Album 0079: Queen – A Day At The Races

Release Date: 1976
Genre: Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Tie Your Mother Down (04:50)
2. You Take My Breath Away (05:08)
3. Long Away (03:33)
4. The Millionaire Waltz (04:56)
5. You And I (03:28)
6. Somebody To Love (04:59)
7. White Man (04:59)
8. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (02:54)
9. Drowse (03:46)
10. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (05:55)
11. Tie Your Mother Down (1991 remix by Matt Wallace) (03:44)
12. Somebody To Love (1991 remix by Randy Badazz) (05:01)
13. Tie Your Mother Down (Backing Track Mix 2011) (03:49)
14. Somebody To Love (Live at Milton Keynes, June 1982) (07:57)
15. You Take My Breath Away (Live in Hyde Park, September 1976) (03:07)
16. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (Top of the Pops, July 1977 (Mono)) (02:53)
17. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (HD mix) (04:47)

Total Length: 01:15:48

Tie Your Mother Down is a really fun rock song. Not an amazing track, but a really cool start to the album that kicks it off with a bang. You Take My Breath Away is simply beautiful. It’s a rare song that has nearly brought me to tears. Long Away is a lot of fun, pretty much just a classic Queen song. The guitars are memorable, the vocals are layered and intricate, and it’s overall just catchy as hell.

The Millionaire Waltz is just an insane amount of fun. The only issue I have is with the intro, having the bass at any time not be directly in the center just feels weird. I love all the changes in this song, like a lighthearted Bohemian Rhapsody. You And I is a very good track, but let’s just say it quickly gets outdone in just a moment. Somebody To Love was the big hit single for the album, and man is it something. It’s a huge track, with 100 vocal parts by the band overall, and it’s brilliant. Pretty much everyone can identify with this song, and not even in a generic way. The song makes a pretty deep mark for the psyche of almost every living person, I think.

White Man changes the tone to something more angry. The main riff is incredibly heavy for the band, and the lyrics are pretty well charged. Really cool song. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy then goes back to the fun feeling. This song just begs you to sing along, and there’s just so many neat little bits. Drowse has a very fitting title, it captures that sluggish feeling perfectly, while still being a neat song. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) is almost unbelievable. It’s in that same class of songs as You Take My Breath Away, and to have both on one album seems like an amazing feat. I love everything about this song, from the instruments to the lyrics (including two choruses in Japanese) and the ending that makes the album cyclical. Just brilliant.

The bonus tracks start off with some remixes. Tie Your Mother Down almost feels like it’s mixed to be like a country song. Just the feeling I get from how he handled the guitars and drums. I’d say I still prefer the original mix, but this is definitely interesting to hear, as everything is ‘tighter’. Somebody To Love is undoubtedly worse. A lot of it has to do with the style of the time, like how there is an ungodly amount of reverb, but it just seems like the guy didn’t understand the intent of the song.

We then get the backing tracks for Tie Your Mother Down which is pretty neat, but not something you really listen to all the time. There aren’t cool instrumental moments hiding in the background like with some other bands. Somebody To Love is a live track, and of course the arrangement is incredibly different. It has to be to compensate for not having as many vocals available. This would be really cool to experience live, but isn’t great to listen to. You Take My Breath Away is also live, and it’s performed solo by Freddie Mercury. It’s performed a little faster and doesn’t quite hit me as much emotionally.

Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy is also live, but from a TV show so it’s got a bit different energy. It’s also in mono, but it is still just as fun. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) is apparently an HD mix. I’m not sure what that means, but it just sounds like a version mixed with updated technology, and the outro removed. I don’t really like how all of the dynamic range has been removed, but it isn’t near as bad of a remix as the other tracks. Overall, going off of the main album alone even, this is an amazing album. Just love it. It works as an album experience, where a song here or there may not hold up if you listen to it by itself, but the songs work well together very well.

Final Rating: 9.5/10

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