Path: Queen - Royal Legend - Albums: A Day At The Races

Albums: A Day At The Races

'Long Away' is the first Queen single, sang by Brian.

At the end of 'Drowse' are these words (according to '84 Fan Club magazine):
"Think I'll have my eggs poached for breakfast again
I'd like to be Clint Eastwood
Jimi Hendrix, he was great
Let's try William The Conqueror
Now who else do I like?"

'A Day At The Races' album produced by Queen.

Live shoots for 'Somebody To Love' video were recorded in Hyde Park.

Queen about the record:
Brian
"I wish in some ways that we had put 'A Night At The Opera' and 'A Day At The Races' out together because the material for both of them was more or less written at the same time, and it corresponds to an almost exactly similar period in our development, so I regard the two albums as completely parallel, and the fact that one came out after the other is a shame, because it was looked on as a follow-up, whereas really it was sort of an extension of the first one."
Freddie
[about albsence of R.T.Baker] "We finally got that organized. We just felt that, for this one, we needed a bit of a change. We were quite confident in doing it ourselves. The other albums we really co-produced, actually we always took a very keen interest."
"There are definitely different sounds and a few surprises on the album, but we've still maintained the basic Queen sound."
"I feel this time that we've got quite a few strong singles. It was a very hard choice, to be honest. Picking the first single is a matter of taste. We settled on `Somebody To Love' to start things rolling. It's one of my tracks,"
"It's new, it's slightly different, but it still sounds like the Queen that used to be. A Day At The Races is definitely a follow-up to A Night At The Opera. Hence the title. We learned a lot from A Night At The Opera about studio technique."
"Each time we go into the studios, it gets that much more difficult, because we're trying to progress, to write songs that sound different from the past. The first album is easy, because you've always got a lot in your head that you're anxious to put down. As the albums go by, you think, `They'll say I'm repeating a formula.' I'm very conscious of that."
Roger
"It was all very amicable. Roy's been in and out of the country. He's heard some rough mixes. Who knows? Maybe he'll be back producing the next one! It's been tremendous pressure recording this album."
"I think it turned out for the better. Taking more responsibility has been good for us. Roy's been great, but it's a progression. really - another step in our career. We simply felt that it was now or never."
" `Somebody To Love' is Aretha Franklin-influenced. Freddie's very much into that. We tried to keep the track in a loose, gospel-type feel. I think it's the loosest track we've ever done."
"This time out we missed Roy's cheerfulness. He contributed a lot technically, and we've capitalized on it."
"We took a break in the midst of it to play three gigs. It was great to get away from the studio for a bit, and it was great playing live, again-that's a much more immediate satisfaction."

Brian (about Tie Your Mother Down)
"In this song were endless guitar courses by Escher's model. With 'Tie Your Mother Down' we have been starting all live shows in that time. Virtually, it has been written with this idea."
"The genesis of the song goes back to when I was doing by Ph.d in astronomy. I spent a few months in Tenerife, and every day when the sun went down I'd go to the top of a mountain and just play a lovely Spanish guitar I had back then - which I've subsequently lost. And I came up with this riff, which stuck in my head.
When I played that riff I used to sing the phrase 'tie your mother down', just as a joke really. Years later when we finally came to recording the song properly, I fully expected this to be changed, but Freddie believed it to be perfect. Musically the riff was heavily influenced by Rory Gallagher who was an inspiration to me as a musician and a person, and because of the title it came to represent teenage angst, somebody who really wanted to tie their parents down. And because it's so dramatic, it's always been a good way to open or close a set. In fact, I visualised smoke bombs and lighting changes in the studio. It was that sort of song."
"It was supposed to be the musical equivalent of that ridiculous staircase going around four side of a square, and it seems to always be going upwards. It's an Escher painting. It's supposed to be the equivalent of that because every part is going up, and each part fades into an ocatve below. It's also backwards, because I played it all descending."

Brian (about Dead On Time)
"The explosions at the end are a real thunderstorm which occured when we were in the south of France."

