A Night At The Opera
A Night At The Opera was Queen’s commercial breakthrough, featuring ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but in artistic terms it’s simply a continuation of the excellence of II and Sheer Heart Attack. The loose concept of the album as a night at the opera, segueing between the different songs in the show and ending with ‘God Save The Queen’, but it allows them to showcase their eclecticism, but with some even more impressive and intricate productions.
A Night At The Opera is Queen’s quintessential record; many of these songs are among Queen’s best known and best loved; the record ends with Queen’s most instantly recognisable track, the monolithic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but not before it goes through Deacon’s hit single ‘You’re My Best Friend’, the jaunty folk of ”39′, the full blown progressive rock of ‘The Prophet’s Song’, concert favourite ‘Love Of My Life’, vaudeville romp ‘Seaside Rendezvous’ and the dramatic ‘Death On Two Legs’.
Delivered with an unstoppable pomposity and canvassing a wide variety of styles, it’s hard not be impressed by the group’s boldness. The album’s famous for the master tapes of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ wearing through with a ridiculous amount of vocal overdubs, but the a capella section of ‘The Prophet’s Song’ and the voices imitating instruments of ‘Seaside Rendezvous’ are equally as daring. The classic Queen formula is perfected here, fusing the group’s unique vocal style with May’s creative and virtuoso guitar playing.It’s weighed down by a few weaker songs; Taylor’s silly ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, while May fails to impress with the tuneless ‘Sweet Lady’ and the morality tale ‘Good Company’.
I don’t know that it tops Queen II as their best record, but A Night At The Opera is a ton of fun.