A NIGHT AT THE OPERA by Queen

Syn Gates

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Talking about Queen's music is a very emotional thing for me, because I grew up listening to them thanks to my mom, who has an amazing musical taste and loves Queen dearly, and my aunt (in memoriam) who also loved them. Listening to their music warms my heart and gives me nostalgic vibes every time.
It's one of those bands that are so widely known that what can you even say about them that hasn't been said a million times before, right?

Freddie Mercury was a genius who unfortunately left this world too soon, but his legacy will be carried for many, many years because that man not only had one of the most unique voices ever - I dare to say THE most unique voice I have ever heard -, but he also was a flawless performer, a great lyricist, a well rounded musician, a creative mind, a perfectionist artist. Brian May is a mind blowing guitarist - and that makes me think of the time I was talking to my friend @Radu-Cristian Perde and he told me about how Brian May and his father built Brian's first guitar, and I got amazed at how he managed to be a guitarist extraordinaire without fancy guitars and equipments. A gifted guitarist for sure, a real talent. His guitar work is the type that makes jaws drop and his solos are breathtaking.
One of the things I love about Queen is how they always did those vocals that made their songs really sound like something you would hear at the opera. They build up this huge ambience in their songs, which blesses my ears every time I listen to them.

Death On Two Legs has guitar lines that are sooo, sooo good! Also, the lyrics made think they were talking about their former label, and turns out Freddie actually wrote it to their former manager. This song feels like a punch in the face and it's definitely a smart choice to open the album with. Very powerful lyrics, very powerful guitar and very powerful lead and backing vocals. So ballsy of them to do that (which led to a lawsuit, btw hahaha).
I'm In Love With My Car is a good surprise, because Roger Taylor does the lead vocals and he has some rasp in his voice that is very interesting and pleasing.
Love Of My Life is a beautiful ballad that made me cry so many times when I got my heart broken. I love to watch the performance of this song live at Rock in Rio 1985. It gives me chills every single time, the whole audience singing the lyrics so loud, that beautiful piano... chills, just chills everywhere.
Bohemian Rhapsody is the greatest masterpiece in the history of music. There's no question about it. The tone changes, the harmonies between the vocals and the piano and between the guitar and the piano, the chords progressions - it's all so insane! All the vocal layering gives so much dimension and thickness to the song, too. Roger Taylor can hit such high notes, it's absolutely mindblowing. Lyric-wise, it has two of my favorite quotes of all time "Mama, I don't wanna die - I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all." and "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me." So powerful.
The whole album has amazing moments; and, every time you listen to it, you can notice new things you hadn't noticed before. Fabulously intricated, like every Queen record.

This made me go on a trip down memory lane. Thank you so much for this recommendation, @Syn Gates. My heart is warm now. ❤
I share all of those sentiments! Thanks for the breakdown!
 
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Gabby Heafy

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    I am so happy to know that the Album of the Month is from one of my favorite Bands of all time. My parents listened to Queen in my childhood, we really loved this band. Queen has influenced me greatly in my life, I really found in them a musical style so beautiful and so well created by each one of them that I never stopped listening to them until today. Freddie Mercury I admire him a lot, he is a talented artist with a powerful voice, for me one of the best I could have ever heard. I think he had the ability to express each of his feelings in every lyric he wrote or sang, and I admire artists who can put their heart into the music, into what they are singing and make you feel the same way they feel every time they sing. He is a unique legend that I will never forget. ❤️

    Death on Two Legs: This Great song with a very special intro was dedicated to their "ex" manager, who swindled them out of money. The lyrics are amazing, and with a lot of feeling. Brian is a badass on this song, his solo is magnetic.🔥

    Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon: One of Queen's shortest songs, but really magnificent. Freddie's voice is adorably lovely. I had read that it sounded distorted because he sang it with a beer mug. Lol!!! And that Finale ending with a brilliant Solo by Brian.
    39: It's lovely to hear the guitar at the beginning of the song, it gives me a lot of peace. Brian did a great job, his voice is fabulous as that Roger falsetto you hear, but the effects on his vocals in the last chorus are one of my favorite parts of this song.🙌

    Seaside Rendezvous: Listening to Freddie on this song is a complete delight to the ears. He is so adorable. It makes me feel happy. I love Freddie's piano accompaniment creating a very comforting melody.

    The Prophets Song: This song with headphones on is a spiritual experience! It is pure art. The whole part of their voices distorted, intertwined, lowering and raising their tones and all so well done at the same time. They are complete geniuses.

