“A Night At The Opera” by Queen - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1975Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Freed from a nightmare management deal, Queen were financially rock bottom as this expensive production was launched in November '75. It was very much sink or swim, and they put their heart and soul into it; “A Night At The Opera featured everything from a tuba to a comb, nothing was out of bounds”, as Freddie Mercury put it. The tightly-knit four line up: Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano), Brian May (electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, koto, harp, ukulele), Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals, percussion, electric guitar) and John Deacon (bass guitar, electric piano, double bass). They needn't have worried too much, as their talent and popularity seen them home and hosed with a surefire winner. The album made #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, and spawned the band's epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” single which gave them their first UK #1 number one and went on to become one of the world's best-selling singles of all-time. That impressive magnum opus and the reasonably cool swinger “You’re My Best Friend” - the album's two single releases - are the standouts on what, for me, is largely a rather tiresome Cabaret Rock affair.

Freddie Mercury: “I did discipline myself… Take vocals, because they're my forté – especially harmonies and those kind of things; on “Queen II” we've gone berserk, but on this album I consciously restricted myself. That's brought the songwriting side of it across, and I think those are some of the strongest songs we've ever written.

Brian May: “It has a couple of the heaviest things we've ever done and probably some of the lightest things as well. It's probably closer to “Sheer Heart Attack” than the others in that it does dart around and create lots of different moods, but we worked on it in the same way we worked on “Queen II”. A lot of it is very intense and very… layered.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:43] 4.2.png Queen - Death On Two Legs (Dedicated to…) (Farrokh Bulsara) Rock
A2 [01:08] 3.9.png Queen - Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (Farrokh Bulsara) Crooner / Cabaret
A3 [03:05] 3.0.png Queen - I’m In Love With My Car (Roger Taylor) Rock
A4 [02:50] 5.7.png Queen - You’re My Best Friend (John Deacon) Pop
A5 [03:25] 5.0.png Queen - ’39 (Brian May) Folk Rock / Americana
A6 [04:01] 3.5.png Queen - Sweet Lady (Brian May) Rock
A7 [02:13] 4.0.png Queen - Seaside Rendezvous (Farrokh Bulsara) Crooner / Cabaret
B1 [08:17] 4.7.png Queen - The Prophet’s Song (Brian May) Prog
B2 [03:38] 2.8.png Queen - Love Of My Life (Farrokh Bulsara) Songwriter
B3 [03:26] 4.8.png Queen - Good Company (Farrokh Bulsara) Crooner / Cabaret
B4 [05:55] 6.0.png Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (Farrokh Bulsara) Prog
B5 [01:11] 1.1.png Queen - God Save The Queen (Traditional) Rock

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