Saturday, January 07, 2006

30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA"


I PROBABLY DON'T MENTION IT ENOUGH HERE BUT QUEEN IS WITHOUT HESITATION MY FAVOURITE BAND OF ALL TIME (BLUR ARE A CLOSE SECOND, THOUGH I'M NOT THE BIGGEST FAN OF BLUR MARK 2). I WAS FORUTNATE ENOUGH TO SEE THEM TWICE IN CONCERT ("JAZZ" AND "THE GAME") AND CAN'T REMEMBER SEEING A BETTER LIVE BAND EVER. I WAS GUTTED WHEN QUEEN SIGNED TO HOLLYWOOD RECORDS AND THERE WAS TALK OF A TOUR, THEN THE OTHERS STARTED DOING PUBLICITY WITH FREDDIE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT STORY ENDS.

I LOVE MOST OF THE QUEEN ALBUMS THROUGH "THE GAME" BUT CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT I'VE LISTENED TO "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA" MORE TIMES THAN ALL OF THE OTHERS COMBINED (AND MORE THAN ANY OTHER RECORD I'VE EVER OWNED FOR THAT MATTER). I REMEMBER SITTING IN MY BEDROOM IN PONCHATOULA, LOUISIANA WITH MY BIG ASS KOSS HEADPHONES ON, STARING UP AT MY SUPERSIZED FREDDIE POSTER (WHITE TIGHTS, CLUTCHING THE SAWED OFF MIC STAND, IN FRONT OF THE BIG WALL OF RED, WHITE AND GREEN LIGHTS) AND THINKING THAT THIS WAS THE MOST PROFOUND MUSIC I'D EVER HEARD (AND THE "TRIPPY" STEREO EFFECTS WERE THE BEST, ESPECIALLY AFTER SMOKING A BUNCH OF DOPE - USUALLY IN A BONG FILLED WITH ORANGE CRUSH). I'D LOVE TO SAY THAT FREDDIE WAS AN INSPIRATION TO ME IN MY STRUGGLE WITH MY SEXUAL IDENTITY AS A YOUNG TEEN,BUT THE TRUTH IS, I NEVER MADE THE ASSOCIATION. FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, I WAS IN BUM FUCK NOWHERE AND HAD NOT A CLUE ABOUT ANY GAY SIGNIFIERS. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT "QUEEN" WAS SLANG FOR HOMOSEXUAL? I SUPPOSE I DID MAKE A PSYCHIC CONNECTION INSPITE OF MY CLUELESSNESS BECAUSE SOMEHOW THAT MUSIC REALLY SPOKE TO ME. IT ROCKED BUT IT ALSO POPPED AND OPERAED AND VAUDEVILLED. AND I THOUGHT ROGER TAYLOR WAS JUST ABOUT THE DREAMIEST GUY I'D EVER SEEN AT THAT POINT IN MY LIFE (F.Y.I. - HE'S QUITE THE THICK BEAR TYPE THESE DAYS AND RATHER SEXY).

TO COMMEMORATE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RELEASE OF "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA" IN 1975,HOLLYWOOD RECORDS HAS RELEASED A 2 DISC SPECIAL EDITION OF THE ALBUM. THE SET INCLUDES A REMASTRED CD VERSION AND A DVD CONTAINING VIDEOS FOR EACH SONG. "YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND" AND "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" (A LANDMARK IN THE ROCK VIDEO REVOLUTION) ARE REPRESENTED BY THE ORIGINAL PROMO VIDEOS. THE OTHER SONGS HAVE HAD VIDEOS CONSTRUCTED FOR THEM FROM OLD FOOTAGE OF QUEEN IN CONCERT AROUND THE TIME THIS RECORD WAS RELEASED. ASIDE FROM SOME DODGY FOOTAGE OF A PRESENT DAY BRIAN MAY, THIS MAKES FOR MESMERIZING VIEWING. THE FOOTAGE IS ALL BEFORE FREDDIE'S TRANSFORMATION TO "VILLAGE PERSON" AND QUEEN NEVER LOOKED BETTER. THIS IS A MUST OWN FOR ANY SERIOUS QUEEN FAN AND FOR THOSE WHO DON'T OWN THIS ON CD, A COMPELLING REASON TO PICK IT UP.

"NOW YOU CAN KISS, MY ASS GOODBYE..."

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