    Love of My Life: This is my favorite ballad. The piano at the beginning gives me goosebumps.It's a song that gives me too many feelings and emotions together, bringing me sad and beautiful memories at the same time. It makes me feel very melancholic and whenever I listen to it I always end up crying. Freddie transmits so much with his beautiful voice that it touches your very soul. Brian May shining with that perfect and majestic solo.💔💔

    Bohemian Rhapsody: It's still a very powerful song these days. It lasts 6 minutes, are a complete work of art. The lyrics are so beautiful, so much heart he put into it. This song is and will forever be a masterpiece, Even though it is old, it still affects people today. Totally in love with Brian's Solo. The very symbolic part of the opera took an incredible production and overlapping their voices, to achieve the highs and lows, using the wall of sound effect. It was incredible! It's my favorite part of the whole song.

    Thank you @Syn Gates for this fabulous recommendation. Queen is an incredibly great band and has come to influence many musicians and people. Freddie Mercury one of my favorite artists, that i was not lucky to see him live, it would have been a dream come true.
    Thank you again you for bringing so many beautiful memories to my mind, I finished listening to it feeling very melancholic but very happy at the same time! I love ya!!🤘❤️😢
     

    The Trash God

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    I have such fond memories with this album. My dad used to play this album all the fucking time when I was a kid. Many a summer nights when we were out eating barbeque, this album was playing. I was never able to fully appreciate this album until I got older, but as I got older I was able to really appreciate and love this album. It is just an amazing album all around and one I really love. A great recommendation!
     
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    Brian Haner Sr.

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    Another great choice from Syn.
    Dude - you're on a roll!

    Queen was a game-changer fo sho. There was nothing like them before they arrived and many bands have borrowed from them in the years after. They used no synths or samples. Just overdubs of live instruments and vocals.
    While there were plenty of "duel-guitar" bands, May was the first guy to overdub a 3rd (and sometimes a 4th & 5th) harmony. Also he went beyond straight harmonies and actually arranged counterpoint guitar arrangements. Good Company is a great example. He uses a wah-wah pedal to mimic a dixieland band. He didn't use it as a typical wah-wah, though. He just set it in certain static positions to get the tone of a clarinet, trombone, etc. Genius. He did that a lot with his tones - which is why nobody ever sounded like him. His tone was mostly just a cranked Vox AC-30, but he also had a secret weapon: The Deacy Amp - which was a small hifi speaker with a 4 inch speaker invented by bassist, John Deacon.
    Link here:

    I also loved the personality and playfulness in Brian's style. There was a whimsy about his playing. It borders on comedy at times. The end of the solo on "You're my Best Friend" is a great example. He ends the solo with 3 guitars in harmony making the most ridiculous bends over and over. Always makes me laugh.
    Then he could make his guitar sound like cello and make you cry. Bohemian is a great example of his range. At the end he plays the angriest head banging rock stuff, then follows it with some of the softest most beautiful notes ever recorded, right after Freddie sings "Nothing really matters to me". His solos reflect more human character than any other guitarist I have ever heard. Hendrix had a similar ability. It's like you know what they're thinking when they play a solo. Rare - to say the least.

    Not much can be said about Freddie Mercury that hasn't been said already. He was a gifted singer/pianist/writer who was also an incredible performer. He was raised on classical music and opera. Bohemian Rhapsody was his baby. It has been overplayed for sure, but when you consider it was made on a 24 track tape machine - no computer software, no auto-tune, no cutting and pasting - just singing and playing live, it's a remarkable record. Actually, when I think of it that way - it's almost impossible to comprehend.

    I will also add something cool I just found out about their vocal recording process. When you double-track harmony vocals, you record the 3 voices singing harmony - then you record the same thing again on another track. Now you have 6 voices. You do it again and you have 9 voices. So the lead vocalist is singing lead on all 3 tracks. The 2nd guy sings the 2nd harmony on all 3 tracks, and the 3rd guy sings the 3rd harmony part on all 3 tracks.
    Make sense?
    The brilliant thing about Queen was - the three vocalists (Freddie, Brian & Roger) recorded the 1st part in UNISON. Not harmony. So you have 3 voices singing exactly the same thing. But each voice has a different texture. The result is - that part is much bigger than if the same person was singing it 3 times. Then they would record the 2nd part - again in unison. Then the 3rd part - again in unison. So you still end up with 9 voices - BUT - all 3 voices are singing all three parts.
    I always wondered why their harmonies sounded so huge. I've been doing studio work for 40 years and I have never seen ANYONE record vocals this way. Simply brilliant. I can't believe I just learned this a couple of weeks ago while watching Rick Beato interview Brian May. When May explained it - there was literally smoke coming out of my ears.

