A Night at the Opera



by The JoZ USER (19 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 173 replies

Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

#230 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums

Queen is probably one of the few groups to pull from so many different genres to create their unique sound, pulling elements of, well, almost anything. They were second only to The Beatles in England in terms of popularity in the 70's, and they may have recorded one of the best, or at least best known rock songs in history with "Bohemian Rhapsody". Queen emphasized the flamboyant, the campy, and often didn't take even themselves seriously, even though millions of fans did.

Freddie Mercury: Vocals/Keyboards/Piano
Brian May: Guitar
Roger Taylor: Drums
John Deacon: Bass

The Tracks:

Death on Two Legs (Dedicated To...) (3:43)
Opens with some really odd piano work and odd sounds, with two layers of guitar coming in...it gets crazy for a few seconds before breaking into the main verse, nice guitar work over the piano melody with a steady bass and drumline. The chorus is a nice highlight with multilayered vocals from Mercury, it's choir-like...nice drum fills as well...it's obvious Queen doesn't necessarily follow the standard song structure here, doing a weird little bridge thing before the next verse...punctuated by weird bend/slide work from May....another chorus, which is incidently, pretty long, follows the verse, though it's not exactly the same as the first one. It ends with an abrupt cymbal roll...leading into...

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon (1:07)
I honestly thought this was still DOTL until I heard him talk about Sunday Afternoon...this is a 1920's-ish ragtime like piece ...it's a neat piano melody w/ bass and drums...the lyrics are a bit weird, but it's Queen, that's expected. Interesting guitar solo at about :50, sounds similar to the original piano melody...this one doesn't stop though, but bleeds right into their next track (do we see a pattern here")

I'm In Love With My Car (3:05)
With a title like that, one can only imagine what to expect out of this one. Opens right up with some flange on the guitar, I do believe, with piano/bass/drums supporting it...main riff isn't too special, but it's not bad at all. Mercury sounds a bit different on this song than the last two, but again, not bad. Screaming pinch harmonics come from May at times here, Zakk Wylde should take notes...next section has some slight chugging of the guitar, but we still get the sustained notes/PH's in there at times. This is slow enough to feel like a ballad...almost seems like something Metallica would've done...this song is not nearly as nonsensical as I expected it to be, but it's still a great tune to raise one's lighter too...fades out on the ultra flange and some lead work over it..

You're My Best Friend (2:52)
Has some synth line that leads this one...it's kinda quirky sounding. Drums do alot of fills...nothing spectacular, but it's alright. Layered vocals almost throughout the song, makes the song feel bigger than it is. The guitar seems silent for the most part in this song, adding sustained/bent/whatever notes a few times, until 2:06 when the solo comes in...not blazing fast or technical, but it fits the song totally. Another chorus or two ends this feel-good song.

'39 (3:30)
Opens with some choir-y vocals and...acoustic guitar I believe, with some violin or something behind it. The main melody has an interesting feel to it...it's not quite dark, it's not quite happy...it's kinda moody actually, but I like it. Drumline is insanely simple at first, but nothing wrong with that...I think that Deacon is playing Double Bass on this song, I know it was mentioned that he did, and I don't hear electric bass...interesting. There's an almost solo at 1:40 or so...I don't know what's playing it though. I wonder if this has something to do with WWII or something, since he mentioned 1939...but I can't really seem to tell. Just when you think the song has ended, the guitar comes back in for a bit more melody before ending. This isn't quite a feel-good song, as was YMBF, but it's not a depressing sort of song either.

Sweet Lady (4:04)
Opens with what at the time was probably considered a hard guitar riff, with a nice bassline to go with it...this serves as basis for the main song melody...the chorus line gets much faster, everyone seems to follow a triplet sort of pattern for it....another verse/chorus...bridge around the 2:00 mark, it's short as the next verse begins a few moments later. Another chorus comes up, the faster feel is definetly felt here, as the guitar goes into a pretty cool solo...at times it reminds me of something Adam Jones might have done somewhere....fade out on this solo and the faster section.

