Queen have many brilliant albums, but A Night at the Opera for me is up there as one of their best. The most expensive album ever made at the time of its release, A Night at the Opera marked a turning point in Queen’s career, wherein, armed with a new manager, new look, and new determination to change the face of music, they created an album completely fuelled by their own artistic merit and creativity. Lyrical themes go from heartbreak to space travel to driving to 18th-century opera characters, all with the characteristic Queen sense of humour seeping throughout.
Producing many of the band’s best-known tracks, from the catchy ‘You’re my Best Friend’, to the heartfelt ‘Love of my Life’, a ballad supposedly written for Mercury’s close friend Mary Austin, whom he often referred to as his ‘only true friend’. The album also featured the epic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, one of the longest singles to ever hit the radio, and established A Night at the Opera as arguably one of Queen’s most essential must listen to albums. The latter song, a magnificent 6-minute experimental journey through progressive rock, is often regarded as one of the greatest of all time, up there with The Beach Boys and The Beatles as one of the most key moments in rock history. A Night at the Opera is, and always will be, an important landmark in the history of rock.
A Night at the Opera via. EMI and Elektra. Listen to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ here: