Over the weekend I was flipping through my iPod and found my Queen collection.
I immediately put in “Night at the Opera,” my favorite Queen album — the one that sports the track “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
But it wasn’t “BR” that I wanted to hear. No. It was my favorite Queen composition, “The Prophet Song.”
What a wonderful headphone experience. The song, which is loosely based on Noah and the Great Flood, is a progressive-rock masterpiece.
With lead singer Freddie Mercury’s vocal gymnastics and the band’s and producer Roy Thomas Baker’s knack for overdubbing, the song — especially the a cappella interlude — is a sonic trip.
The overlaying vocals were done without the use of Pro Tools or computers and synthesizers. Take in to account the album was released in 1975.
Anyway, after “The Prophet Song” wrapped up with the acoustic guitar outro, I immediately started the whole album over.
There is so much passion in Mercury’s voice and the songwriting and arrangements are not only clever, but epic.
From the angry lashout of “Death on Two Legs” to the ukelele node to the roaring ’20s ditty, “Good Company,” the frolicking “Seaside Rendezvous” and the rock-radio staples “I’m in Love With My Car” and “You’re My Best Friend,” the album is flawless.
Brian May’s trademark distorted guitars and clean, soaring leads, along with dynamic rhythm set down by drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon, are the perfect vehicle for Mercury’s dramatic vocalizations.
In fact, when the flowing ballad “Love of My Life” comes on, I get a bit emotional and remember Nov. 24, 1991. That’s the day the flamboyant and charismatic Mercury died.
I’d like to see pop stars of today do what Queen did back in the day without the use of computer programs.