HR-61035-2 A Day At The Races
Produced by Queen
Released on December 18, 1976
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #5 . . .
GOLD RECORD (12/29/76), PLATINUM (11/14/02)
Find it at GEMM
HR-61035-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A Day At The Races is exactly the sort of grandiose statement you would expect from stars of Queen’s (now) stature. The explosions burst a bit louder, the quivering lips produce more pathos, the elegance and eloquence are pronounced, the studio wizardry dazzles at every step. And yet underneath this glitz and glitter are songs that simply don’t sparkle the way they did last Night. “Somebody To Love” is absolutely brilliant, “Tie Your Mother Down” shocking, but missing are classic contributions from Deacon and Taylor. Mercury also seems taken with performance pieces, eschewing rock and roll for creations like “The Millionaire Waltz,” “You Take My Breath Away” and “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy.” Excellent songs in their own modish way, but too many pickled curios can’t be healthy for a rock band’s diet. Brian May does his best to bring the band back to bright rock, from the tuneful “Long Away” (with shades of “’39”) to the decibel-stretching “White Man.” The knock on Day isn’t that it’s a poor album; you couldn’t possibly think that and still like Queen. But Queen were now celebrated artists who could afford to lavish extra gilding on their creations, and gilding has a funny way of hiding the flaws underneath. So instead of tweaking the vocal harmonies or playing with the instrumentation, up go the amps, in goes the chorus, and on goes the gilding to fill the cracks. The result is a classic Queen album but not the revelation that Night was. Nothing to get peevish about, since most bands couldn’t touch Day with a ten-foot pole, but you do get the sense that the band was resting on the mountaintop of Night. In 1991, Hollywood released a remastered edition with remixes of “Somebody To Love” and “Tie Your Mother Down.” The remixes are nothing special, but the remastered sound is terrific. Considering this was the first time the band had produced an album on their own, they did a stellar job of capturing all the sonic details in songs like “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” and “Teo Torriatte (Let us Cling Together).”

HR-61035-2 gatefold sleeve
HR-61035-2 gatefold sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN    (Brian May)    4:46
  2. YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY    (Freddie Mercury)    4:40
  3. LONG AWAY    (Brian May)    3:55
  4. THE MILLIONAIRE WALTZ    (Freddie Mercury)    4:52
  5. YOU AND I    (John Deacon)    3:23
  6. SOMEBODY TO LOVE    (Freddie Mercury)    4:57
  7. WHITE MAN    (Brian May)    4:56
  8. GOOD OLD FASHIONED LOVER BOY    (Freddie Mercury)    2:54
  9. DROWSE    (Roger Taylor)    3:41
  10. TEO TORRIATTE (LET US CLING TOGETHER)    (Brian May)    5:51

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN (1991 REMIX)    (Brian May)    3:44
  12. SOMEBODY TO LOVE (1991 REMIX)    (Freddie Mercury)    5:00

CREDITS

JOHN DEACON -- Fender bass
BRIAN MAY -- guitars, vocals, leader of the orchestra
FREDDIE MERCURY -- vocal, piano, choir meister, tantrums
ROGER TAYLOR -- drums, vocal, percussion, pandemonium
Mike Stone -- engineer
Matt Wallace -- remix (11)
Randy Badazz -- remix (12)
David Costa -- art direction
Cream -- inner sleeve co-ordination

return to QUEEN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 18, 1976 EMI LP/CS EMTC/TCEMTC-104 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
US December 18, 1976 Elektra LP/CS 6E/TC5-101 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
ARG   EMI LP 8366 gatefold cover
BRA/GER/NET 1976 EMI LP 31C 064/1C 064/5C 062 98485 gatefold cover
COL 1976 EMI LP 11847 gatefold cover
JPN 1976 Elektra LP P-10300E gatefold cover, insert
MEX/SPA 1976 EMI LP SLEM706  
YUG   Jugoton LP SLEMI78002 inner sleeve
US 1991 Hollywood CDX HR-61035 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
EUR 1993 EMI CD/CS 789493 digital remaster
GER/NET   EMI CD CDP 7 46208  
US   Mobile Fidelity LP MFSL-1-256 original master recording
RUS 2000 CD-Maximum CD Q04 repackaged w. SINGLE HITS I
JPN 2001 EMI CD TOCP-65105 25th anniversary remaster
JPN 2004 EMI CD TOCP-67345 24-bit digital remaster

 

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