infused piano riffs, heavy rock bombast and progressive rock nuances. This fourth album puts all those attributes on steroids and finds Freddie Mercury's operatic flamboyancy reaching its apex. In addition to the expected styles, QUEEN added even more disparate genres such as skiffle, Victorian music hall and even Dixieland jazz which gives A NIGHT AT THE OPERA the ping pong ball effect where one track cedes into another seemingly unrelated one that often gives the impression that tracks were recorded by completely different bands however careful listening will reveal a few underlying themes. The tracks segue together in the same key, May's ubiquitous harmonic guitar overdubs and an extreme appetite for pomp and awe where no limitations are considered.

The state of affairs that found QUEEN starving while the bigwigs running the show got rich off their efforts found Freddie Mercury in a less than happy mood where he lashed out in the form of the album's opener "Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To?.)" which once the story is understood about the bloodsucking management makes perfect sense as the name Norman Sheffield can easily be inserted in the missing credit. The track opens with Mercury's infamous piano style which quickly finds May's equally eccentric guitar parts joining in. The track is a vituperatory heavy rock format with a catchy melodic development. While no names were mentioned, the thematic delivery ruffled feathers and found a lawsuit for defamation that was settled out of court.

Starting with the second track "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon", the album begins to alternate between heavy rock tracks and more piano driven music hall styles which are rather short little ditties that offer the spirit of the variation experienced in the music hall era of English musical halls that remained popular from the 1830s well into the 1960s. QUEEN joined bands like The Beatles and The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in implanting this traditional form of music into their format. After track two's short stint, it is quickly followed by the outstanding Roger Taylor penned "I'm In Love With My Car" which not only remains one of QUEEN's most recognizable tracks with its heavily produced series of guitar sounds and unmistakable hooks but adds the humorous touch that fits in with the album titles Marx Brothers theme. While Taylor wasn't a main songwriter, he was sort of the George Harrison of the band meaning when he was allowed to contribute he only delivered top quality.

Next up is "You're My Best Friend," a tender ballad that allowed bassist John Deacon to shine where he not only wrote the song but played the Wurlitzer piano as well as his usual bass. This would prove to be another huge hit for QUEEN which hit the top 10 and has remained one of the band's most popular having appeared on every sort of Greatest Hits compilation conjured up over the years. Like Taylor, Deacon proved to be a vital ingredient to the band's overall chemistry even if his contributions to songwriting were overshadowed by the dualistic prowess of the formidable Mercury and May team.

The next two tracks were all written by May with the self-described sci-fi skiffle track "39" being written and sung by Brian May. This acoustic guitar tale of a group of space explorers who engage in a time defying journey finds Deacon playing a double bass and Mercury and Taylor relegated to only serving as backup vocalists. Contrast ensues when the next heavily distorted and heavy rocker "Sweet Lady," also a May construct, zigzags in waltz timing but finds a more 4/4 rich timing in various segments giving the true rocker of the album a rather progressive feel with one of May's heaviest off-the-leash guitar solos on the entire album.

After the honky tonk jangle piano flashback of the Mercury piano driven "Seaside Rendezvous" which found a wealth of wind instruments such as clarinet, tuba, trumpets and kazoo and even a thimble induced tap dance section, the second side of the album finds May's outstanding "The Prophet's Song" adding some progressive rock touches, which is one of the album's most ambitious tracks as well as longest as it extends past the eight minute mark. Graced with a toy Japanese koto, a strong guitar driven melody, passionately delivered lyrics and an unusual vocal canon that is bathed in psychedelic production techniques, this track displays a wild display of ever-changing dynamic shifts as it refers to the Book of Genesis with the famous line "return like the white dove" in reference to the tale of Noah's Ark. It also showcases some of the band's most outstanding vocal harmonies on overdrive. Probably one of my all time favorite tracks by QUEEN.

While the Mercury piano ballad "Love Of My Life" and the May banjo / ukulele Dixieland score "Good Company" are more of brief intermissions than actual serious compositions, they prove to be more like mood generating fluffers for the larger than life "Bohemian Rhapsody" which has remained QUEEN's most recognizable contribution to the music scene in all of history. This idiosyncratic behemoth was developed as Mercury's classic piano runs which dictate the other instrumentation but the score runs the gamut from tender piano ballad music to the famous ending opera segment that exhorts operatic themes in true Wagnerian pomp with references to Scaramouche, Galileo, Figaro, Beelzebub, Bismillah and of courses the fandango. The famous heavy metal ending and reprise to the piano melody have made this standout track immortal and entire books could be written about it. The track hit the top 10 once again in the 90s when it appeared on the film "Wayne's World" proving that the track had multi- generational appeal.

