Reasons I Will Fight Anyone Who Doesn’t Love A Day at the Races:

  • The Millionaire Waltz is possibly the Queeniest Queen song: it’s almost impossible to think they weren’t just a tiny bit making fun of themselves.
  • Taking the piss, they would have called it, due to their foreignness.
  • The song also features John Deacon on lead bass, mixed way up high and he keeps hitting these high notes, round and warm, way up the neck of his P-Bass, and there’s no drums at all until the drums come in WAY TOO LOUD just like drums are supposed to come in on a Queen song.
  • Seriously: the song is a direct parody of Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • Might actually be better than A Night at the Opera, unlike the movies the band stole the titles from.
  • Also unlike the film A Day at the Races took its name from, the album contains no blackface.
  • Speaking of blackface, though, White Man is probably best described at “well-intentioned.”
  • The tune gets most of it right–white people were rude to non-whites–but these savages are so damn noble.
  • Eh, Iron Maiden did it, too. (Better.)
  • My high school band, A Bunch Of Guys From France, played Tie Your Mother Down; it is a song built for romping through in a finished basement, with the vocal mic plugged into an extra guitar amp, and the bass player and guitarist having afternoon-long volume wars that left your ears filled with trebly static for days.
  • It’s also pretty easy to play.
  • Not to play well.
  • I’m just saying that there’s, like, four chords.
  • The part at the end that goes “Big, big, big, big, big, big DADDYOUTTADOORS!” is tricky, but manageable for semi-talented high school musicians.
  • And Teo Torriate!
  • Queen was foreign as shit, let’s not forget this.
  • When Grand Funk wrote We’re An American Band, they weren’t writing it about Queen.
  • Born in the U.S.A. was similarly not written about Queen.
  • Tom Petty was not thinking of Queen when he penned American Girl, for two reasons.
  • You get my point.
  • Queen cultivated the parts of the planet that are not America.
  • (Which would turn out to be a very good decision in the long run.)
  • Japan is not America; Queen went there early on, and the Japanese fell in love with them: they were enormous stars over there, and sold out everywhere they played, and caused riots.
  • Sometimes, they were served tea:
  • (If there are any Japanese Enthusiasts reading this, I need to share a secret of the West with you: we all–just a tiny little bit–think you are fucking with us, and that all the weird bullshit is just a put-on to see how long we’ll smile politely for. No offense.)
  • Look how unhappy John Deacon is.
  • He wants a proper cuppa.
  • None of this bloody Johnny Chopsticks business.
  • That Englishman is reciting Rudyard Kipling to himself: you know it, and I know it.
  • Someone bring John Deacon a chair and a bacon butty.
  • Anyway, Japan loved Queen and so Queen loved ’em right back: they would have a kimono phase.
  • And, apparently some time in 1977, Queen performed The Mikado.
  • One would assume that Roger played Yum-Yum, and Freddie pretended that his mic stand was the Snickersnee.
  • So half of Teo Torriate is in (butchered, one would assume) Japanese.
  • It took me a long while to make that small point, and I apologize.
  • And Somebody To Love is on this one, and loving that song should be the first question on the Voight-Kampf test.
  • Humans love that song.
  • Period.
  • And Freddie hits those high notes at the end, so maybe dogs love that song, too.
  • Even if dogs don’t love Somebody To Love, then they would see how happy the song made you, and then they would mirror your emotions and become happy, as well.
  • Dogs are awesome like that.
  • For some reason, A Day at the Races is the only Queen album not available on YouTube as just one thing, but that lets me just post The Millionaire’s Waltz by itself.
  • Go listen.