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A Night at the Opera (30th Anniversary Coll. Ed) [CD/DVD Combo]

A Night at the Opera (30th Anniversary Coll. Ed) [CD/DVD Combo] thumbnail

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(31 Reviews)

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Description

A landmark release, this special edition features both the new CD and DVD formats of the album completely restored from original analogue tapes and digitally re-mastered by Bob Ludwig, in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. As well as the original 1975 videos for ’Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ’You’re My Best Friend’, the DVD also contains brand new video footage for the other 10 tracks, along with archive audio commentary from all four members of Queen, including the late Freddie Mercury.As Queen guitarist Brian May explains in the new liner notes: ”Months of craftsmanship by true perfectionists have gone into wringing every ounce out of the original master recordings and into this hitherto unequalled ’high definition’ domain. Never has the recording been so carefully balanced, so carefully cleansed of clicks and pops from so many sources, some of which were even present on the original mix master tapes. In the stereo sound on this DVD, every nuance of the analogue character of these human-made mixes is more faithfully reproduced here than ever before. In addition, for the surround track, a whole set of 5.1 mixes has been created from microscopically accurate digital sound files, mirroring the original multitrack tapes. For the first time this includes a new surround mix of the final track ’God Save the Queen’, and some improvements to the surround mixes previously issued to a small audience on the DTS DVD-Audio release.”May continues: ”This DVD also features for the first time visuals for every track on the album ­ some, like the original ’Bohemian Rhapsody’ video, carefully digitally restored and re-graded, and some, like the stunning new video for ’Good Company’, created especially for this release. There are also some special commentaries, ancient and modern, from all four Queen members on facets of the tracks, and… yes, this is quite simply the best ’Night At The Opera’ ever produced. I doubt if it can ever be bettered!”Nothing succeeds like excess–at least that’s the case with Queen’s breakthrough classic, A Night at the Opera. On one level, the title is a reference to the band’s operatic pretensions, best in evidence here on the classic ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was championed by headbangers a generation before being revived by the Wayne’s World set. Of course, A Night at the Opera was also the title of a Marx Brothers movie, and the reference isn’t lost on Queen, who seldom scaled the heights of pomprock without a knowing wink. The album is remembered for its meticulously produced bombast, but the truth is that there’s a wide variety of material here, from the gorgeous piano-based ”You’re My Best Friend” and the McCartneyesque ”39” to the music-hall-style ”Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” and the pedal-to-the-metal rockers ”Death on Two Legs” and ”I’m in Love with My Car.” A Night at the Opera is viewed by most as the quintessential Queen album, and justifiably so. –Daniel Durchholz

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  • Not only is “A Night At The Opera” technically a masterpiece, but it’s an absolute blast as well, the most fun you will ever have listening to a landmark album. Queen had more studio time and money than they knew what to do with on “A Night At The Opera”, and the result is a wonderfully weird showcase for all four members of the band.

    It lurches from one crazy song to the next, beginning with “Death on Two Legs”, an absolutely scathing tirade at a former manager and the angriest song ever written. Following this we get “Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon”, an enjoyable, bouncy romp in the tradition of “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy”. The album’s most brilliantly schizophrenic moment comes when it then launches straight into “I’m In Love With My Car” and the tortured vocals of Roger Taylor. It’s a great balls-to-the-wall rock anthem about… a car. “‘39″ is a rare moment of Brian May the deep thinker and closet astronomer let loose and musing about the relativistic nature of time, and has some really out-there chords.

    If you pick this up, I also highly recommend the Classic Albums documentary on the making of this album, as it sheds light on the creative process of John Deacon songs like “You’re My Best Friend”, which the quiet bass player handed to the others just on the off chance that it was any good. We also learn that the eight-minute “Prophet’s Song” doesn’t really mean anything and came to Brian May in a dream.

    Other album highlights include the George Formby-esque “Good Company” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but it’s really an entire album of highlights. If all you’ve ever known of Queen is “Greatest Hits Vol 1″, you will love “A Night At The Opera”.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Despite what other reviewers have said, the DVD is great. It has all the tracks on the album and they are really cool to see on video for the first time. By the way, the making of ANATO is a fine addition to this collection. The DVD also provides very interesting commentary by all four members. The album itself ofcourse is great and sounds alot better. It is truely a classic containing all good or great songs.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • PERFECT ALBUM. DISAPPOINTING DVD PRODUCTION.

