Awesome albums – Queen’s A Night at the Opera

Queen released “A Night at the Opera” in 1975. I wouldn’t even know about this album until the late 80s as I only knew their more pop stuff. But of all their music, this is their magnum opus. Even the most die-hard Queen fans will say that.

I wasn’t a Queen fan until much later. In high school, I liked some of their songs but didn’t own anything of theirs. It wasn’t until I became a musician that I got big into Queen.

The bass player of my early 1990 band loved Queen and introduced me to this album. Actually, it was his very attractive older female neighbor who did.

Queen’s A Night at the Opera

Queen's A Night at the Opera 1975

Queen’s A Night at the Opera 1975

We’d listen to the record over and over together and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, he was falling in love with her, despite her being over a decade older than he was. And of course, that caused problems.

This band had a lot of talent but didn’t last. We never had a good singer. It was then that I learned the most important aspect of a band is the singer. Hate to admit that, but it’s true.

Speaking of singers, nobody topped Queen. Freddie Mercury was it. Best voice in popular music. Incredible frontman. Stage presence like no other. And extremely talented.

Queen though dabbled in too much. They kept changing their sound practically every album. Of their entire catalog, I can only name two albums I loved all the way through. Of course, this was one of them.

The singles

Queen only released two singles from the album. It was before my time. I was a kid and didn’t remember the release at all.

Bohemian Rhapsody was the first one. The second one was You’re My Best Friend.

The songs

Let’s talk about the songs instead. Queen wrote Death on Two Legs to attack a former manager who fucked over the band. Freddie Mercury was straight up brutal. Attack after attack on how this guy was the shit of the earth, totally screwing over the band.

Roger Taylor wrote and sang I’m in love with my car, detailing how he put his car above his girl. It’s amazing how Queen had three good vocalists. As good as Mercury was, Roger Taylor and Brian May both could sing and sometimes took lead vocals.

When I first heard ’39, I mistook it as a reference to 1939 and the song didn’t make any sense. It’s actually a reference to space travel and how if you’re traveling near or at the speed of light, what is normal for you is greatly sped up for someone not on that voyage. So he comes home and everyone’s old or dead. Brian May wrote and sung this one. Beautiful song.

I love Love of My Life, a very soft ballad. Mercury wrote, sang, and performed this song on the piano.

Good Company is a stark reminder that whereas working hard may be great, you might want to remember you have loved ones too. The protagonist barely noticed his wife left him.

And of course Bohemian Rhapsody. The radio overplayed this one and it’s kind of lost its magic for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best songs ever written.

Legacy

Like I said, this was Queen’s magnum opus. They’d never top it because every song was at least good and the ones I mentioned above, outstanding. They venture into several different forms of music, even dabbling in ragtime which I’ve always liked.

Mercury layered his vocals like nobody ever prior. Often imitated, I think only Enya can do it nearly as well.

As great as this album is, it’s sold only six million copies worldwide. Goes to show most people have their heads filled with shit. This should have sold much, much more.

But it did open the doors to Queen being a worldwide tour band playing stadiums.

About

Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie, and he can still throw a football

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