Queen is a band known for having an impeccable discography, but no album is more iconic than A Night At The Opera. And wouldn’t you know, that’s the theme of this week’s episode of Queen The Greatest. But here’s the bit you may not know: the band was not doing very well before making this album!
“We were not only poor, but we were in debt. All the sound and lighting companies and the people that hadn’t been paid. So, we were at a really crucial point. We might have had to break up if that album hadn’t done well.”
– Brian May, about A Night At The Opera
In the episode, we see the band talk about how they were struggling at that point and needed to do something big. And man, did they achieve their goal! A Night At The Opera is still an album people love to this day. And because we’re huge fans of their music (as everyone should be), we wanted to list our favorite songs from A Night At The Opera as a way to celebrate the album that made sure Queen stayed together.
If you’ve never had the experience of singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at karaoke with your friends, that’s going to be added to your bucket list right this second. It’s an order. The most iconic song to come out of the last century, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ was always going to get the first spot on this list. Only Freddie Mercury’s mind could come up with a song like this, mixing rock with opera.
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‘Death On Two Legs’
‘Death On Two Legs’ is the perfect song to scream along to whenever you’re mad at someone. And there’s a reason for it. The song was written about Queen’s former manager, who wasn’t exactly the most supportive person to the band, eventually leading them to part ways before recording A Night At The Opera. Now you know why the lyrics hit so hard.
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‘‘39’ is, in Brian May’s words, “a sci-fi folk song.” The guitarist wrote the song about an astronaut that goes on a year-long mission, except when he comes back, 100 years have passed on Earth, and all his loved ones are long gone. This is one of the very few songs in which May sings lead vocals. It’s incredibly cool how Brian May combined his two main interests in this song: music and space (he studied astrophysics before becoming a member of the world’s greatest rock band).
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‘Love Of My Life’
One of Queen’s best love songs, ‘Love Of My Life,’ was written by Freddie Mercury and became so successful that there is no Queen concert without it. Sometimes, the crowd even carries most of the song, like when they played it in Latin America in the 80s. To this day, this song can make both the audience and the band themselves emotional.
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‘You’re My Best Friend’
Listening to this song sounds like watching a family TV show from the 70s, making us very happy. Bassist John Deacon wrote the song about his wife. How cute is that? ‘You’re My Best Friend’ makes us go all heart eyes.
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‘Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon’
1 minute and 7 seconds. That’s how long this song is, but it is so good! In part, it’s because it pointed to the more extravagant direction the band’s sound would go in for their following albums. It sounded nothing like the usual rock ‘n’ roll people expected from Queen, but at the same time, it was very much Queen in its unique way.
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Liked our choices? What’s your favorite song from A Night At The Opera? Tell us in the comments, or tweet us @TheHoneyPop! We’re gonna love to hear from you!
Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Universal Music