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”.