Sunday, 3 June 2018

Queen - A Night At The Opera (1975)


Released November 1975

Recorded at various London studios and in Rockfield Studio, Monmouthshire


1. Death On Two Legs
2. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
3. I'm In Love With My Car
4. You're My Best Friend
5. '39
6. Sweet Lady
7. Seaside Rendezvous
8. The Prophet's Song
9. Love Of My Life
10. Good Company
11. Bohemian Rhapsody
12. God Save The Queen

I have an ambivalent relationship with Queen. When they rocked they were good. When they were good, they rocked. Unfortunately, rather like with the Paul McCartney “whimsy” songs on Beatles albums, songs like “Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon”, “Seaside Rendezvous” and “Good Company” annoy me somewhat and I question what place they have on a rock album, alongside things like “Death On Two Legs” and “Sweet Lady”, both of which sound great on this 2011 remaster by the way. As does the vocal harmony bit in the monumental “The Prophet’s Song” as well. I have never heard it sounding so good, to be honest.

Released in 1975, this was Queen’s shot at the title. Their “Sgt Pepper”. Like “Pepper” it contained a few things I feel should not have been there and which, for me, render it unworthy of its “classic” status. The “Mercury foppery” tracks were, interestingly, rarely, if ever, played live by the band yet they keep appearing on albums alongside some great rock tracks. Just my eternal frustration with Queen. Were they a true rock band or were they something else. Maybe they were both and therein lay their appeal for many. If I just wanted rock, maybe I should have just stuck to Hendrix or Free.

As their albums went, I much preferred “Queen II”, “Sheer Heart Attack” and “A Day At The Races” anyway. “A Night At The Opera” is like a chocolate box. Always the coconut and coffee ones in there somewhere.


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