As the album ends with the short reworked cover version of "God Save The Queen," the British national anthem, it signifies that a new royalty had arrived with the release of A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and with a new royal seal appearing on the album cover, it was clear that indeed a strange updated musical act had usurped the rock and roll crown and delivered one of the most ambitious, most expensive and most outlandish albums to have emerged in the 70s. While i find this album to the masterpiece that most deem it to be, it doesn't necessarily start out that way. While some tracks are clearly stronger than other, a masterpiece isn't about every track existing on an equal playing field but rather how they are juxtaposed next to each other and what their purpose is. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA has instantly lovable tracks but once the instant flash wears off, allows repeated listens to unleash new magic. That's exactly what A NIGHT AT THE OPERA offers. An ever changing series of reactions that allows this to remain a classic in modern times just as it must've been when it was released. The only downside to this album is that the band was never able to replicate its grandiose heights again but nevertheless it made QUEEN a household name for the rest of time and continues to have new periods of interest.

Review by Hector Enrique
5 stars A Night At The Opera, Queen's quintessential masterpiece, features the mega-famous Bohemian Rhapsody, considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The genius of Mercury to compose a combination of rock, opera and choirs in less than 6 minutes is out of this world, so much so that at a time when radio stations didn't broadcast songs of more than 3 or 4 minutes, they surrendered to the originality and forcefulness of the proposal, and it became an obligatory piece of radio programs. Of course, it is not the only outstanding song on the album, probably the very progressive and powerful Prophet's Song would be considered the "Bohemian Rhapsody" if it had not existed, its more than 8 minutes in which it combines dense and calm passages with changes of dramatic rhythms and a cappella choirs, also make it a gem and one of the band's best compositions, followed by the beautiful Love of my Life, much better known for its live performance devoid of piano and harp arrangements from the studio version.

The rest of the songs maintain a high level, from the criticism of their original manager in Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To ...), to the fun and short cabaret-style song Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Roger Taylor's passion for the cars in I'm In Love With My Car, sung by Taylor himself, acoustic '39, among others, to end the album with his adaptation of the UK's national anthem God Save The Queen, whose pre-recorded version is It would become the closings of all the band's live performances.

With A Night At The Opera, Queen became one of the reference groups of the rock scene of the seventies and eighties.

Review by The Crow
4 stars After the excellent "Queen II" and "Sheer Heart Attack", Queen came back with what was perhaps their definitive consolidation album, and which definitively catapulted them to the status of rock stars they deserved.

It is a very varied, playful, and funny album with lofty and precious production values, where we will find some of the group's most emblematic anthems.

It's a shame that some songs that are below the rest (I'm in love with my Car, Good Company) tarnish the final result and prevent it from reaching even higher heights.

In any case, it's definitely an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection.

Best Tracks: You're My Best Fried (beautiful layer of synthesizers for an almost perfect pop song), Sweet Lady (very good composition bordering on hard rock), Prophet's Song (along with Bohemian Rhapsody, the most creative moment of the whole album), Love of My Life (beautiful ballad) and Bohemian Rhapsody.

My Rating: ****

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 613

'A Night At The Opera' is the fourth studio album of Queen that was released in 1975. This is Queen's most critically acclaimed studio album and is also one of their best selling releases. It was a huge commercial success and it's usually considered the greatest masterpiece of the group. It's often cited among the best rock albums of all time. The album takes its name from the Marx Brothers' film 'A Night At The Opera'. Recorded in the best studios of the time, it was at the time of its release, considered the most expensive album ever recorded. Its production is usually recognized as one of the most perfect of all music history. All instruments were recorded in separate studios, recording only the battery in a studio, the guitar in another and so on. Freddie Mercury once said, at the time: 'It isn't paranoia, is perfectionism'.

