Top positive review
Queen's "finest hour"? Arguable. But as good now as it was when it was first released
13 March 2018
The first record I ever bought, as a pimply 11 year old in 1975. I already liked Queen at that time, after seeing them perform "Now I'm Here" and "Killer Queen" singles (from their previous "Sheer Heart Attack album) on Top Of The Pops, and, of course, the video for "Bohemian Rhapsody", the lead single from "A Night At The Opera". Fast forward 14 years, and a stolen (almost full) record collection meant I would abandon buying vinyl in favour of CD's (like quite a few others). But after receiving a new record deck from my wife for Christmas 2016, I started making tentative inroads to replace some of the records I lost. And, of course, "A Night At The Opera" was the first Queen record I would replace.
As for the album itself, well its probably the archetypal Queen lp. It consists of thumping rock (the controversial "Death on Two Legs", "Sweet Lady", the superb "I'm In Love With My Car"), the multitracked harmonies ("The Prophet's Song", Brian May's finest hour " '39", "Boh Rhap), vaudeville ("Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon", "Seaside Rendezvous"), and the delicate ("Love Of My Life", "You're My Best Friend"). Even the sleeve, a gatefold "opera programme" type affair, snow white with the embossed Queen logo on the front, the album lyrics in opulent script adorning the inside, and the ornate track listing on the rear, as well as an inner sleeve featuring several photos of the band live, is a work of art. When you're holding it you really believe you're getting a lot more for your money than with many other records. And where other Queen albums from their early years can (arguably) be considered "acquired taste", "A Night At The Opera" is definitely required listening if you're serious about music. Every track here is instantly enjoyable. And listening to it now just transports me back in time to days when life was easier and more innocent. Oh, how I miss them.