Seaside Rendezvous (2:15)
Opens up with another early 1900's type of piano melody...sounds like something that might be played in a bar by the sea...the vocal overdubbing is nice on this one...they bring in a couple of other instruments, but I'll be damned as to what they are...this one seems like they're just screwing around, it's like party sort of song...a 1900's type of party...

Prophet's Song (8:21)
Even by today's standards, a long song....opens with some acoustic guitar, pizzicato strings in the background, and wind. Electric guitar comes in soon after...Freddie sings like a pre-verse, guitar follows him...then the real verse starts...the drums and bass, although simple, give a sense of foreboding...the entire song has somewhat of a dark feel to it, mainly coming from the arrangement of the vocal harmonies most likely...a bridge-ish section comes in about 3 minutes in...a weird echo-thing goes on at 3:30...the other instruments have dropped out, so it's just Freddie...interesting sounds created by his incantations...this goes on for over a minute...it's actually starting to get to me...rest of the band doesn't come back in until almost 6 minutes in...some delay on at first, then a sort of guitar solo comes in a few minutes later...again, nothing too spectacular, but it's good nonetheless...things are going crazy at 7 minute mark, with guitar lines all over the place, crashing cymbals, multiple tracks of Freddie + bass under it all...we end with a repeat of the introduction, but the guitar melody is different, plus piano comes in to start our next song.

Love of My Life (3:38)
Piano + harp carry this one at first, with some bass under it at times. Freddie utilizes his higher-range capabilties, but it's not quite falsetto. Distorted guitar comes in at almost 2 minutes in, but quickly drops back out...comes back in with a solo at almost 2:30...it's still got the feel of a metalish guitar solo, however the volume down makes it much more reserved, at least at first...as it gets turned up about the 3 minute mark for a few more moments..ends with some runs on the harp. This is definetly a mellow, chillout kind of piece.

Good Company (3:23)
This one has an older feel to it too...not quite bluegrass, but as if it were done in the older south...guitar does a few flourishes here and there, but again, the volume turned down at first...for the...chorus...wah work on the guitar gives it an odd feel to say the least...the background vocals on this one remind me of a barbershop quartet actually...there's a break with the banjo taking the lead...then a spacey section happens, with flange and whatnot everywhere...breaks back into the main section...guitar solo about 2:51 or so...it fits the song well, as it's much more subdued and laid back. Another sort of feel-good piece.

Bohemian Rhapsody (5:54)
I'd be willing to bet that everyone has heard this song, either parts of it, or in it's entirety at least once. This song has darn near everything that makes Queen, well, Queen. The song itself is broken up into sections, but there really isn't any chorus, bridge, or anything...this is a ballad by all means. The first section, the somewhat somber piano part, as Freddie laments about his crimes. The vocaling overdubbing on this one is quite interesting...gives it that operatic feel...the first guitar solo comes up...might be one of the first instances of shredding, even though it's not true shred. Next section showcases Freddie's range and abilites, has a very cool feeling to it. This leads into the headbanging part of the song...you know you headbang to this section...Wayne's World made this song famous for the headbanging in the car...song mellows out a bit, but the second guitar solo comes through this one. I honestly don't see how anyone can not like this song, it's just...so much fun, yet so serious at the same time. On a related note, check Newgrounds.com and search for "Titanium Rhapsody" to see Megaman sprites perform to this song...it's well done, and amusing.

God Save The Queen (1:18)
Technically the last song, it's a glorified outro which has a very royal feel to it. It's not a bad end to the album, it's what makes Queen...Queen.

There are two remixes at the end...one of IILWMC and YMBF...they didn't really seem to add much to either of the original songs, so I'm not covering them...it's Queen, it doesn't have to make sense.


