A Night at the Opera
is widely regarded as Queen's best album, and I won't argue with that.
Not only is this the definitive Queen album, it's also a mandatory purchase for people who like Rock in general, much like ... well, much like Led Zeppelin's fourth album. However, I enjoy this much more than Led Zeppelin's fourth album, partly because I'm unable to enjoy any Led Zeppelin album in its entirety (except maybe the first one), while A Night at the Opera
is delightful all the way through.
For starters, this is the album where Queen firmly established their style. They took the Sheer Heart Attack
formula, polished and improved it, and added the big pomp element that's characteristic of their style. As a result, the material is strong, memorable, and filled with that unique Queen flavour that is distinguishible from miles away.
So it was predictable this album would be an absolute blast and a classic of sorts, though most of the album's success is of course due to "Bohemian Rhapsody". And no matter how much people say it's overplayed, it's a fantastic song, period! And since I'm not affected by songs being overplayed on the radio, and I have no problems praising "Stairway To Heaven", "Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2" and other songs of that kind, I can say I love "Bohemian Rhapsody" too. After all, who needs to be introduced to this song? From the rich vocal harmonies, to the main theme, the immaculate flow of the piano, to the operatic mid-section, and on into the finale, everybody knows this song, and it's useless to try and bash it. Is it overblown? Absolutely. Is it pompous? Totally. Is it self-important? Definitely. That's the point after all.
by Reviewer: Fernando Canto
(blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct]