Nostalgic News: Queen’s ‘A Night at the Opera’ was released 45 years ago

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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:

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records editor 2020/21 !! 3rd year film and english student. can be often found arguing about costuming in the avenue cafe or crying into a beefy novel in hartley

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    ‘A Night At The Opera’ was one of the first albums I heard. I think it’s safe to say it changed my preconceptions of what music could be – I remember looking at the track listing, and my eyes popped out of their sockets as they saw that one song, ‘The Prophet’s Song’, was an eye-watering eight minutes long. Now I’m into the more experimental side of electronic music, so I’m used to tracks that are 10+ minutes in length, but at the time, I thought, ‘Aren’t songs meant to be five minutes long at most? What is this witchcraft?’

    ‘The Prophet’s Song’ is my favourite cut off the album (seriously, that call-and-response part in the middle), and there are some other great hidden gems that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s presence overshadows – ‘Good Company’, ‘Death On Two Legs’ and ’39’ being some personal favourites.

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