Sunday, May 8, 2016

87. Queen - A Night at the Opera

Flickr Download DeviantArt

"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low,
Anyway the wind blows nothing really matters to me. . .
To me."

So goes the opening lyrics of "Bohemian Rhapsody", widely regarded as one of the most significant rock songs in history. wikipedia 

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is the penultimate track in the album A Night of the Opera.  Back in the 70s, before the advent of MTV,  I remember seeing a music video of the song on TV
before the station signed on. The video opens with the silhouette of the band as it starts to sing a capella, and somewhere along the third line they appear in much the same way 
as they do below. This image, however, is on the cover of Queen II, the band's second album (Opera is their fourth), which does not include "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Here's the cover of Queen II, released in 1974.

On my work, the image of the band was split to give way to the Queen logo,  known as the Queen crest, which serves as the cover art design for A Night at the Opera. The cover
art design was cropped at the sides, toned to sepia and positioned at centre. The whole image was then texturized. Finally, Freddie Mercury's hands were converted to black and 
white to signify his death.

Here is the original album cover art design for A Night at the Opera.

No. 96, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000; No. 231, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Album cover art is from a design by Freddie Mercury. Album produced by Roy Thomas Baker & Queen. EMI/Parlophone (Europe), Elektra (USA)

Having attended art college,  Freddie Mercury also designed  the Queen crest, shortly before the  release of the band's first album.  The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four
members:  two lions for Leo (John Deacon and Roger Taylor),  a crab for Cancer (Brian May),  and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury).  The lions embrace a stylised letter Q, the crab 
rests atop the letter with flames rising directly above it, and the fairies are each sheltering below a lion.  There is also a crown inside the Q and the whole logo is over-shadowed
by an enormous phoenix. The whole symbol bears a passing resemblance to the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lion supporters. The original logo,
as found on the reverse-side of the first album cover, was a simple line drawing but more intricate colour versions were used on later sleeves. wikipedia

(A) Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to. . .) - Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon - I'm in Love with My Car - You're My Best Friend - 39 - Sweet Lady - Seaside Rendezvous

(B) The Prophet's Song - Love of My Life - Good Company - Bohemian Rhapsody - God Save the Queen

"Bohemian Rhapsody" music video from Queen Official on YouTube.