.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/79ebc8835ad48a0d525d93127e221247ba25eed2.png A Night At The Opera

Queen

A Night At The Opera

DCC Compact Classics
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
April 8, 1976

In less than three years, with four albums, Queen has risen from the heavy-metal minor leagues to a position approaching that of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. But the group has some annoying weaknesses, notably a tendency toward lyrical abstraction. In addition, the imagination that inspired the slick ragtime jazz (with vaudeville overtones) of Sheer Heart Attack's "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" becomes obsessive on A Night at the Opera, where the same stylistic idea is reworked, into three songs. But ultimately, the group's willingness to experiment, even when they fail, makes them interesting.

They have the ability to write first-rate pop/rock songs. Guitarist Brian May's "39" is his best attempt yet at Paul McCartney-style crooning, but it's on side two that the vocals really take command. On "The Prophet's Song," the best track, May's powerful guitar perfectly complements the rich, multitracked harmonies of lead singer Freddie Mercury. Throughout the record, the group makes the most effective use of vocal rounds, choruses and harmonies in the heavy-rock genre since Argent's Ring of Hands.

Like all heavy-metal groups, Queen's most easily distinguished trait is a knack for manipulating dynamics. But what sets them apart is their selection of unlikely effects: acoustic piano, harp, acapella vocals, no synthesizers. Coupled with good songs. Queen's obviously the strongest contender in its field.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Whoomp! (There It Is)”

    Tag Team | 1993

    Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com