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In every sense, A Day at the Races is an unapologetic sequel to A Night at the Opera, the 1975 breakthrough that established Queen as rock & roll royalty. The band never attempts to hide that the record is a sequel -- the two albums boast the same variation on the same cover art, the titles are both taken from old Marx Brothers films and serve as counterpoints to each other. But even though the two albums look the same, they don't quite sound the same, A Day at the Races is a bit tighter than its predecessor, yet tighter doesn't necessarily mean better for a band as extravagant as Queen. One of the great things about A Night at the Opera is that the lingering elements of early Queen -- the pastoral folk of "39," the metallic menace of "Death on Two Legs" -- dovetailed with an indulgence of camp and a truly, well, operatic scale. Here, the eccentricities are trimmed back somewhat -- they still bubble up on "The Millionaire Waltz," an example of the music hall pop that dominated Night, the pro-Native American saga "White Man" is undercut somewhat by the cowboys 'n' indians rhythms -- in favor of a driving, purposeful hard rock that still could have some slyly hidden perversities (or in the case of the opening "Tie Your Mother Down," some not-so-hidden perversity) but this is exquisitely detailed hard rock, dense with minutiae but never lush or fussy. In a sense, it could even function as the bridge between Sheer Heart Attack and Night at the Opera -- it's every bit as hard as the former and nearly as florid as the latter -- but its sleek, streamlined finish is the biggest indication that Queen has entered a new phase, where they're globe-conquering titans instead of underdogs on the make.
Performance CreditsQueen Primary Artist
Freddie Mercury Piano,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Group Member
Brian May Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Slide Guitar,Group Member
Roger Taylor Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Group Member
John Deacon Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Group Member
Mike Stone Vocals
Technical CreditsFreddie Mercury Composer
Brian May Composer,Executive Producer,Introduction,Orchestra Leader
Roger Taylor Composer,Executive Producer
David Costa Art Direction
John Deacon Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really love this album. Although it's not as famous as A Night At The Opera, it is still loved by Queen fans everywhere. From the hard riffs of "Tie Your Mother Down", to the gospel choirs of "Somebody to Love", and to the beautiful "Teo Torriate", this album is surely a classic. This was my first Queen album and I love it. It's a true jewel!
I absolutely love this album. I have a few other Queen albums but nothing compares to this one. My favourite songs are: Somebody To Love, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, Teo Toriatte, Drowse and Tie Your Mother Down. I love the first song because of the power of all the voices. I seem to like the songs when they are powerful. Good Old Fasioned Lover Boy is a great fun song with an interesting melody. I think Teo Toriatte is brilliant. It's a very sad song and quite depressing but it has a brilliant haunting melody. If you are a Queen fan and you don't like the operatic or soft side of their music, then this is not an album to get. However, White Man is quite heavy. It's a great album. My advice is: BUY IT!!!
Don't get me wrong, this album is very good, but it isn't quite as good as A Night at the Opera. The album can be very easily compared to its predecessor: Tie Your Mother Down = Death on Two Legs/Sweet Lady, Somebody to Love = Bohemian Rhapsody (but less bombastic), Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy = Seaside Rendezvous, etc. But if you like A Night at the Opera, you'll find a lot to like here, it's just that there isn't a whole lot of variation on the formula. That would change with News of the World, one of their harder rocking albums, and with the manic Jazz.