In the Album A Night At The Opera what original features did the Queen Create?


A Night At The Opera
The band Queen got together in 1971 and it started from the two band members (Roger Taylor and Brian May) of the group called Smile. They went on their first tour of the United States when supporting Mott the Hoople. In November 1974 the album called Sheer Heart Attack moved on from progressive rock to more melody line dominated songs with accessible tracks that were more suitable for broadcasting. This is the case with a lot of bands of the future because although a lot of progressive rock features are still heard in Bohemian Rhapsody and the Prophet's Song, A Night at the Opera features a lot of different styled songs too.

Back in the day, A Night at the opera was the most expensively produced album ever. This was because it experimented a lot with the capabilities of the stereo sound systems and it also featured a much wider range of musical styles. The title of the album comes from the Marx Brothers film and went triple platinum in the United States, as well as being very successful in the UK.

Just like The Beatles album Sgt Pepper, this album has a concept. However, this album's concept is based on an evening's entertainment or a performance night. The style of Music Hall is a relevant genre for this album. There is a selection of musical numbers that represent different themes like the operatic idea of the latter half of Bohemian Rhapsody, the chorus of The Prophet's Song and the aria style of Love of My Life. Although the album is in a concept format, there are still some inconsistencies in the direction of it.

The album contains many unusual structures as songs use the verse chorus structure and some choruses are indistinguishable from the verse because they are so short (like in You're My Best Friend). Sometimes, the verses are only a small part of the song like in Sweet Lady for example. Although, often, a section is repeated and accompanied by a change of the lyrics like in Death on Two Legs or the music changes like in You're My Best Friend. Some of the tracks in this album are extended (Sweet Lady) or some use a lot of extra material like the cadence that is at the end of I'm in Love with my Car. This is reminiscent of Sgt Pepper and so is the change in the repeated sections.

Although The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody and Love of my Life all have some operatic connections, whilst others have music hall, skiffle, country and western, rock, heavy rock and some metal influences. Most of them contain Queen's infamous vocal harmonisation timbres, falsetto pitches and musical triads to give the band a recognisable sound.

In many of Queen's tracks, they show their individual approach to harmonies which helps to define and create their sound of individuality. Queen use a lot of chord shifts and chord progressions which are shown in Death on Two Legs and 39, even though these two tracks have a very different nature and sound. The piano sounds that they use are very unusual because they try to establish a synthesizer as a standard band instrument. However, some tracks use harps, kotos and latters (like I The Prophet's Song).

Overall, Queen spent a long time experimenting with different technologies and using unusual instruments and sounds to create and individual sound and style to become recognisable in the music world. They created a very unusual rock music video for Bohemian Rhapsody including live concert footage as well as other shots of the band singing and playing instruments. This album was one of their most successful and original of the time.

Written By: Pippa Timmons (Stockport, United Kingdom)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

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