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A Night At The Opera

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Alternate Versions

Death On Two Legs

Live Instrumental Version
On "The Ultimate Collection" CD. A completely inaccurate description. This is just a live version that cuts out when the vocals start. Don't be fooled.

"The Eye" Version One
From "The Eye" computer game. Disc 5, track 2. The instrumental intro to the song, up to the piano beat that sounds like "Killer Queen". Time 0:40

"The Eye" Version Two
From "The Eye" computer game. Disc 5, track 3. Continues straight from where the previous version left off, and is again an instrumental mix of the album version. The backing vocals remain. If you feel brave enough to edit this and the intro together, you can produce a full instrumental mix. Time 3:07

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

Available on a bootleg called "Made In Heaven", that will presumably be renamed soon, and probably on "Golden Demos" as well. Not genuine, the backing vocals ("There he goes again...") have been removed by someone playing with the stereo effects. Noticeably different, but you can do this at home if you turn your "speaker balance" control fully to one side (I forget which).

Live Version
On several bootlegs, including "The Ultimate Collection". Notable chiefly because the crowd tend to sing along all the way through. Nice and bouncy.

I'm In Love With My Car

Single Version
The original B-side to "Bohemian Rhapsody" (like you didn't know). On the original 7", the version of "...Car" is distinctly different, though it isn't listed as such. Many collectors have been surprised to find this. Basically, the beginning and ending of the song have swapped places; i.e. it starts with an engine revving, and ends in a fade (with no jangly guitar bit at the end). This single can be found pretty cheaply if you just want a listen, unless of course its blue vinyl or the South African 78 you're after. Note the original US 7" has the album mix instead, as does the later CD3. The Japanese CD3 however does have the single mix. Time 3:05

"Queen Rocks" Version
On the "Queen Rocks" compilation album. Though nothing is said about this mix in the sleevenotes, it is most definitely unique. Basically, someone has added the intro to the single mix onto the front of the album version. Presumably putting the whole single mix on was just too darned difficult. So you get the engine noises at the start, yet still keep the engine noise and jangly guitar at the end. Which is quite nice actually. The extra intro stretches the running time by a few seconds too. Time 3:11

Live Version, Freddie Vocal
Supposed to be from Glasgow Barrowlands '79, according to Record Collector. However, the Glasgow concert, while slightly different, has Roger on vocals as usual. In fact, I've never seen a confirmed copy with Freddie vocals, but its not unlikely to exist somewhere. Likely to be in poor condition though, and Freddie's handling of other Roger tracks sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. If anyone has this, any details would be appreciated.

Hollywood Remix 1991
Taken from the US remastered "A Night At The Opera" CD. Actually quite good, and audibly different throughout. The running time is stretched mainly by the new intro, which is an a capella vocal with a "phasing" effect applied to it, and by an extended outro. The jangly guitar at the end still stays though. One of the better Hollywood mixes in my opinion, as it actually is a "remix", rather than a dance mix. Remixed by Mike Shipley. Also on one of the US "Rocks" promo CD's, together with the remix of "You're Best Friend". Note the CD gives an incorrect time of 3:05, the same as the normal version. Time 3:29

You're My Best Friend

Hollywood Remix 1991
Again on the US "A Night At The Opera" CD. Very similar to the original. To be honest its very hard to notice the difference, but it does have a slightly different sound. The remix this time is by Matt Wallace. Also on one of the US "Rocks" promo CDs. Time 2:51


Live Version, Freddie Vocal
On the official "Live Killers" album, and many bootlegs. Though an official release, its worth mentioning here as Freddie (not Brian) always sings lead vocal on live versions of this track. The exact nature of the song varies a bit from concert to concert, with one of the most noticeable differences being the backing "Ahhh Ahhh"s just after the chorus. These range from close to the album version, to almost hilarious, as Freddie, Brian and Roger struggle to reach and hold the high notes. But its usually a cosy little sing-a-long number, much more cheerful and upbeat than the album mix. Very nice, and sometimes unintentionally funny.

Sweet Lady

Live Version, Unknown Origin
On "Opera Omnia", the exact origins of this are unclear. Quite rare live, although its not especially interesting to start with. However, near the end it speeds up and goes into a rock'n'roll medley. There are some different lyrics too, and the vocal throughout is often different to the album version. Certainly interesting, although the sound quality is not particularly good. I'm not sure if the rock'n'roll medley was always featured in this song or not, though I imagine it would have been.

"The Eye" Version
From "The Eye" computer game. Disc 2, track 6. An extract of the album mix, including the vocals. Has the first verse but stops just short of the chorus, fading out abruptly with a nice echo effect on the drumbeat. Time 1:03

The Prophet's Song

Live Version, Hyde Park 1976
The night the echo machine broke down! The carefully crafted, multi-layered vocal arrangement from the middle "choir" part is impossible to reproduce with only one singer, as proven in this version. Without any technical support, Freddie had to sing the whole thing "live". The echo machine either wasn't working at all, or, when it did, it invented strange new ways of working. As a result the vocals sound out of sync, out of time, and slightly too slow. There are also some very long unnecessary pauses, presumably spent waiting for echoes that never came. Except for the very end, which seems to loop (increasingly out of tune) forever. Sadly the rest of the song isn't much better either, another likely consequence of Hyde Park's notoriously erratic sound system. On "Opera Omnia", and very very long.

Love Of My Life

Edited Live Single Version (from "Live Killers")
Released as a single to promote "Live Killers". The 7" version of this song is sometimes described as an edit. However, it is just the crowd that have been edited out at the start and finish. The actual song is identical to the version on "Live Killers", which is adequate but not the best version.

Live Version
One of a number of songs that sound even better live. There is a really nice version of this on "Opera Omnia", probably taken from elsewhere, though I don't think I've ever heard a bad performance of this. You really should have a good live version somewhere.

"Rock In Rio" Version
Probably the most famous live take of all, recorded in Rio in 1985. Freddie simply coaxes the crowd gently as they sing almost the entire song. A classic "Freddie moment", particularly to watch, it can be found on the official "Live in Rio" video. Also released as a B-side to the "Five Live EP" on cassette in the US.

"The Eye" Version
From "The Eye" computer game. Disc 4, track 10. The harp intro, cut off sharply. Presumably this played when you open/enter/do something in the game, as its not long enough for a backing track. Time 0:04

Bohemian Rhapsody

Live Version, Hammersmith 1975
From the Christmas concert originally broadcast by Radio 1. This was one of a very few concerts specially recorded for broadcast, and the official radio LPs still turn up from time to time. One of many superb live renditions, and found on a great many bootlegs including "Rhapsody In Red". Some nice additional guitar makes this version particularly worthy - and its easy to find in near-studio quality too! Another good version is on "The Ultimate Collection Volume 2", from the USA this time, but the sound quality can't compete.

There are a number of bootlegs claiming to have demos of this, though none of them are very convincing. Any slight differences in sound are much more likely to be the result of some creative tinkering by bootleggers, rather than an early take. None sound particularly different anyway.

Official Edited Version
Only found on a French promo 7" from 1978. I only know of one person who actually has this, although its something that gets rumoured fairly regularly. Its a very distinct edit, with the operatic middle section cut out. I presume something else must be cut as well (to account for the much shorter running time). It's probably some of the intro, but that's just a guess. Time 3:30

God Save The Queen

Single Version
One of two B-sides to the 1975 "Keep Yourself Alive" 7" re-issue in the US. Instead of fading in at the start, you can hear all of the introductory drum rolls in full. This adds a couple of seconds to the running time. Distinctive, but hardly significant, although the novelty of a three-track 7" may appeal to collectors anyway.

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