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4.4 out of 5 stars43
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2006
As many people say, A Night At The Opera would be a very difficult album to top, but in my opinion this one does in some aspects. Freddie himself described A Day At The Races as an extension of 'ANATO' anyway, because they obviously couldn't have all of the tracks on the one album.

I literally do love every single song on this album; with my favourites being "You Take My Bbreath Away", "Long Away", "The Millionaire Waltz" and "Teo Torriate (Let Us Cling Together)". However all of the songs on this album, once again are a stroke of pure lyrical and musical genius. The clarity of Freddie's voice on each song really makes it for me, as does the perfection of every note sung and played by Brian, John and Roger. This is a really clear and truly beautiful album. Give it a chance.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2001
A Day At The Races, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the earlier masterpieces of Queen. First of all, Tie Your Mother Down - a hard-hitting track to pull you into the album and keep you hooked. A creation that turns a show into a concert. Next, You Take My Breath Away - a slower, more compassionate feel that boasts Freddie's magnificent lulling vocals, conveying the emotion like nobody else could, almost guaranteeing to steal your breath and replace it with tears. Long Away - a magnificent show of Brian's songwriting and singing abilities, rivalled in my opinion only by '39 (from A Night At The Opera). Skipping to track 6, Somebody To Love, again succeeds in presenting one of the best emotional 'group' works, with the truly unique harmony of Queen's vocals combined, along with Freddie's lead vocals caressing the ears of those fortunate enough to hear this piece. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy shows Freddie at his most charming state - a romantic karaoke feel, combined with his ever-present charm leaves you feeling charmed yourself - leading the way to Drowse, sung by Roger Taylor, holding a dreamy feel in itself. A calm, soothing track from the usually energetic Roger! Finally, the ultimate finish to any album, Teo Torriatte. Nothing compares to this work of art, the Japanese lyrics blend perfectly and truly touch your heart. Beauty, grace and overwhelming passion make this song a favourite of many, including myself, and should not go unheard. There we have it - one of the best Queen albums ever, a must-have of any fan, either new to Queen or a long-time listener.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2005
How do you follow an album light "A night at the opera"? Queen could quite easily have disappeared from the face of the earth trying to follow it up, but instead they put together something that was almost as good! Using the title from a different Marx Brothers film, they cut back on the excesses a little for this one, but that didn't stop them experimenting with different styles, and even a different language!
You're not quite sure where this album is going when you hear the start, then that guitar riff from "Tie you mother down" kicks in. It's a great opener, and Brian provides another great heavy song on this album with "White man". However, it is Freddie who takes centre stage in the songwriting department here. "Good old fashioned lover boy" and "Somebody to love" are the best known songs here, but there's also the wonderful "You take my breath away" and the clever "Millionaire waltz".
One of the great Queen albums!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2005
How do you follow an album like "A Night at the Opera"? I guess you get together a great bunch of songs, give them the unique Queen treatment and hope for the best.
This album was never going to have the impact that its forbearer had but that said it's still a lovely mix of songs and shouldn't be judged too harshly.
The standout tracks on the album for me are probably those that on any other album would be considered filler songs. "Millionaire's Waltz" is a superb piece of Queen dramatics, only they could make a waltz rock. "You and I" is a simply but yet effective love song offering from John Deacon, but the best of the bunch is "Long Away", a superb rhythmic sing-along from Brian May.
The actual "hits" from the album "Somebody to Love" and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" are overshadowed by what had gone before but they still are good solid songs in their own right.
Final mention for "Tie Your Mother Down" fantastic rock with that little Queen twist, Taylor's offering of "Drowse" is too much like a slowed down "Tenement Funster" for my liking, and "Teo Terriatte" is pure Queen over sentimentality but still works.
Still a great album and the perfect desert course to "Night at the Opera"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2000
This is classic Queen. They have their own personalised genre, which, sadly, they lost in the eighties. This album's music expresses the true musical talent of the four, and Roger Taylor's 'Drowse' is one of their greatest songs. There's a real mix here. From the slightly cheesy 'Good old fashioned lover boy' to the classic rock track 'Tie your Mother Down' to Deacon's amazing ballad 'You and I' The final track sends shivers down the spine, and really sums up a most superb album. All the tracks show off each of the individual talents they possess. May on piano, Deacon on guitars, and Taylor showing a whole range of percussion skills to an exemplory form. And, of course, it's all topped off with Freddie's stunning voice. This really feels like Queen at their best - totally uninfluenced (look at Freddie's outfit on the sleeve) and willing to entertain. Very highly recommended. Buy this first after Queen's Greatest Hits trilogy and hear the contrast.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 November 2005
A Day At The Races - Queen’s 5th album – is a great record in its own right, but it’s also sadly rather disappointing in some respects. The biggest downside when evaluating this album is that it is inevitably in competition with the bands previous masterpiece A Night at the Opera, and while it matches that work in terms of epic sound design and massive layering of vocals and instruments, unfortunately the songwriting is undeniably weaker. Most of the songs on A Day at the Races have clear counterparts on A Night at the Opera, and compared like for like without exception these songs come off second best.
John Deacon’s sole contribution ‘You and I’ is a decent enough cheerful strum-along, and it boasts a great middle 8, but it’s undeniably inferior to A Night at the Opera’s ‘You’re my Best Friend’. Similarly Roger Taylor’s ‘Drowse’ is a beguiling childhood reminiscence made even more dreamy by Brian May’s hypnotic slide-guitar, but it’s no ‘I’m In Love With My Car’.
