Sunday, September 13, 2009

Queen - A Night At The Opera

Perhaps best known for the massive single that was released from A Night At The Opera (Bohemian Rhapsody), how many people truly know the entire album? Released in 1975, A Night At The Opera was Queen’s opus to rock and roll, classical, and of course, the opera. Is it worth seeking out on CD and owning? Let’s spin the disc and find out.

A Night At The Opera opens with a calm piano twill that builds into Brian May’s ripping guitar intro. Death On Two Legs is introduced with Freddie Mercury’s tough, clenching vocals and a pounding chorus that draws the listener in right away. A solid opening track, Death On Two Legs puts this album off to a strong start.

Two odd (but beautiful) songs follow in the form of Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, sung in a broadway-esque falsetto, and I’m In Love With My Car, man’s sonnet to his automobile. The automobile sound effect at the end of the song is classic.

The mystifying Love Of My Life is often overlooked on this record and unfortunately has a tendency to slip off the radar. Love Of My Life is a powerful love ballad sung by Mercury and accompanied by a gorgeous piano performance, sweet violins, and a lot of class. This is a Queen song that should get a lot more attention than it does.

Of course, Queen’s magnum opus, Bohemian Rhapsody comes in as the second to last song on the album. A flawless, incredible song that is loved by generations, Bohemian Rhapsody is not only the best song on the disc, it is also the best song in Queen’s catalog. With bridge changes that have never been seen before or since, Queen was as cutting edge as could be with the release of this mini-opera. Brilliant guitar solos combined with Freddie’s magnificent vocals complete the song and provide the structure for this timeless masterpiece.

Overshadowed by the amazing vocals Mercury contributed to this work of art is Brian May’s excellent guitar skills. His blistering rock and roll guitar work stands out on tracks like Sweet Lady and Death On Two Legs. The solos are incredible, the chords are never the same, and May helped to compose some solid songs for A Night At The Opera. Almost never getting the credit he deserves, Brian May is an amazing guitarist and that shines through on this disc.

Overall, A Night At The Opera is fantastic from start to finish. While it does contain some quirky songs that take a few listens to really get into, it also has Queen’s best work (Bohemian Rhapsody), the amazing hit You’re My Best Friend and the gorgeous Love Of My Life. If you’re seeking one Queen album to own that isn’t a greatest hits collection, A Night At The Opera is highly recommended to be that album. Brilliant from beginning to end, this is Queen at their best.

Ryo’s Rating: 9 out of 10

Track List
Death On Two Legs
Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
I’m In Love With My Car
You’re My Best Friend
Sweet Lady
Good Company
The Prophet’s Song
Seaside Rendezvous
Bohemian Rhapsody
God Save The Queen

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