7E-1053 A Night At The Opera
Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen
Released on December 2, 1975
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #4 . . . GOLD RECORD (3/9/76), 3x PLATINUM (11/14/02)
Find it at GEMM
7E-1053 cover  

Q ueen’s whole reason for existence needn’t extend beyond A Night At The Opera. It is the band’s finest hour, with all four cylinders firing off their best ideas: Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Deacon’s “You’re My Best Friend,” Brian May’s “’39” and Taylor’s “I’m In Love With My Car.” Over a long and successful career, these songs bespeak their authors best. I don’t own their second and third albums, but even if it was all leading up to this, the reality is still a revelation. There were hints even on their debut that the band was after something bigger than rock and roll, and “Killer Queen” confirmed they were capable of sustaining the magic for a brief spell, but Opera spills over with genius. By the time “’39” rolls around, I’m usually convinced this is the best album ever conceived. Of course it’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” that gets the most attention, the song that earns Opera its title (though their next also borrowed the title of a classic Marx Brothers’ movie). The layered vocals and dramatic reading shocked a world that was already braced for great things by the prog rock movement, and the spotlight stayed fixated on Queen as a result. The tracks in between are anything but filler; on most albums, a “Sweet Lady” or “Love of My Life” would garner the most praise, but this isn’t Uriah Heep or Kiss we’re talking about. Unfortunately, Queen were victims of their own success, and subsequent albums seemed underinspired by comparison (as good an album as News of the World is). When you can toss off a song like “Seaside Rendezvous” without a second thought or slip in an epic like “The Prophet’s Song” without it dominating the album, you know you’ve got a masterpiece on your hands. In 1991, Opera was reissued with new remixes of “You’re My Best Friend” and “I’m In Love With My Car.”

7E-1053 lyric gatefold 7E-1053 back cover
7E-1053 lyric gatefold 7E-1053 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. DEATH ON TWO LEGS (DEDICATED TO...)    (Freddie Mercury)    3:43
  2. LAZING ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON    (Freddie Mercury)    1:08
  3. I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR    (Roger Taylor)    3:05
  4. YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND    (John Deacon)    2:50
  5. '39    (Brian May)    3:25
  6. SWEET LADY    (Brian May)    4:01
  7. SEASIDE RENDEZVOUS    (Freddie Mercury)    2:13
  8. THE PROPHET'S SONG    (Brian May)    8:17
  9. LOVE OF MY LIFE    (Freddie Mercury)    3:38
  10. GOOD COMPANY    (Brian May)    3:26
  11. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY    (Freddie Mercury)    5:55
  12. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN    (trad. arr. Brian May)    1:11

    Expanded reissue bonus tracks
  13. I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR (1991 REMIX)
  14. YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND (1991 REMIX)

CREDITS

JOHN DEACON -- electric bass, double bass, electric piano (4)
BRIAN MAY -- guitars and orchestral backdrops, toy koto, harp, genuine aloha ukelele (made in Japan), guitar jazz band, operatic vocals, vocals (5,9)
FREDDIE MERCURY -- vocals, vocals, Bechstein Debauchery and more vocals, vocal orchestration of woodwind, operatic vocals
ROGER TAYLOR -- percussion, operatic vocals, vocal (3), vocal orchestration of brass (6)
Mike Stone -- executive engineer
Gary Lyons -- invaluable additional engineering
David Costa -- art direction

return to QUEEN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 2, 1975 EMI LP EMTC103 gatefold cover
US December 2, 1975 Elektra LP/CS 7E/TC5-1053 embossed gatefold cover
FRA/GER/NET 1975 EMI LP 2C 068/1C 072/5C 062 97176 gatefold cover
YUG 1976 Jugoton LP LSEMI73033  
US 1980 Mobile Fidelity LP MFSL-1-067 original master recording
EUR June 1988 EMI CD 789492 digital remaster
US September 3, 1991 Hollywood CDX/CSX HR-61065 w. bonus tracks
US 1992 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-568 original master recording
JPN 2004 EMI CD TOCP-67344 digital remaster

 

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