- Released: September 3, 1991
- Label: Hollywood Records
Q - p.129Ranked #2
in Q Magazine's "10 Essential Reissues Of 2006."
Q - 6/00, p.72Ranked #41
in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q - 12/93, p.1433 Stars
- Good - "...Even 'Bohemian Rhapsody' pales into significance next to the epic eight-minute toss of 'The Prophet Song'..."
Uncut - p.853 stars out of 5
-- "[L]istening again to A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is a reminder of the extent of the band's barmy diversity."
Q (Magazine) - p.118
"It's a record to which all four contributed fine songs, and one of extremes -- among the crashing rock and proggy wigouts were love songs, acoustic whimsy, a trad-jazz pastiche and a brace of vaudeville show tunes."
Q (Magazine) - p.1184 stars out of 5
-- "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA gave Queen their first Number 1, houses 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' and includes everything from spaced-out prog-rock to '30s-era vaudeville..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/02, p.27
"...An imperial extravaganza, a cornucopia; a band of hungrily competitive individualists on a big roll of friendship and delight..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.994 stars out of 5
-- "'Sweet Lady' bites with the ferocity of the most grizzled heavy metal..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.965 stars out of 5
-- "Containing not one but two monumental epics, and gorging on grandiose gestures galore, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA secured itself instant classic status."
- 1.Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)
- 2.Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
- 3.I'm in Love with My Car
- 4.You're My Best Friend
- 6.Sweet Lady
- 7.Seaside Rendezvous
- 8.The Prophet's Song
- 9.Love of My Life
- 10.Good Company
- 11.Bohemian Rhapsody
- 12.God Save the Queen
- 13.I'm in Love with My Car - (Remix, Mike Shipley's 1991 bonus remix, previously unreleased)
- 14.You're My Best Friend - (Remix, Matt Wallace's 1991 bonus remix, previously unreleased)
Queen: Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano); Brian May (guitar, harp, ukulele, background vocals); John Deacon (electric piano, acoustic & electric basses); Roger Taylor (percussion, background vocals).
Recorded at Sarm Studios, Roundhouse Studios, Olympic Studios, Scorpio Studios, Landsdowne Studios, London, England and Rockfield Studios, Wales.
Personnel: Brian May (vocals, guitar, banjo, koto, ukulele, harmonica, keyboards); Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano); Roger Taylor (vocals, drums, percussion); John Deacon (guitar, electric piano, double bass, electric bass).
Audio Remasterer: Steve Hoffman.
Recording information: Lansdowne (1975); Olympic (1975); Rockfield (1975); Roundhouse (1975); Sarm (1975); Scorpio (1975).
Queen were straining at the boundaries of hard rock and heavy metal on Sheer Heart Attack, but they broke down all the barricades on A Night at the Opera, a self-consciously ridiculous and overblown hard rock masterpiece. Using the multi-layered guitars of its predecessor as a foundation, A Night at the Opera encompasses metal ("Death on Two Legs," "Sweet Lady"), pop (the lovely, shimmering "You're My Best Friend"), campy British music hall ("Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon," "Seaside Rendezvous"), and mystical prog rock ("'39," "The Prophet's Song"), eventually bringing it all together on the pseudo-operatic "Bohemian Rhapsody." In short, it's a lot like Queen's own version of Led Zeppelin IV, but where Zep find dark menace in bombast, Queen celebrate their own pomposity. No one in the band takes anything too seriously, otherwise the arrangements wouldn't be as ludicrously exaggerated as they are. But the appeal -- and the influence -- of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It's prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics, and Queen never bettered their approach anywhere else. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine