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QUEEN - A NIGHT AT THE
Probably Queen's finest album, with no real weak song, and the finest example of the group's versatility. All four show their songwriting talents and musical skill. Brian May plays the harp and ukelele, John Deacon plays the double bass and electric piano, Roger Taylor shows what a great rock voice he has, and Freddie Mercury is at his finest - alternately camp, snarling, tender and rocking.
This gem has cleverly written music with witty and/or moving lyrics, and the usual flamboyant Queen touches. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is an amalgam of what Queen were all about.
On here you'll find music hall such as 'Seaside Rendezvous', 'Good Company', and 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon'; folk via Brian May's '39'; rumbustious rock with spiteful lyrics - 'Death On Two Legs' and 'Sweet Lady'; and rumbustious rock with witty lyrics - Roger Taylor's 'I'm In Love With My Car'. There's sweet ballads - 'Love Of My Life' and the sun-filled John Deacon's 'You're My Best Friend'. Though 'The Prophet's Song' is an inferior precursor to 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and drags a tad in the first part, it germinates into a tour de force.
Freddie Mercury's magnum opus, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' mixes opera and hard rock, in which, in the wrong hands, could have been an embarrassing disaster of Spinal Tap proportions, but Queen pull this off with such aplomb that it'd be hard not to place it in any top 10 songs from the rock era. It's not long enough if anything, and I would have loved to have heard an Iron Butterfly version! Even the dirge that is normally the British National Anthem sparkles in a rather clever finale.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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