A Kind Of Magic review by Queen

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  • Released: Jun 3, 1986
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (11 votes)
Queen: A Kind Of Magic

Sound — 8
01. One Vision - recorded after Live Aid (but written before it), this rock stomper for peace was ironically used in the soundtrack of the first Iron Eagle flick. Highlights inlcude great synthesiser/guitar interplay and the thunder drumming of Roger Taylor. 02. A Kind Of Magic - a lot of people though Roger Taylor could not write another epic like Radio Gaga how wrong they were! Magic gives of perfect summation of Highlander's main plot device. The contest between the immortals. The 'poppiness' of this track meshes well with the precise axework of Brian May and the ethusiastic vocals of the great Freddie Mercury. The video clip shot by Highlander's director Russell Mulcay, is a spectacle in itself. 03. One Year Of Love - used in Highlander and Highlander 2 (both on bar jukeboxes), this 'Queen soul' ballad has Freddie going right over the top vocally but would we expect anything less from the King Of Queen? This is filler, but pretty good nonetheless. 04. Pain Is So Close To Pleasure - Mercury does Mowtown in a falsetto to rival Mick Jagger and Barry Gibb! Filler again, but with a good bounce, courtesy of bassist John Deacon. The vocal echo effect at the end of the track is a bit annoying, though. 05. Friends Will Be Friends - quickly became a concert singalong favorite with a soaring intro from Brian. The lyrics state that things may get bad, but so long as you've got true friends you'll be alright. 06. Who Wants To Live Forever - the main probelm with being immortal everybody else dies, while you remain the same. A ballad sung by Brian and Freddie, with orchestral, keyboard and band backing. If this track doesn't bring tears to your eyes, then you must have a stone heart. 07. Gimmie The Prize (Kurgan's Theme) - what's that? You want some heavy metal crunch with your Queen? Well, we've got your rock right here! Enter the villain, complete with movie soundbytes for added eeriness. From Brian May's ascending tapping fretwork to the explosions at track's end, this is pure Queen bombast. Lyrics are similar in subject to their 1974 hit, The Seven Seas Of Rye. 08. Don't Lose Your Head - it's techno time in the Queen camp, with backing vocals by Joan Armatrading. Filler track with the message to 'play it safe out there'. 09. Princes Of The Universe - song that opens the film. Great harmonies and the boys are firing of all cylinders. I love the comments Freddie lets loose with as Brian hammers the frets:" Watch this man fly!", "Bring on the girls!" The video clip has Highlander star Christopher Lambert clashing sword and microphone stand with Mercury. This song would become the theme song to the Highlander TV series. 10. One Vision (extended version) - same as the first track, only longer. That final lyrical joke always cracks me up: "Just gimmie, gimmie, gimmie... fried chicken!

Lyrics — 6
Anyone who has seen the movie Highlander will be familiar with most of these songs. This album certainly has an 80s (keyboards) sound compared to Queen's 70s music but I really like most of the songs on this album, especially One Vision (rocking), A Kind Of Magic (great groove), Friends Will Be Friends (uplifting), Who Wants To Live Forever (touching), and Forever. As one reviewer mentioned there are a couple of stinkers like Pain Is So Close To Pleasure and I don't care for Don't Lose Your Head either.

Overall Impression — 8
Though Queen had left the purity of Rock and went synth-pop dance-oriented with their album "Hot Space" Queen came back on track with their albums "The Works" and "A Kind Of Magic"! Highly recommended for hardcore Queen fans! God knows I have this album on cassette! If you have the intentions of buying it. Buy it! Great album!

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    DownDark said: (in his review)
    One Year Of Love is filler. Exactly! So Why The Fuck was it on Classic Queen?!
    DownDark said: (in his review)
    A Kind Of Magic (the song, not the whole album) has a great groove that's cuz of the bass, one of the best bass riffs out there, better than Another One Bites The Dust. Yes, I said it, better than Another One Bites The Dust.
    Perhaps it's me but has anyone taken into account that the caricatures of the band on the cover may have inspired the look of Disney's Aladdin's GENIE??
    RAGman22ReborN wrote: Perhaps it's me but has anyone taken into account that the caricatures of the band on the cover may have inspired the look of Disney's Aladdin's GENIE??
    word to ragman. "who wants to live forever" is now my favorite queen song.