The albums from 'Queen II' through to 'News of the World' were undoubtedly the best that they ever recorded, but this one gets somewhat forgotten as it sits between the groundbreaking rock music of 'Queen II' and the awesomely unique 'Night at the Opera'. It has been unfairly referred to as a rehearsal for 'Night at the Opera', but this album can stand on its own merits as a great Queen album.
It opens with live favourite 'Brighton Rock', which Brian used as a showcase for his solo delayed guitar spot and developed over the years into a showcase for this technique. It moves to the song that won Freddie Mercury an Ivor Novello songwriting award - 'Killer Queen' - their first big hit in the UK. It just seems to be one great song after another, with a breathtaking range of styles.
Not all of the songs are going to appeal to everyone, and 'Bring Back that Leroy Brown' seems to be singled out, but it fits well with the rest of the album and makes me smile every time I hear it. 'In the Lap of the Gods' is probably the most underrated track here though. It was played near the beginning of the set on their last world tour, but they didn't play it the same way as either version here - from Roger Taylor's amazing vocal at the start to the singalong ending, it's one of the classic Queen songs.
This one really does rate up there with the best!