10 December 2013

10th December - Queen's A Day at the Races

Artist – Album: Queen – A Day at the Races
Released: 10th December 1976
Sounds Like: It’s all done in the best possible taste

Queen were the Seventies’ queens of camp and the Seventies was surely the campiest decade of them all. Saturday Night Fever and Grease stormed the box office, ABBA and Village People filled dance floors and you wouldn’t be seen dead unless you were sporting a perfectly coiffured moustache, proud gold medallion and skin-tight sparkly spandex. Everyone smelt of Brut or Old Spice. Admittedly, I still hadn’t been born back then and so my image is based mainly on John Travolta films and talking head programmes like I Love the Seventies, but I think that’s about right. If it isn’t, A Day at the Races isn’t doing anything to make me change my mind.

The fact that ‘Somebody to Love’ – a song that has appeared in the likes of both Glee and Ella Enchanted in recent years – doesn’t come across as particularly overdramatic says a lot about the bombast and pageantry of this set. The group took the view that theatre of A Night at the Opera, the parent album of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ amongst others, ain’t broke and don’t need fixing.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hit the heights of that previous album, with the unabashed pomposity and blatant strive for sales occasionally getting a bit old. Aside from ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘You Take My Breath Away’, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ and (maybe) ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ the rest of the album is – although never boring – just a little bit too silly.

Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       Tie Your Mother Down – 4:48
2.       You Take My Breath Away – 5:09
3.       Long Away – 3:34
4.       The Millionaire Waltz – 4:54
5.       You and I – 3:25
6.       Somebody to Love – 4:56
7.       White Man – 4:59
8.       Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy – 2:54
9.       Drowse – 3:45
10.   Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) – 5:50

Listen to ‘Somebody to Love’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pMM4iwC-ag

Also released on the 10th December:
2002: GZA/Genius – Legend of the Liquid Sword

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