QUEEN — A Day At The Races (review)

QUEEN — A Day At The Races album cover Album · 1976 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
"A Day at the Races" is Queen's answer to "A Night at The Opera" that transcended Queen history with its masterful 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

So this album is the act that follows, a difficult task, given the status of the previous album. It begins with a backwards musical section and then the killer 'Tie Your Mother Down' crunches out, a song that became a live staple for the band and an excellent opening track showcasing Mercury's inimitable vocal style.

'You Take My Breath Away' is a soft ballad like a dull lullaby and I never did like these Queen ballads.

'Millionaire Waltz' is a strange fractured tracks with trademark Queen harmonies. There is even an odd waltz like lead break and it moves from minimalist piano to duel guitars, sounding like a bourgeoisie dance hall song at times. Innovative and complex structure and takes off towards the end.

'You and I' is a piano led track with medium paced drums and bass and multilayered harmonies.

'Somebody to Love' is a famous Queen anthem with very layered bombastic harmonies and it builds to a majestic conclusion, once again a fan favourite and often sung on a live set.

'White Man' is one of the highlights with excellent structure and strong guitar melodies and riffs.

'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy' is terrible Mercury and piano lyrical nonsense that is corny to the max but thankfully only short.

'Drowse' has some cool guitar slides and is very different where May takes the vocals I believe.

'Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)' is one of the better ballads with piano, and features some foreign language creating an intriguing song, though it is as self important, pomp and bombastic as other ballads. It feels all a bit dated and kitsch like 'We are the World', uplifting but corny in the style. At the end a backmasked musical section bookends the album.

So it does not live up to its predecessor's reputation, but it is not too bad with some of the best Queen tracks in their history.

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