Brian May’s songs suffer similar comparisons – with ‘White Man’ trying to be this albums ‘The Prophet’s Song’, but despite acting as a framing device for the album as a whole the song isn’t particularly strong. Album opener proper ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ is a reasonable rocker, but probably more suited to the live environment, which probably accounted for its relatively lowly chart single status (peaking at an unimpressive number 31). Album closer ‘Teo Torriatte’ is almost brilliant – the verse is haunting, and the middle break is stunning, but sadly the actual chorus suffers the twin indignities of both a school choir backing and the 70’s trend for singing bits of songs in foreign languages, both of which now sound terribly naff. May’s best song is the one for which he provides the vocals, the magnificent ‘Long Away’, a hidden gem which features some great Byrds-style jangly guitar picking.
It’s left to Freddie Mercury to provide the albums highlights with the magnificent gospel-rock of ‘Somebody To Love’ and the brilliantly constructed ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy’. Elsewhere ‘You Take My Breathe Away’ is an odd ballad, mostly featuring just Freddie on piano, but featuring some gorgeously dense layered close harmonies, while ‘The Millionaire Waltz’ is the most fractured song on the album, going all the way from fragile ballad to hard rock and taking in a detour to a Brian May guitar waltz along the way – utter madness, but interesting.
In retrospect it could be argued that A Day At The Races is the last of Queen’s truly ridiculously (and gloriously!) over the top albums. Yes, their remaining couple of ‘70’s albums still retained the bands genre-hopping, and production wise the band were still taking things to extremes up to the end, but in terms of song composition – especially where Freddie was concerned – the following albums would see a trend towards more standard basic songs rather than more over the top free for alls the band had previously glorified in. In that respect, while A Day At the Races is therefore a rather disappointing follow-up to A Night at the Opera, it’s still a fine album on it’s own terms. A very good album – but suffers from being compared to a work of genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is very much a sister album to "A Night at the Opera" which was released shortly before. Queen were enjoying huge success both critically and commercially. Bohemian Rhapsody from "ANATO" had a long spell at the top of the UK charts, the band toured to sell out audiences and Freddie Mercury strutted and flaunted on stage. The band were at the absolute top of their form.
From that platform, they created an album so vibrant and with so much energy, it grabs the listeners attention and will not let go.
The music is very straightforward, short direct songs that rely on lyrics, vocals, simple instruments and energy with little or nothing in the way of the sort of special effects that are sometimes used to reinforce weaker bands. Classic rock indeed.
Most of the songs are written by Brian May and Freddie Mercury with one number apiece from the other band members Deacon and Taylor. It's very hard to select a favourite from this album as every song is good and there is no filler.
Like many other albums that are released on CD, the record company seems to have felt the need to add some sort of bonus material. Here we get remixes of "Tie your Mother Down" and "Somebody to Love" which really add nothing to the original recordings. Perhaps they are included to illustrate how good was the original production and mix.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2005
I feel that a lot of people are missing the point about this album.
The way I see it is that, rather than being a seperate entity, it was intended as a kind of Night At The Opera part II, in other words, you should view the two albums as a double album (This is why it was titled as it was and the cover design was kind of an inverse video of Night At The Opera)- imagine stapling the sleeves together. If you insist on COMPARING the two albums song for song, then yes - you will be (slightly) disappointed. But if instead you view them as one work, as I do, then you'll be a VERY happy bunny! I have the original LP's of all Queen's early albums (I think they lost their way after Day At The Races) and I wouldn't part with any of them for anything (well, short of £1,000 each or a hot date with Angelina Jollie!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2010
My favourite Queen album of all time. It was the first Queen album I actually bought with a whole week's wages from my Saturday job, having merely listened to other people's copies of "A Night At the Opera" and not been compelled to buy it using my meagre funds. Early Queen albums all bore the signature hallmarks of the particular band member and for me, Freddie and Brian were a way ahead of Roger but when I heard this album, I was simply blown away by each and every track. From the fade in to the same fade out, which made flipping the album an "endless" symphony, it drew me in, each song perfectly leading on to the next, each a perfect song in it's own right. Coinciding with seeing the band live at the Liverpool Empire, an epiphany for me, the album was a monolithic landmark in Queen's repertoire and one I always recommend unreservedly. This is an album that needs no apologies or excuses and whose sheer breadth of style is breathtaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2014
A superb follow-up to 'A Night At The Opera' with 8 of the 10 tracks written by Freddie Mercury (4) and Brian May (4). For me, Mercury's offerings are, in general, more enjoyable with the excellent 'Somebody To Love' and 'You Took My Breath Away' displaying Queen's gorgeous vocal harmonies at their best. 'The Millionaire Waltz' is stunning ~ a cunning blend of lovely ballad mixed with searing rock.

May's contributions are fairly strong as well; 'Tie Your Mother Down' opens the album in a hard rocking vein whilst 'White Man' is 'heavy' both in its musical and lyrical content. (Nice touch to follow 'White Man' with Freddie's lovely whimsy in the shape of 'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy). Overall, this is a much better collection of songs than I expected and definitely worth buying for under £5 if possible.
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