ARTIST:

QUEEN

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

A DAY AT THE RACES

(1976)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Happy, Symphonic, Theatrical
""A Day At The Races" provides further proof of the incredible eclecticism that Queen is capable of."
CORTO1809 (10.05.2011)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

"A Day At The Races" comes barely a year after the very successful "A Night At The Opera". Probably based on the principle that you don't change a winning team, Queen kept on using in this album all the recipes that worked so well with the previous one. Starting with a disturbing imitation in the choice of the sleeve: where "A Night At The Opera" presented the coats of arms of their lordships on a white background, "A Day At The Races" inscribed them on a black background. White for the "night", black for the "day", which is logical! The two titles are borrowed, in chronological order, from two Marx Brothers films, underlining if it was still useful the playful character of the band at that time.

The compositions alternate Freddie Mercury's ones with those of May (4 tracks), Deacon and Taylor (one track each), a slight difference from the previous album where the first side opened and closed with two Mercury tracks framing the concentrated compositions of the other band members. What doesn't change, however, is the extraordinary diversity of the musical palette that Queen offers, going with disconcerting ease from a rock as punchy as it is predictable ('Tie Your Mother Down') to a quirky waltz ('The Millionaire Waltz'), from a romantic bluette ('You And I') to gospel choirs ('Somebody To Love'), from an Indian war song ('White Man') to a poignant melancholic song ('You Take My Breath Away').

Of course, not all the tracks are of the same intensity and 'Long Away', 'You And I' or 'Drowse' are a little below, even if they remain at a very honourable level. None of these tracks are by Mercury, whose songwriting skills are at their peak, magnifying each of his compositions with his extraordinary voice, from the almost tragic overtones of 'You Take My Breath Away' and 'Somebody To Love' to the unbridled fantasy and extravagance of 'The Millionaire Waltz' and 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'. Freddie Mercury also shines with his intense performance on 'White Man', in a warlike and protesting vein unusual for the band, and his sensitivity on the moving 'Teo Torriate', sung partly in Japanese.

"A Day At The Races' once again proves the incredible eclecticism of which our compatriots are capable. Queen is fortunate to have four talented songwriters, each with their own musical universe, although Freddie Mercury is undoubtedly in the upper category with his boundless creativity. This album also marks the end of the golden age, as Queen was struggling to reach such a level thereafter.


More informations on http://www.queenonline.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Tie Your Mother Down – 4:48
02. You Take My Breath Away – 5:09
03. Long Away – 3:34
04. The Millionaire Waltz – 4:54
05. You And I – 3:25
06. Somebody To Love – 4:56
07. White Man – 4:59
08. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy – 2:54
09. Drowse – 3:45
10. Teo Torriate (let Us Cling Together) – 5:50

LINEUP:
Brian May: Chant / Guitares / choeurs
Freddie Mercury: Chant / piano, choeurs
John Deacon: Basse
Roger Taylor: Chant / Batterie / choeurs
   
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