Music Reviews

Queen’s ‘Night at the Opera’ endures

Colombo, SRI LANKA – Queen, made up of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is arguably one of the greatest bands of all time, second only to The Beatles.

They have created some of the most iconic and popular songs and albums in music.

But to me, nothing sticks out more than their magnum opus: A Night at the Opera.

Released in 1975, A Night At The Opera is Queen’s fourth studio album, and is sort of a culmination of the signature sound that they developed over the years.

Their debut studio album, Queen, was a rock epic. Their second album Queen II, went for a more heavy metal vibe while their third album, Sheer Heart Attack, is a glam rock masterpiece. A Night at the Opera manages to bring together the best aspects of these sounds into one project.

Instrumentally speaking, A Night At The Opera is glorious.

Guitarist May’s countless solos provide everything from headbanging riffs on “Death on Two Legs” to soulful tunes on “‘39”to his most iconic solo on “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Meanwhile bassist Deacon is wonderful while Taylor’s drums bring an energy to the album that is irreplaceable.

And these instrumentalists help support the album’s best aspect: the vocals.

Mercury may be the greatest vocalist of all time, and this album is great in large part due to his performance.

He ranges from flamboyant on tracks like “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon”and “Seaside Rendezvous”to sweetly melancholic on “Love of My Lifeand “‘39.”

But Mercury’s voice truly shines on the album’s rock operas: “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Prophet’s Song.” On these tracks Mercury’s four-octave voice goes from virtuosic highs to subterranean lows, backed by a chorus of the other Queen members.

Mercury transforms this album from good to an all-time-great, which is reflected in its songs.

A Night At The Opera has such a diverse track list that it seems like you’re listening to different albums.

From the seething insults of the diss track “Death on Two Legs,” the wonderful love song, “You’re My Best Friend,”to Roger Taylor having the feel for his automobile on “I’m in Love with My Car,”this album is full of head-banging masterpieces.

But it also has the ability to be touching like on “39and “Love of My Life.”And we can’t forget arguably the greatest song of all time, “Bohemian Rhapsodyand its fellow rock opera “The Prophet’s Song,” both testaments to Queen’s ambition and greatness.

A Night At The Opera is a glorious album, epic in both scale and ambition. Its vocals and instrumentals hold up to this day and it has inspired artists from My Chemical Romance to Lady Gaga.

It is fully deserving of its status as one of rock’s greatest and most creative albums. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I highly recommend it.

Shanish Fernando is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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