Monday, February 27, 2012

230. A night at the Opera

Album: A night at the opera
Artist: Queen
Year: 1975
Genre: Pomp


  1. Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)
  2. Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
  3. I'm in Love with My Car
  4. You're My Best Friend
  5. 39
  6. Sweet Lady
  7. Seaside Rendezvous
  8. The Prophet's Song
  9. Love of My Life
  10. Good Company
  11. Bohemian Rhapsody
  12. God Save the Queen

The only thing I like less than Queen is the fact that Queen are everywhere. They're all over the place because Bohemian Bloody Rapsody and We are the Sodding Champions and Flash Frigging Gordon are radio staples and Wedding receptions staples and for some people just life staples. People are incredulous when you say you don't like Queen. I don't like Death Metal much either but people who do can at least accept that their music is not for everyone. They can appreciate that they've latched onto an acquired taste and we're not all going to enjoy it together. Queen fans seem to think that anyone who doesn't like their favourite band can somehow be turned by singing bits of Bohemian Rapidity at the top of their voice. If I don't like Freddy Mercury howling "Scaramouche Scaramouche!" why the hell am I going to suddenly turn just because someone with a fraction of his (undeniable) vocal talent has a crack at it?

Part of me was dreading encountering this release on the countdown (because, as I may have mentioned I hate Queen) but another part of me was looking forward to it because I wanted to know what their albums were like. Were there hidden Queen songs that I was destined to really enjoy? Did Mercury and co write some gems that were right down my alley and tuck them away on their albums, hidden from radio and greatest hits packages? Could I hold my hand to my heart and say I'd been converted to Queen-love?


The album tracks on A Night at the Opera are just as annoying as the hits I've grown to loathe over the years. They're just as overproduced, overblown, mawkish and irritating as Bohemian rhapsody. Mercury has a good voice and May can play the guitar but their music is more fitting to music hall than rock and roll. There's a reason their songs lent themselves so well to a West End musical, the songs are just a few steps removed from something Andrew Lloyd Webber would produce.

Highlight: Bits of the guitar
Lowlight: Other people's renditions.

Influenced by: Opera
Influenced: Wedding receptions.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Queen don't rock! And A Night At the Opera is a perfect example of why not. Far too pretentious to be considered rock. Avoid!"

-Fair point.

So is this an opera you'd like to spend a night at or just Death on two legs? Let me know below.


  1. Knowing your dislike,,,...loathing of Queen and their music I was looking forward to your comments on this album. You showed remarkable restraint.Good to see you can use words like bloody, sodding and frigging in a review.

  2. The real restraint was in not using words a lot stronger than "sodding".