Queen – A Night At The Opera (1975)

AllMusic Review: Queen were straining at the boundaries of hard rock and heavy metal on Sheer Heart Attack, but they broke down all the barricades on A Night at the Opera, a self-consciously ridiculous and overblown hard rock masterpiece. Using the multi-layered guitars of its predecessor as a foundation, A Night at the Opera encompasses metal (“Death on Two Legs,” “Sweet Lady”), pop (the lovely, shimmering “You’re My Best Friend”), campy British music hall (“Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon,” “Seaside Rendezvous”), and mystical prog rock (“’39,” “The Prophet’s Song”), eventually bringing it all together on the pseudo-operatic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In short, it’s a lot like Queen’s own version of Led Zeppelin IV, but where Zep find dark menace in bombast, Queen celebrate their own pomposity. No one in the band takes anything too seriously, otherwise the arrangements wouldn’t be as ludicrously exaggerated as they are. But the appeal — and the influence — of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It’s prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics, and Queen never bettered their approach anywhere else. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing:

All lead vocals by Freddie Mercury unless noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)” Freddie Mercury 3:43
2. “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” Mercury 1:08
3. “I’m in Love with My Car” Roger Taylor Roger Taylor 3:05
4. “You’re My Best Friend” John Deacon 2:50
5. “’39” Brian May Brian May 3:30
6. “Sweet Lady” May 4:01
7. “Seaside Rendezvous” Mercury 2:13
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
8. “The Prophet’s Song” May 8:21
9. “Love of My Life” Mercury 3:38
10. “Good Company” May May 3:26
11. “Bohemian Rhapsody” Mercury 5:55
12. “God Save the Queen” (instrumental) traditional, arr. May 1:11


Schill Score:  8.5/10


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