Monday, 11 March 2019

Queen "A Night At The Opera" (1975)

With the magic of the recent Bohemian Rhapsody movie lingering in mind, Ive been reminded again of how often the thought passes that as much as enjoy Queen's music, its really the hits I know and of course they have a lot of them. Curious about their deeper cuts and this record that played a big part in the movies progression, I decided to start here with what was the most expensive recording to date at the time of its release. Home to their best know song and You're My Best Friend, most of its contents were unknown to me and so I have had an absolute blast getting stuck in.

A Night At The Opera is an eclectic journey, a marvel of sorts, squeezing in a helping of styles and cultural echos that defy being packaged. One can hear inklings of Heavy Metal in the lean guitar licks, its unconventional song structures and experimental nature may label it Progressive Rock too but the songs are all their own beast. Like a wild roller coaster the music flows sweetly from its polar ends, Sweet Lady crafts its weighty guitar riffs for a first pumping Hard Rock tune that's close to being anthemic. After blazing the trail with a fiery guitar solo at the end of the song, we are of course swept in to the next number, Seaside Rendezvous, with bright pianos for a pantomime piece full of audio gags and sound effects. The music animates the an image of the stage and its actors.

Its emblematic of the musicians instinct to follow their gut as they breeze through a diverse set of sounds without a hitch. Its experimental side blossoms on The Prophets Song as the music gives way to a mid section of imaginative singing, the instruments fade out and Freddie and his band mates sing and swoon off layers of panned echos and reverberations. It starts off simple with repetitions of words but quickly builds up its gusto and erupts into a foray of vocal melody to delight upon. Making your way through the music one can pick out its anchoring songs as they rotate the theatrics and pantomime with infectious Hard Rock guitar grooves. It all comes to conclusion on the track that incorporates it all in one song, the mighty Bohemian Rhapsody.

Freddie's voice is fantastic throughout to no ones surprise but this record showcases his band mates too, Brian May has one heck of a talent both with his keen rhythm playing and the lightning guitar leads that occasionally erupt into the limelight, dazzling all. Drummer Roger Taylor puts together on a finely crafted song that seems almost ironically casual in its naming, I'm In Love With My Car. This is one heck of a deep record that you can binge over and over. All its flamboyance and diversity is true, giving back over and over again with each spin. Its really fired me up to get into more of their records. What a great band, how many years have a squandered the opertunity to get into one of the all time greats! This was a great decision.

Favorite Tracks: Death On Two Legs, I'm In Love With My Car, You're My Best Friend, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody
Rating: 8/10