'A Night At The Opera' has twelve tracks. The first track 'Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To')' written by Freddie Mercury is a song written to be a 'non-homage' to the band's manager at the time, for a less honest financial conduct with the band. Lyrically, it's an extraordinary song that represents the best character assassination of someone, I've ever heard. Musically, it's a great rock song with good harmonies, nice piano and fantastic vocal work. This is a terrific opener, one of the best I've ever heard. The second track 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon' written by Freddie Mercury is a song where he played the piano and made all the vocals. This is a short song with a very old fashioned melody and a theatrical vocal performance. It has a good piano performance and a nice guitar solo too. The third track 'I'm In Love With My Car' written by Roger Taylor is a song with the lyrics inspired and dedicated to one of the band's roadies, Jonathan Harris, whose car was the love of his life. This is a great rock song, very simple and very catchy, which belongs to Roger Taylor's most famous songs in Queen's catalogue. The fourth track 'You're My Best Friend' written by John Deacon represents the first single composed by him to the band. The song was written to his wife, Veronica. This is a beautiful and catchy song with some nice harmonies. The electric piano was performed by him. The fifth track ''39' written by Brian May, relates the story of a group of space explorers who embarked on a very far way space travel, and upon their return, the loved ones they left beyond are all dead. Musically, we are in presence of a superb acoustic ballad with great guitar work and some beautiful harmonies. The sixth track 'Sweet Lady' written by Brian May is, the Achilles' heel on the album. It isn't a very good song but it isn't very bad either. This is my least favourite song on the album. The seventh track 'Seaside Rendezvous' written by Freddie Mercury is a song with similitude with 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon'. It has another old fashioned melody and a theatrical vocal performance. This is a funny romantic song with a superior piano work and a fantastic vocal part. The eighth track 'The Prophet's Song' written by Brian May is, without any doubt, with 'Bohemian Rhapsody', the two highlights on the album and represents also the most progressive song on it. It has an astonishing choral section performed a Cappella, probably the best made by him to the band. The ninth track 'Love Of My Life' written by Freddie Mercury was written to his girlfriend at the time, Mary Austin. It's a very beautiful and catchy ballad, probably one of the best ballads I've heard. It became a Queen's classic song, frequently performed on their live shows, where Freddie Mercury frequently stopped singing and allowed the audience to take over of it. The tenth track 'Good Company' written by Brian May is a simple and nice song where he plays koto, a traditional Japanese instrument. This is another song with an old fashioned tune, with a Hawaiian style, very nice and pleasant to hear. The eleventh track 'Bohemian Rhapsody' written by Freddie Mercury is the most known and the best song made by Queen. It was released as a single and soon became a huge commercial success. Perhaps, it's the most progressive single of all time and is really incredible that such complex song may have been so successful. Definitely, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The twelfth and last track 'God Save The Queen' is the traditional UK's anthem arranged by Brian May. It's a short track that represents a perfect way to close this album.

Conclusion: So, with the benefit of more than forty years hindsight, can we say that 'A Night At The Opera' is Queen's best album? Sincerely, I really don't know. But, it was, without any doubt, their great landmark release and it had a great musical influence on many rock genres, including the progressive rock music. With this album, Queen would release one of their most versatile and eclectic albums. Queen isn't maybe quite as dynamic and over the top as on 'Queen II'. However, they produced a very mature album. 'Queen II' is more balanced and most progressive than this one is. But, I like both albums equally. However, 'A Night At The Opera' is a great album and it's also, with 'Queen II', one of the two best studio albums made by the band. And I would even dare to say that 'A Night At The Opera' is one of the best and one of the most creative and incredible albums ever made in the whole rock music and not just in the progressive rock.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Queen has always been one of my favourite bands. And A Night At The Opera is the pinnacle of their career. It has a lot to like. Some of the tracks are the best they ever made. It's an eclectic album. A lot works, but not everything. It's not perfect. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...) - Gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2671172) | Posted by WJA-K | Tuesday, January 11, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A masterpiece! 1. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...) dark spatial intro, good intro equals prog!! ah how nice to write it; the sound of the QUEEN first period which is consumed, its used but so spleen memory in the box, in short grandiloquent kiiiiiiissss you remember, Freddy on one side, the choi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2312234) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Following the recent release of the Freddie Mercury biopic, I felt like listening to "A Night At The Opera" for the first time in about 30 years. I've never been a Queen fan and the first three albums escaped me completely, but at some point in the late 70s I bought this one (and the next one "A D ... (read more)

Report this review (#2078832) | Posted by Kaelka | Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #58. Queen's A Night at the Opera, took its name from the Marx Brothers movie with the same title. It was released on November 1975 and it was the most expensive album ever made. (At the time). It became an immediate success, reaching No.1 at the UK album charts, and stayed there for 4 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1726799) | Posted by The Jester | Friday, May 26, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I admit I'm quite mainstream with my feelings of this album. But it is very hard not to be, looking at the variety of the songs which already makes this album as complex as possible without looking at the really complex songs. There's only one superfluous track, God Save The Queen, but if you put ... (read more)

Report this review (#1352009) | Posted by Losimba | Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 bes ... (read more)

Report this review (#716577) | Posted by geneyesontle | Sunday, April 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#570827) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 tra ... (read more)

Report this review (#547372) | Posted by progistoomainstream | Sunday, October 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 hauntin ... (read more)

Report this review (#449390) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 becau ... (read more)

Report this review (#428414) | Posted by giselle | Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#278069) | Posted by gingernut | Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 m ... (read more)

Report this review (#278048) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#276300) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Sunday, April 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#230371) | Posted by DASistGrantTeeL | Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 seve ... (read more)

Report this review (#213064) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, April 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#171622) | Posted by TheRocinanteKid | Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#171423) | Posted by SilverEclipse | Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#142317) | Posted by therevelator | Friday, October 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#133478) | Posted by .vMv. | Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#114998) | Posted by sircosick | Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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