Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Day at the Races

Media Moment: Marx Bros. movie
Queen Related: called A Day at the Races

Because A Night at the Opera actually has some opera in it (ala Bohemian Rhapsody), there is a tenuous link between the Marx Bros. film from 1935 and the 1975 Queen album of the same name.

Queen’s next album, A Day at the Races from 1976, however, does not seem to have any conceptual link to the 1937 Marx Bros. film of the same name at all. If one goes over the song list, there is nothing that is remotely close to the movie’s key elements of sanitarium, horse racing, veterinary medicine, and gambling.

I suspect that the day/night pairing of the Marx Bros. films suggested a “set” of albums from roughly the same creative time period in the band’s history would be memorable. Design-wise, the albums’ covers are complementary to each other and, like their film counterparts, ADATR is sorta like a sequel to ANATO—but just as good as the original that started the series.

The fact that Queen got to sing ’39 for Groucho Marx when they were touring the U.S. is an interesting convergence of entertainment icons and the album/film titles seem to have come full circle for that moment.

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