I’m a major Queen fan. Absolutely love the sound of the band and their evolution into one of the greatest pop/rock acts of all time. A Day at the Races is their follow-up to the phenomenal A Night at the Opera (which gave us “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and it is my favorite Queen album.
The album opens with a big intro, almost a mini-overture of songs to come, blending themes from “White Man” and “Teo Torriatte” before getting down and dirty to the first track, “Tie Your Mother Down.” This is a blues/rock piece that has Freddie Mercury growling about the object of his desire’s family getting in the way of his fun. Next we have the textured harmonics “You Take My Breath Away.” This leads into the plaintive love song by Brian May, “Long Away” (one of my favorite tracks). We go to the dancehall with “The Millionaire Waltz”–somewhat reminiscent of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but still very much it’s own thing. Then we go into John Deacon’s “You and I”, an upbeat love song and another favorite. Then we get to the meat of the album–the gospel-infused “Somebody to Love”. This one was a staple of the their live shows and the big hit from the album. Now we have the hard and heavy “White Man,” deploring the plight of the Native Americans. We return to the dancehall with “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.” Roger Taylor’s “Drowse” is another heavy piece, in 12/8 time. The finale of the album, “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together), is probably my favorite track on the album–I even quoted from it for my wedding invitations back in the day.
Overall, A Day at the Races is a great album with lots to offer any ear. I think it is one of the most eclectic and creative albums Queen ever put out.