    John Deacon is a super-underrated bass player. Like McCartney, he was crazy melodic. It always fit the song as well as elevated it. He also wrote some of their biggest hits; You're My Best Friend & Another One Bites The Dust. The perfect bass player for this band.

    Roger Taylor is certainly a great drummer - though his name rarely comes up when great drummers are discussed. Maybe because he wasn't flashy like some bigger names. But he always played exactly what the song needed. Nothing more and nothing less. I have no doubts that if their songs had required a crazy, 32nd note, double-kick monster, Roger would have risen to the occasion. Not to mention he wrote some great tunes AND had the crazy high voice in Bohemian; "For me, for me, FOR MEEEEEEE"

    Like many bands of old who get over-played and over-hyped, it's easy just to dismiss them and say" Meh. That's my parent's music." But there is a reason that 50 years later, they are still being talked about and listened to. They were innovative monsters and their stuff still holds up.
    And if you do the deep dive, you'll start hearing their sound in a ton of bands that have been popular over the last 20 years. That's what a game-changer does. The bands that come after have no choice but to stand on their shoulders. Dems da rules.

    After listening to Opera, If you want to hear more - my favs are "Killer Queen" (the 3 part counterpoint solo is amazing) and "Bring Back That LeRoy Brown" (pure fun) from the album Sheer Heart Attack.

    Enjoy.
    Cheers!
    pg
     

    Anna.VG

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    As I said before I know Queen thanks to my dad, he is a huge fan of them along with my brother, who always plays Queen once in a while. I know they were so huge and an icon, how adored was Freddie and how the world miss this talented guy.

    But on my part I never have like the interest on sitting down and listen a whole album of them, so it was a great opportunity to do so. I liked this album and for sure I’ll listen more of their songs. So here ya go, here are my non-professional thoughts.

    Death on Two Legs: I really loved the intro! And the whole song in general, the choruses and Freddie’s voice are awesome here, as long as the whole instrumental part, mind blowing o_O

    Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon: A short song for sure but an awesome one! Gives me the vibes of like “vintage song”, don’t know how to call it but I can hear also the happy tone in there, and the solo at the end was very cool. Plow twist: didn´t know when the song finished and I had to go back, was like “it’s a really long song” but I was listening to the next song without noticing it, he😅

    I´m in Love with My Car: Powerful piano and guitar, I adore it. The chorus here is something else, how they mix with the lead voice is insane, and the car effects tho at the end👀

    You’re My Best Friend: OH THIS SONG REPRESENT MY WHOLE CHILDHOOD, literally hearing this 24/7 but never knew how it was called lol, so hearing it again made the good memories come back!

    39´: Brian´s voice is something I’m adoring so much. I did some research for this song because after reading the lyrics I was curious to know more about! This acoustic song might be one of my favorites of this album.

    Sweet Lady: Seems like this lady was toxic af, jk. Anyways it’s a good a song and the solo at the end is pure fire🎆

    Seaside Rendezvous: Loved the sync of the piano and drums alongside with Freddie’s voice! And I liked a lot this diverse instruments or devices they used for this song hahaha!

    The Prophet´s Song: Another way they did the intro is really cool, it starts in a calm way and then the tune is getting higher. I really liked the lyrics of this song! And not to mention the incredible chorus, one of the best ones! Now I have stuck in my head “now I know”, the end is very cool🤪

    Love Of My Life: What a beautiful song with beautiful lyrics! The instrumental is so soft and I love it🥰🥺

    Good Company: The ukulele gives another vibe to the song! Brian May is a genius guy!

    Bohemian Rhapsody: is a song that everyone knows! It’s an icon and it’ll be played until the world comes to an end. One of my favorite version of this song is at the Tribute Concert where Axl Rose and Elton John sings this one!!

