Queen - A Day at the Races


Queen - A Day at the Races

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Queen - A Day at the Races
A Day at the Races (Queen).jpg
Studio album by Queen
Released 10 December 1976
Recorded July – November 1976
Studio The Manor, Sarm East, Wessex
Genre Hard rock
Length 44:24
Label EMI Parlophone, Parlophone (Europe)
 
Producer Queen
Queen chronology
A Night at the Opera
(1975)
A Day at the Races
(1976)
News of the World
(1977)
 
Singles from A Day at the Races
  1. "Somebody to Love"
    Released: 12 November 1976
  2. "Tie Your Mother Down"
    Released: 4 March 1977
  3. "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)"
    Released: 25 March 1977 (Japan only)
  4. "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (Queen's First EP)"
    Released: 20 May 1977
  5. "Long Away"
    Released: 7 June 1977 (US, Canada, New Zealand only)

 

  "A Day at the Races" is the fifth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 10 December 1976. It was the band's first completely self-produced album, and the first not to feature producer Roy Thomas Baker. Recorded at Sarm East, The Manor and Wessex Studios in England, A Day at the Races was engineered by Mike Stone. The title of the album followed suit with its predecessor "A Night at the Opera", taking its name from the subsequent film by the Marx Brothers.

The album peaked at #1 in the UK, Japan and the Netherlands. It reached #5 on the US Billboard 200 and was Queen's fifth album to ship gold in the US, and subsequently reached platinum status in the same country.

"A Day at the Races" was voted the 67th greatest album of all time in a national 2006 BBC poll.

 

 
Reception and legacy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars
Encyclopedia of Popular music 3/5 stars
Pitchfork media 6.6/10
PopMatters 7/10
Q 3/5 stars
Rolling Stone magazine 2/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars
Uncut 3/5 stars

The Washington Post described "A Day at the Races" as "a judicious blend of heavy metal rockers and classically influenced, almost operatic, torch songs." The Winnipeg Free Press was also appreciative, writing, "Races is a reconfirmation of Queen's position as the best of the third wave of English rock groups." Circus gave the album a mixed review, writing, "With A Day at the Races, they've deserted art-rock entirely. They're silly now. And wondrously shameless." Dave Marsh, writing in Rolling Stone, was more critical and described Freddie Mercury as possessing a merely "passable pop voice". He found Queen to be the least experimental of eclectic contemporary rock groups and accused them of having "brazen" "commercial aspirations".

In a retrospective review, AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine cited "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Somebody to Love", along with ballad "You Take My Breath Away", as the best tracks on the record, and said that the album marked a point where Queen "entered a new phase, where they're globe-conquering titans instead of underdogs on the make". Q magazine wrote that "the breadth of its ambition remains ever impressive, as do tracks such as May's stomping 'Tie Your Mother Down' and Mercury's baroque one-two, 'Somebody To Love' and 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'." Ben Sisario, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), found the album "a little too predictable" and called it "a quickie sequel to Opera." Similarly, Aj Ramirez, writing for PopMatters, described the album as "a comparative comedown" and "a good but not stupendous record", while acknowledging the band were "now firmly in command of the mechanics of pop songcraft", which had yielded them more singles than any previous album.

In 2006, a national BBC poll saw "A Day at the Races" voted the 67th greatest album of all time. The same year, in a worldwide Guinness and NME poll to find the "Greatest 100 Albums of All Time", A Day at the Races was voted #87. It was also featured in Classic Rock and Metal Hammer's "The 200 Greatest Albums of the 70s," being listed as one of the 20 greatest albums of 1976. Out ranked it No. 20 of 100 in a poll of "more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives." In the 1987 edition of the The World Critics List, the BBC's Peter Powell ranked "A Day at the Races" the 6th greatest album of all time, and Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times included the record in his "The Great albums" in 2006.

Singles

In the UK the first track to be released as a single was "Somebody to Love" on 12 November 1976 (EMI 2565), reaching #2. "Tie Your Mother Down" followed on 4 March 1977 (EMI 2593), reaching #31, and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" on 20 May 1977, reaching #17. In the US, "Somebody to Love" was released on 10 December 1976 (Elektra E45362) and reached #13. It was followed by "Tie Your Mother Down" (Elektra E45385) in March 1977, which reached #49. Both of these were released in Japan: in addition, "Teo Torriatte" was also released exclusively in Japan.

 

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tie Your Mother Down"   Brian may 4:48
2. "You Take My Breath Away"   Freddie mercury 5:09
3. "Long Away"   May 3:34
4. "The Millionaire Waltz"   Mercury 4:54
5. "You and I"   John Deacon 3:25
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Somebody to Love"   Mercury 4:56
7. "White Man"   May 4:59
8. "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy"   Mercury 2:54
9. "Drowse"   Roger Taylor 3:45
10. "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)"   May 5:50

 

Personnel

Queen

  • Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals, piano
  • Brian May - electric, slide and acousic guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Long Away", plastic piano and harmonium on "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)"
  • Roger Taylor - drums, percussion, backing vocals, timpani, lead vocals and rhythm guitar on "Drowse", gong on "Tie Your Mother Down"
  • John Deacon - bass guitar, acoustic guitar on "You and I"

Additional personnel

  • Mike Stone - additional vocals on "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy"

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada) Platinum 100,000^
Germany (BVMI) Gold 250,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts)   135,000
Poland (ZPAV) Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA) Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

 

 

Queen - A Day at the Races

UK EMI Parlophone EMTC 104 stereo (1976).

Album produced by Queen.

The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The albums hinged cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minor signs of wear.

The albums original inner sleeve is perfectly presented.

the album cover has a strong hinge and spine, displaying clear, printed script.

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