Freddie (about Tie Your Mother Down)
"We start off with a track from Brian called 'Tie Your Mother Down' which we've recently put in the live act. In fact, we played it at Hyde Park before we recorded it. I was able to come to grips with the song in front of an audience before I had to cut the vocal. Being a very raucous track, it worked well for me."

Freddie (about You Take My Breath Away)
"'You Take My Breath Away' is a slow ballad with a new twist. That's another track I did at Hyde Park, with just me on the piano. It was very nerve-wracking playing all by myself in front of 200,000 people. I didn't think my voice would come through," Freddie jokes, half-serious, "It's a very emotional, laid-back number.

Freddie (about Long Away)
"'Long Away' is a twelve-string thing written by Brian...very interesting harmonies.

Freddie (about The Millionaire Waltz)
"'The Millionaire Waltz' is quite outlandish, really. It's the kind of track I like to put on every album. Something way outside Queen's format. Brian has orchestrated it fully with guitars like he's never done before. He goes from tubas to piccolos to cellos. It's taken weeks. Brian's very finnicky. Anyway, this track is something that Queen has never done before - a Strauss waltz!"

Roger (about The Millionaire Waltz)
"It's comparable to 'Bohemian Rhapsody', in the sense that it's an arranged, intricate number. There are several time-signature changes, though not quite so many vocal overdubs."

Freddie (about You And I)
"'You And I' is John Deacon's track. It's very John Deacon, with more raucous guitars. After I'd done the vocals, John put all these guitars in, and the mood has changed. I think it's his strongest song to date."

Freddie (about White Man)
"'White Man' is the B side. It's Brian's song, a very bluesy track. Gave me the opportunity to do raucous vocals. I think it'll be a great stage number.

Freddie (about Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy)
"'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy' is one of my vaudeville numbers. I always do a vaudeville track, 'though `Loverboy' is more straightforward than 'Seaside Rendezvous', for instance. It's quite simple piano-vocals with a catchy beat; the album needs it to sort of ease off."

Freddie (about Drowse)
"'Drowse' is a very interesting song of Roger's. Roger is very rock and roll. It's got great slide guitar from Brian and Roger's done octave vocals. It's a very hum-able tune, actually, I sing it all the time."

Freddie (about Teo Torriatte)"The album ends with a Japanese thing, a track from Brian called 'Teo Torriatte,' which means 'let us cling together.' It's a very emotional track, one of his best. Brian plays harmonium and some lovely guitar. It's a nice song to close the side."

Reviews:
A Day At The Races
Sounds : It's too complicated, too refined and too dependent on art work instead of real inspiration. While I'm convinced, that Queen has produced a lot of immpressive, difficult and fine music during few last years, behind all this grace must be something. If I'm going wrong about my oppinion, I'm sorry for premature verdict.

Tie Your Mother Down
NME : They are back, where they came from, in hard rock.

Other versions:
Somebody To Love
Hollywood Remix 1991
Not too different, only re-arranged drums.

Tie Your Mother Down
Hollywood Remix 1991
Identical beginning to album version, but then with little differences. Brian's guitar has been removed.
Single Version
On 7" version has cutted intro (on the album there's guitar intro, which has nothing to do with this song), it makes it shorter about 1 minute.
Video Version
Identical to single version, with big thunder noice at the beginning.

Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
Top Of The Pops Version
With extra vocals by Roger, a little bit faster tempo

My opinion:
7/10
With same odour as 'A Night At The Opera' album, but not too superior. There's a lot of hits, like 'Somebody To Love', 'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy', 'Tie Your Mother Down'...
Recently I've added one point in overall rank, as the album had totally entered my brain. The Millionaire Waltz, what a composition! It deserves careful listening to spot all that small cleverly arranged parts. I admire it as one of the Queen's Holy Trio (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Millionaire Waltz, Innuendo). Brian's Long Away is catchy and perfectly done. John fulgurated with You And I and Roger came with Drowse - totally strainess, as the title says itself.