A Day At The Races


Elektra, 1976


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


mundane adj 1: found in the ordinary course of events; "a placid everyday scene"; "it was a routine day."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I bring up this Webster's definition because after listening to Queen's fifth album, A Day At The Races, I felt like I had accomplished nothing. A band that normally provides albums so different, so compelling and so diverse managed to actually bore me halfway through it.

Of course, there are a few highlights to keep this from being a total disgrace to the Queen legacy. But sandwiched between News Of The World and A Night At The Opera, this is a letdown.

The opening "Tie Your Mother Down" is a great ride, showcasing what could have been, but the momentum is slowed by one of those interminable Broadway ballads; neither "Good old Fashioned Lover Boy" or "You Take My Breath Away" are very catchy or enjoyable. Likewise "Long Away," "You and I" and "Drowse," which just don't catch fire the way the bulk of Sheer Heart Attack or A Night at the Opera did. 

Worth hearing at least once are the funny "Millionaire Waltz," the gorgeous "Teo Torriate" and the megahit "Somebody to Love," as good a showcase for Freddie Mercury's voice as any. One could argue the closing portion of the song - the a cappella part where multiple Freddies sing "Find me somebody to love" around each other - is a better showcase for his talents than all of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

The follow-up to a classic always is tough for great bands, and Queen would do much better the next time out with News of the World. As such, this just presents Queen in a holding pattern, neither as funny, pompous or essential as their best work.

Rating: C-

User Rating: A-


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