    First let me make it clear that that “A Night At The Opera” is a 5 star album. The music is amazing, brilliant and beautiful. It’s hard to argue that it was one of Queen’s finest albums, as well as one of the finest albums ever in it’s genre. I don’t think anything will ever change that.

    The reason I had to give this collection 3 stars is because of the DVD included–certainly the reason I opted to buy this item (I already own it on vinyl and CD). However, I must say I am terribly disappointed with the DVD footage. The “new” videos it features are no more than edits of live footage over the studio recordings. And unfortunately, these appear awkward since Freddie’s lips and Brian’s hands are often slighly out of sync with the video.
    Also included are music videos not even featuring Queen footage, but old stock footage of “related” material. “Seaside Rendezvous” is nothing more than old video of beaches. Certainly nicely done, but not really
    Thankfully, the commentary really helps. If it wasn’t for this I would have given the disc an even worse rating. Though, since it’s “archive commentary” it doesn’t quite “need” to be there. The bands gives some great background information on the album–though not generally about the specific tracks that the commentary correspond with.

    Perhaps this is a “must” for a die-hard Queen fan, as it’s an okay collection of rare QUEEN images and video. However, this doesn’t sway my disappointment. It would have been more entertaining simply to include the live audio w/the corresponding live video. And personally, as a huge Queen fan I would much rather hear a rare live recording with live footage than the awkward out-of-sync music from an album I have already been quite familiar with for years. It just seems very pointless to me. Where’s the NEW commentary? Or rare studio footage?

    I really wanted to like the DVD in this set, but I just couldn’t. It doesn’t do the album the justice it deserves. It was produced unpassionately, simply with the purpose to make money. The producers threw in a bunch of great Queen stuff, but didn’t really do much work to it. The DVD menu screen is and presentation is well done, but that’s not what you’re buying this collection for. I am a videographer and editor myself, and I could have edited together this same production even BETTER had I had access to all these footage. It’s a mediocre production clearly not driven by the passions of a true Queen fan.

    BOTTOM LINE:

    Buy this if you want MORE of Queen and some interesting info about the album. It’s certainly not much to spend to add to your Queen collection. However, is it essential to your Queen collection? No, not at all.. Like I said, the album itself still remains incredible. Though, the odds are if you’re a Queen fan, you already own it. If you’re NOT a Queen fan yet, STILL get this album. You can’t really go wrong by buying the collecton with the DVD–but DO NOT expect to be impressed by the DVD. There’s much better Queen stuff out there to spend your money on.

    Posted on January 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I wasn’t sure whether I should buy this version or not. I already had an earlier version in my collection but rave reviews, and the fact that A Night at the Opera is among my favorites through the years, convinced me to buy this updated version.

    The re-mastering job on the CD version is great. The sound on the DVD version is, however, nothing less than stunning. The intro of Death on Two Legs gives an indication what is in store. When the drums roar during the chorus in the back speakers, there is no question about it, this is a bonanza sound experience. Most of the album sound wise is a roller coaster ride and with the great music accompanying it, this is a most buy.

    The videos are mostly old Queen live footage, plus the videos originally shot for the singles. Some reviewers have given negative remarks about them but despite some problems with sound and sight being out of sync, I find the outcome being as good as it can be considering the limited options. God Save the Queen, with recent Brian May footage during the beginning and at the end Freddie walking of stage, is a very fitting finale of this set.

    The packaging is extravagant, exemplifying the great detail put into this re-release. Much pride is inherent in this set and I recommend buying it, even if one may own an older version.

    Posted on January 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Loving 70s Queen so much, I always fantasised about “remixed” releases, not just “remastered” ones. A lot of the 70s production for Queen lacks the necessary balls – and because they were so clever with so many different layers, brilliant ideas sometimes seem to become lost or compressed into a ‘tight’ space.

    This DVD has obliterated this problem. Listening to the DTS 5.1 DVD (especially after knowing the album in a certain form for so long) was for me, akin to a religious experience. From the thundering drums of “Death on Two Legs”, to the swirling Freddie in the middle of “The Prophet Song”, the Queen fan is immersed in a wash of brilliance, elegance and rock from all directions. I wasn’t aware of the original instrument tracks being available for them to produce such a release so on hearing this, my excitement about the band has started all over again.

    The reviewer here who says not to buy this because the video footage is crap must not have heard the DTS mix with 5.1 speakers around him – he simply would not have said such a thing if he had. The video is secondary here – I actually love it, but of course it’s about the aural experience.

    Be ready to transcend to another level in your musical experience.

    Posted on January 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now