The Night Comes Down

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Queen’s first album differs from many debut albums because it shows an unusually high level of technical polish in its songwriting and arrangements. A good example of this advanced craftsmanship is "The Night Comes Down," an ambitious song that combines a delicate melody with a hard-driving arrangement to create an intriguing fusion of ballad and rocker. The lyrics seem to chronicle the disillusion that many people felt when the late 1960's gave way to the early 1970's as they portray a distraught soul lamenting the magic he can no longer feel in life: "Once I believed in everyone/Everyone and anyone can see/Oh, the night comes down/And I get afraid of losing my way." The melody contrasts gentle, yearning verses with a rousing chorus that adds an earthy element of heaviness into the mix. Queen’s recording of "The Night Comes Down" gives the song a complex arrangement that shows off Brian May’s considerable guitar skills: gently, chiming acoustic guitar textures underpin the verses while heavier, electric slide guitar textures support the chorus. Also, this recording alternates the vocalized parts of the song with instrumental sections that build up a tapestry of fast-moving acoustic and electric guitar riffs over a steady beat. The end result transforms what could have been a simple ballad into the kind of complex, multi-tiered rock epic that Queen has become known for.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Queen 1973 Hollywood 4:23
The Crown Jewels 1998 Hollywood 4:23
Queen 40: Limited Edition Collector's Box Set, Vol. 1 2011 Hollywood / Hollywood Records (UK) 4:23