Friday, November 17, 2006

First album...thats 33rpm...12" size!!

I'm lying on my back laptop on my stomach, earphones plugged in listening to Queen Live in Rio, a bootleg I just downloaded off the 'net, and low and behold it's made me look back to my first ever album. Now that's VINYL folks, you know the stuff that used to come in big 12" slipcases with artwork you noticed, and sleeve notes you bothered to read. I swear I could have recited by heart the names of the songs, the band, the producer, engineer and tea lady on all my vinyl stuff. Now I couldn't even tell you the titles of the tracks on my favourite cds. Last Sunday I went to see Muse at the Cardiff International Arena, fucking amazing show..but me and my mate Gaz...about 5,000+ cds between us couldn't name half the titles of the songs, and I bleeding love their stuff....its never off the car stereo.

Anyway I digress, Its Christmas 1975 and my first ever album is "Night at the Opera" by Queen, and what a great start it was on my musical journey. Must have cost about £3 and I seem to remeber it coming from Woolworths on Queens Street in Cardiff, a shop long since gone. I posed and played air guitar to this for about 3 years before it inspired me (along with a few others) to pick up a guitar and try it all for real. Of course 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is the one everyone drools over, but seek out great tracks like 'I'm in Love with my Car', 'Sweet Lady' and the awesome 'Prophet's Song' which outranks its more famous counterpart in all respects. It still stands the test of time, not dated much, and funnily enough Muse's latest Cd contains enough trace elements of that Queen sound that if they were nuts would make it carry a health warning. However its not quite the same on cd as on vinyl, not sure why, I'm no audio geek, but this one only REALLY cuts it when is big and black!....I'm sure Freddie would agree!

Here's the Amazon review of Queen's magnum opus, cos I'm too tired to type any more:

" One of the most preposterous albums ever made, A Night at the Opera also remains one of the most popular. While it is difficult to completely dislike a record that successfully introduced the phrase "Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango?" into the popular lexicon, it is harder still to understand quite what Queen were thinking of when they made this. Whether or not Queen were fully aware of their own absurdity remains a moot point. However, if one can find the hefty psychic hooks and pulleys necessary to suspend this much disbelief, A Night at the Opera is a perversely enjoyable record. The awesomely daft and supremely catchy "Bohemian Rhapsody" aside, it contains the almost equally risible excursions "The Prophet's Song" and "39", a couple of the irresistibly amusing headbanger numbers that Queen could write in their sleep ("Death On Two Legs") and the very possibly heartfelt pop ballad "You're My Best Friend". Immortally baffling, like the pyramids. Yet also enjoyably compelling."

And the artwork is brilliant too!

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