Sunday, 3 June 2018

Queen - A Day At The Races (1976)


Released December 1976

Recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire and various London studios


1. Tie Your Mother Down
2. You Take My Breath Away
3. Long Away
4. The Millionaire Waltz
5. You And I
6. Somebody To Love
7. White Man
8. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
9. Drowse
10. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)

After 1975's multi-million seller "A Night At The Opera", Queen's star had never burned brighter and they needed to repeat the formula, quickly. They did too. In many ways, I enjoy this album much more than it's predecessor. It is a harder, rockier album, and that is how I like my Queen.

The lead-off huge hit single, the gospel-influenced, anthemic "Somebody To Love", although not matching the sheer creative majesty of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was a not half bad follow up. Many thought they could not possibly come up with another classic, but they did with this one.

Other rockers are the opener "Tie Your Mother Down", Brian May's melodic Searchers/Byrds-influenced "Long Away", the powerful "White Man", John Deacon's tuneful "You And I", Roger Taylor's "Drowse" and the singalong closer "Teo Torriatte" with its Japanese chorus (ensuring huge sales in that country). Good move!

Freddie Mercury's "You Take My Breath Away" is a lovely track, but I guess it is "Love Of My Life" part two. Then, as was now usual, it seemed, came Mercury's 1920's vaudeville stuff - the execrable "Millionaire Waltz" and the not much better, but admittedly catchy, "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy". These additions were never my favourites but I guess they were part of the collective DNA of the band.

Could this quality be continued? The next few albums would tell us…


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