Freddie's singing abilities
Wicked guitar solos (for the time period)
That whole larger-than-life feel

The echo-ey vocal section on Prophet's Song

Aside from the obvious love for Bohemian Rhapsody, there are alot of good tunes on here. In fact, none of the songs are bad, per se. For example, Prophet's Song is a good song, though it does drag on in parts. Queen are able to delve into music's past, and pull out sounds not heard regularly for about 50 years and make good songs out of them, they can be somewhat dark and mysterious, mellow and melodic, or, they can even get in your face a little. This gets a strong 4.5/5 from me, with half a point deducted for Prophet's Song, mainly. Everyone should at least hear the entire album once I think, to see what prog used to be many years ago. :thumb:

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user ratings (1467)
other reviews of this album
ZackSh33 (5)
God Save the Queen...

HarryManback21 (5)
A great and ambitious masterpiece...

Necrotica (4.5)
Bombast at its finest....

gblackman (4)
Not to say A Night at the Opera doesn’t have its problems because it does but the good easily out ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 23rd 2004


In my concert band class in 9th grade (Sax!), we played a medley of Queen songs. In "Bohemian Rhapsody" we (the saxes) got to play the vocal melody in the beginning. Freakin' awesome.

March 23rd 2004


Nice review. :thumb: I've had this album for along time now, still a classic.

March 24th 2004


Bohemian rhapsody is teh classic.

May 7th 2004


The song '39 is not about WWII as many people beleive but is actually about a group of volounteers who go into space and come back a year later to find the entire planet has aged beyond recognition and everyone they know has aged too. Don't ask how I know this, but I'm a huge Queen fan (as the name suggests)

But yeah, I like this album, not my favourite but still a classic album since it contains Bohemian Rhapsody. Great reveiw :thumb:

The JoZ
May 7th 2004


Can I guess that the Taylor in your name refers to Roger Taylor then? ;)

May 7th 2004


Yep lol. i'm the biggest Rog Taylor fan. My favourite drummer lol

May 24th 2004


I haven heard much of this albu, but i really like Bohemian Rhapsody, does Freddy play the piano in that?

December 24th 2004


[QUOTE=Joel_DK_Clash]I haven heard much of this albu, but i really like Bohemian Rhapsody, does Freddy play the piano in that?[/QUOTE]

That would be correct.

R.I.P., Freddy. One of the greatest showmen of all time.

February 20th 2005


great review! however, the reason that freddie sounds different in 'im in love with my car' is because it isn't his singing; its Roger taylor......

April 4th 2005


Great review. You've convinced me to get the album (not that i've heard anything about it). Bo Rhap rocks!

August 21st 2005


OK, the reason freddy mercury sounds different on "I"m in love wiht my car" is because Roger Taylor sings it, same thing with "Modern Times ROck n Roll" from their first album

August 28th 2005


I really like Queen alot. They are one of my favorite bands ever.

September 24th 2005


A greatest hits band if ever there was one

September 28th 2005


Man I love queen soo over dramatic and yet beacuse of that amazing

November 18th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

my favourite queen album and my favourite album of all time.

December 28th 2005


bo rhapsody is a classic

December 28th 2005


I like this album a lot, but Queen will probably never be one of my favourite bands. Bohemian Rhapsody is fantastic though (Many of the other tracks are good too, but I haven't heard a Queen song that comes close to being as good as Bohemian Rhapsody). I actually like the echo-vocals on Prophet's song a lot.

This review had too many ...'s. It makes the review seem unprofessional, in my opinion. Otherwise good This Message Edited On 01.21.06

April 11th 2006


I've been listening to Queen since I was a lil todd, my mum was a massive fan. This is the album she used to the play the most, its completely awesome.

April 11th 2006


Good review. But what do you mean good guitars solos for the time? there were lots of great players back then. Other than that job well done.

May 3rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Ya, the best solos were in the 70s. I get goose bumps when listening to really good solos (Comfotably Numb from Floyd does it everytime). Making a solo isnt about putting a bunch of notes together and playing really fast. Todays solos are meaningless and boring. Its really hard to find a good solo from the 90s and on. (except for the grunge era)

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