    God Saves The Queen: Another short song! This one is an instrumental and I read it that Brian made this one as another version of the anthem, interesting:unsure:

    And after listening the whole album I have to say that I really enjoyed it! The way they use the piano is fantastic (and well, the other instruments too). I loved how they created choruses, it’s something unique as you can’t listen choruses that way in another bands. And something I always see in every band are the lyrics, I loved them! Thanks for this recommendation Syn, it was really fun to hear this album.🥳🥂
     

    Willard D. Veator

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    Amazing :explode-skull:was teared up at the end, my first cassette was Queens Greatest Hits, took it from my dad's box for my walkman.
    Bohemian Rhapsody sounded like it was from all over the place surround sound and the song after. After having the tape I didn't listen to Queen knowingly till recently heard a few new songs for me. It's cool listening for the things you guys mentioned and I just sat there and listened like a movie.
    Almost forgot I don't remember the songs on the tape and I saw Wayne's World, really great movie :D
    Maybe 3 recordings is like a guitar chord and somehow with math it adds up to these nice sounds
     
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    Wally

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  • Sep 27, 2020
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    :syngates:Yo Family! This months #AOTM is A Night At The Opera by the legendary Queen. This was a record my dad had at our house but funny enough I didn’t get into it until Wayne’s World dropped and the Bohemian Rhapsody skit came on. I was immediately hooked. It took one listen to solidify this song as my favorite of all time.

    I had never heard anything like it and I loved every part of it. Freddie Mercury’s voice was my favorite, Brian May’s guitar work was my favorite, Roger Taylor’s playing and voice was my favorite(he does all the super high shit, incredible), John Deacon’s bass playing was my favorite. The arrangement and style blew my mind. What a fucking song!:rainbow-mushroom:

    I quickly referred to my dad for every piece of music made by this incredible super group as well as all the information he could provide about this band and the genius that poured from their pen.:papa-x:

    A Night At The Opera was the first record he introduced me to. I fell in love with the entire thing immediately. The opener, Death On Two Legs, was brilliant. The intro into the super heavy smash still blows my mind. Such an amazing choice of instrumentation and sounds.

    Love Of My Life could very well be my favorite ballad of all time. Brian May’s cello-esque guitar lines make me cry.:blue-heart:

    The Prophet Song was the only track that took a sec to get into and it’s one of my favs on the record.

    The record shows just how talented each member is at songwriting. ‘39 by Brian May, You’re My Best Friend by John Deacon, I’m In Love With My Car by Roger Taylor, all bangers.:explode-skull:

    If you take nothing from this record save one thing, let it be this; every member contributed well beyond just playing their instrument. They wrote, arranged, sang, and produced. Some army shit, “be all you can be”.:rock-hand:

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

    All my love,
    SYN
    :syngates:

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    So glad this was finally brought up Queen has been a band I've listened to since I was 8 and was also introduced to me by my Dad. I even remember having one of those musical toothbrushes that played We Will Rock You when you brushed your teeth. An amazing band and one of the greatest of all time!
     

    Willard D. Veator

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    "Killer Queen"
    This was on the tape I had
    My headphones broke, haven't been listening to anything while outside
    God Saves The Queen
    The transition to this on the album was seamless, it was like it amplified the ending of Bohemian Rhapsody

    I heard "Fandango" on one of the Sparks songs, made me think of Queen. Had to look up what it meant a few times. I think it's a dance or something :D
    Queen was before, after or during Sparks? I don't got time to do research now.
    gtg
    ps
    going to listen to this again later, I only heard that one time last time but I was in a emotional state so it got kind of weird
     
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    Death on two legs - that intro is ridiculously cool already! With that eerie piano and the kind of evil sounding guitar, Awesome! Also killer harmonies!

    Lazing on a Sunday afternoon - hahahaha, this is awesome! This is such a nice chill song with a great vibe too!

    I'm in love with my car - the change from Lazing on a Sunday afternoon to I'm in Love with My car is absolutely brilliant! Really Great song too! Love how Brian May's playing shines through in this and also big up for his tone!

    You're my best friend - another nice feel good song and I dig feel good songs!

    '39 - love the folk feel in this!

    Sweet lady - love the Change up from '39 to this. Just an incredibly solid rock song really

    Seaside rendezvous - oeh, this song is Awesome! It sounds like so much fun!

    The prophet's song - ooh, this sounds killer! Love the intro and the buildup! Also killer harmonies! And that Acapella bit is just shear genius, I don't really know artists that do it and it sounds awesome! Granted, those other artists don't have Freddie.

    Love of my Life - This is simply beautiful😍😍😍😍

    Good Company - hahahaha, this song is great and sounds like so much fun as well!

    Bohemian rhapsody - one of the greatest songs ever written! It also reminds me of champagne so let's just say I have some good memories for this one !

    God save the queen-this is a pretty cool version, they should start using it for international football games 🤪