Year 3, Day 21: Queen – A Night at the Opera
- Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
- Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
- I’m in Love with My Car
- You’re My Best Friend
- Sweet Lady
- Seaside Rendezvous
- The Prophet’s Song
- Love of My Life
- Good Company
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- God Save the Queen
About the Album
A Night at the Opera is the fourth studio album from British rock band Queen. The album was recorded from August to November of 1975 and released in late November of 1975. A Night at the Opera is considered to be the band’s finest work of music. The album was released through EMI in Europe and through Elektra in the United States. The album peaked at number four on the United States Billboard 200 as well as peaking at the top of the UK Albums Charts four separate times. The album was the band’s first platinum album in the United States of America.
Thoughts on the Album
Words cannot begin to describe the second to last song on this album. Queen‘s A Night at the Opera, it’s name taken after a Marx Brother’s film, it’s arguably one of the greatest records in the history of rock and roll music. Whereas with their previous release, Sheer Heart Attack, blurred the boundaries of both hard rock and heavy metal. A Night at the Opera blew away the boundaries of hard rock and created this ridiculously overblown and over-the-top hard rocking masterpiece of music. It’s second to last song is pretty their greatest song and arguably most recognizable thanks to this scene from the 1992 comedy, Wayne’s World…
A Night at the Opera is an album that spans multiple genres of rock and roll; whether it’s hard rock, prog or progressive rock, art rock, and heavy metal. The album opens with the track Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…). It is an excellent opener that features a classical piano build-up before the multilayered guitars bust onto the scene. The song, a stab at a previous manager who dicked them over, is bombastic with righteous guitar fury. It’s a real down and dirty, raunchy rocker.
The four track, You’re My Best Friend, chances are you’ve heard this one before, especially if you’ve seen the ending of the movie Shaun of the Dead. The trak is a poignant rock ballad written by John Deacon that has some amazing vocals from Freddie Mercury. The bass line powers this song, and Mercury’s vocals add a sense of beauty and power despite the lyrics being kind of cheesy.
Of course the track that overshadows them all on this album. The eleventh track, otherwise known as Bohemian Rhapsody. Instantly recognizable from the start, the song starts off with Freddie Mercury’s vocals being overdubbed four times which creates an amazing set of vocal harmonies. Some lovely light piano kicks in and from there the song builds. Everything about this song is perfect from the start of the first verse… the bass, the piano, the vocals create one of the most amazingly awesome musical products to date. Of course who can forget the famous guitar solos that pretty much everyone picks up their air guitars and starts jamming out to it. The thing with Bohemian Rhapsody is that just when you think the song is over, it’s not. It’s a song that almost everyone will instantly sing along to, as it’s lyrics are pretty much known by everyone. It’s a song that has become ingrained into our culture, and very few songs have done that successfully.
Lets face it, outside of maybe Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…) and You’re My Best Friend, you didn’t come here for the rest of the album. You came here for Bohemian Rhapsody. While Death on Two Legs and You’re My Best Friend are genuine hits on their own and in their own right, they are downright and outright overshadows by Bohemian Rhapsody. The other songs not named those three are themselves not pushovers in any light. While I try NOT to say “you need to own this album”… if you’re a fan of music you need to own this album. It’s a quintessential piece of music history. So pick up a copy, put it on, and rock out.
So that begs the question: will you do the fandango?