A Night at the Opera is the 4th studio album by British rock group Queen, released in November 1975. Co-produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen, it was the most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release. A commercial success, A Night at the Opera has been voted by the public and cited by music publications as one of Queen's finest works. The album takes its name from the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera, which the band watched one night at the studio complex when recording. The album was originally released by EMI in the UK, where it topped the UK Albums Chart for 4 non-consecutive weeks, and Elektra Records in the US, where it peaked at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and became the band's first platinum selling album in the US.
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 (instrumental)
1. Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...) could only be referred to as Freddie Mercury's hate letter towards Queen's ex-manager, Norman Sheffield, who for some years was reputed to have mistreated the band and abused his role as their manager from 1972 to 1975. However this was later denied in an autobiography by Sheffield published in 2013. Though the song never made a direct reference to him, upon listening to a playback of the song at Trident Studios during the time of album release, Sheffield was appalled and sued the band and the record label for defamation which resulted in an out of court settlement, and this later revealed to the public his connection to the song.
Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
12. God Save the Queen was recorded by May in 1974 before their Sheer Heart Attack tour. He played a guide piano which was edited out later and added several layers of guitars. After the song was completed it was played as an outro at virtually every concert Queen played. When recording the track May played a rough version on piano for Roy Thomas Baker. He called his own skills on the piano sub-par at the time. Guitar layering is one of May's distinctive techniques as a rock guitarist. He has said that the technique was developed whilst looking for a violin sound. For tracks like this, he stated he can use "up to 30" layers, using a small amplifier named the "Deacy Amp" built by Deacon, and later released commercially like the "Brian May" amplifier by Vox.
Freddie Mercury–lead and backing vocals, piano, jangle piano, woodwind vocalisations on "Seaside Rendezvous"
Brian May–guitars, ukelele, backing vocals, lead vocals on "'39" and "Good Company", toy koto on "The Prophet's Song", harp on "Love of My Life"
Roger Taylor–drums, percussion, lead vocals on "I'm in Love with My Car", brass vocalisations on "Seaside Rendezvous", backing vocals
John Deacon–bass guitar, double-bass, electric piano on "You're My Best Friend", acoustic guitars
Mike Stone–executive engineer
Gary Lyons–additional engineering
John Harris–equipment supervision
David Costa–art direction
Rick Curtin and Brian Palmer–special thanks
This is a Classic Albums documentary about the making of A Night at the Opera album.
The Making of A Night at the Opera