A Night at the Opera (1975)


 
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

 

Not only regarded as Queen's best album, but there are many who state it's one of the best rock and roll albums ever. Taking the name of the album from an old Marx Brother's movie, the band actually tries to incorporate many aspects of Opera music into it's mix and incorporate it with rock and roll. Something that many think just wouldn't be possible, yet Queen pulls the whole thing off brilliantly.

If you're old enough to remember when Bohemian Rhapsody was a hit single, you probably remember the initial strangeness of the whole experience. What was this song doing being played on top 40 radio? Yet after only a few listens, everyone soon fell in love with the song, and such a feat has been rarely duplicated over the years. That song has never worn thin, and actually had a revival in the classic headbangers-in-the-car scene from the movie Wayne's World. Really, though, that song was one of its kind even on this album. Apart from the eight minute epic The Prophet's Song, a lot of the album is more straight forward, with not really any "opera" focus.

That's not to say it's not diverse. Like every album before it, Queen shows everyone how capable they are changing things up at every corner. Really, the main difference here is that all the songs are simply brilliant. Early on the album, they seem to take a detour going every which way possible. After the killer rock opener Death on Two Legs followed by the flapperish Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon, Roger Taylor gets his chance at the mike with I'm in Love With My Car. Taylor's early songs always sound a bit cheesy and dated. I mean, he's singing about a car for crying out loud, but it's one of his best Queen songs, so it's easy to dismiss the cheese.

Bassist John Deacon gets solo writing credit on You're My Best Friend, another hit song from the album that's as different from Bohemian Rhapsody as night is to day with its very straight forward pop melody. Like most every thing this band does, it shows of the group's talent at perfecting beautiful harmonies. Then, there's Brian May's '39 that has a catchy, infectious, clap along riff that makes you wonder why this song was never released as a single, or why no one has really tried to cover it. Lyrically, I think someone explained that it's about aliens or something. I wish I hadn't have known that because, well, let's just say it doesn't fit the music, so the meaning is mostly irrelevant.

This album proved to many that just because you're a rock and roll fan, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy other styles of music in your mix. Queen was the perfect band to do such an outing, and this record solidified them as one of rock's best throughout the remainder of their career. The closer, God Save the Queen would normally feel incredibly out of place on any rock album, but the majestic piece seems absolutely perfect to close this wonderful piece of work.

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