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4.5 out of 5 stars52
4.5 out of 5 stars
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 September 2002
The album starts well with Highlander theme Princes Of The Universe, then gets going with a terrific bass line from John Deacon on A Kind Of Magic. Pain Is So Close To Pleasure almost sounds like Diana Ross, with Mercury excelling at falsetto while the guys ham it up in a tribute to Motown. Friends Will Be Ffriends is an anthem which now seems to rival We Will Rock You; Queen said this was written to thank fans for being their friends. Who Wants To Live Forever was premiered as being Mercury & May rather than Queen at their 1986 concerts, and featured Brian at the organ. It starts as a melancholy song then soars into the stratosphere thanks to Freddie's powerful vocals. Gimme The Prize and Don't Lose Your Head are more Highlander tracks, rockier than most on this album, which ends with the Live Aid inspired One Vision. The only criticism I have of this album is that there isn't enough of it! Nine tracks just isn't enough! Nevertheless I saw Queen's last concert at Knebworth in 1986 and these songs were the flavour of that concert. This album will always remind me of a truly memorable experience in which I saw the world's greatest showman hold 200,000 people spellbound for two hours!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 March 2002
Whilst most of Queen's early fans would have given up all hope by the time they listened to "The Works", for those that remained and the new followers "A Kind of Magic" was probably the peak of Queen's studio-based highly-polished era and blew me away when I picked up a copy upon its release in 1986.
'Classic' may be an over-used word these days, but just listen to the album over and over again and songs such as "A Kind of Magic", "Who Wants to Live Forever" and "Princes of the Universe" will still sound fresh and such is the skill in the production of the album and its multi-layers that I STILL hear something different in each track even today!
Gone is the diversity, pomp and tempo change of yesteryear, but here is a rock group at the peak of their output again out-classing the music of the moment (having seen out glam and punk, Queen were now taking on the new romantics).
No excuses - you must own this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2001
I love this album as it is the soundtrack to the film highlander with Christopher Lambert in. It also has one of my favourite songs in Who Wants To Live Forever I think Freddie Mercury is at his best singing ballads as it showcases Freddy Mercury's voice at its best. I also like the fact there are extracts from the film on the album sounds of swords especially in Don't lose Your Head!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2000
In addition to the tracks listed here (and on my original the tracks are in a different order), there's also:
Track 10: A kind of 'A Kind of Magic' - a remix of the above
Track 11: Friends Will be Friends Will be Friends - a mainly instrumental remix.
Track 12: Forever - purely piano + strings version of Who Wants to Live Forever, with some added bits and most of the end missing, but a wonderful, relaxing and moving track.
These extra three are credited as "extra magical ingredients".
It's quite simple. Buy this album, if only to listen to track 12!
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Released as an album in it's own right, `A Kind of Magic' is also the soundtrack album for the `Highlander' movie and has excerpts from that film peppered throughout. This has the songs most fans and the general public know, like `A Kind of Magic' and `One Vision' but it also has great ballads like `One Year of Love' and other top tracks like `Don't Lose Your Head' which has a beat that keeps pumping and drives this song forward at a relentless pace. Freddie's vocals shine through on every song and show his true mastery and Brian May's guitar work is as awesome as we have come to expect. This album may be rooted firmly in the eighties, but it has lost none of it's charm or power.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2005
A Kind Of Magic (1986.) Queen's twelfth album.
Movie companies must have been impressed with the music Queen created for the 1980 film Flash Gordon, because six years later, the band got the opportunity to record music for another feature film - Highlander. At this point in their career, Queen was in a major identity crisis - it seems as if they were going to become nothing more than a Duran Duran rip-off - shameful considering their seventies rock triumphs. For the Highlander songs, would the band continue to exhibit signs of this identity crisis, or would they make the long-awaited return to normalcy? Read on for my review.
The first thing I need to state is that, despite what the end credits of the film claim, there is NO SUCH THING as a Highlander soundtrack. This is the closest thing there is to a soundtrack, and these are actually NOT THE SAME VERSIONS of the songs that appear in the film. That aside, let's get onto what counts - the music. This is when Queen went back to their rock and roll roots - at its time of release, it was easily their finest release since 1980's The Game. Don't be expecting a full-fledged return to normalcy, though - there are still plenty of keyboards and synthesizers to be found. However, unlike on Hot Space and The Works, they aren't the primary foundation of the music. At long last, the guitar of Brian May reigns as the supreme instrument again. If you were a Queen fan back when the band was releasing material and the two tragic missteps in the early-mid eighties disappointed you, more likely than not this album won you back over. After listening to those two albums, I found the band's future to be questionable, but this release shattered those doubts. Magic is arguably Queen's finest eighties album.
All of Queen's albums were remastered and reissued circa 1991. The remasters have expanded liner notes with lyrics and cool rare band/discography photos. There are even bonus tracks, but these are just lame remixes that are disposable. If you got the original CD release, it's pointless to buy the remasters. If you don't have the album yet though, get the remaster.
A Kind Of Magic would mark a short-lived return to greatness for Queen, which would be cut short only by Freddie Mercury's tragic passing away a few years later. In their final years the band would go back to creating rock and roll - it's a shame this newfound golden age didn't last longer. A Kind Of Magic is where this short-lived era of greatness began. While probably not the best place for a new fan to start, no Queen collection is complete without it.
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on 13 December 2014
I never really liked Queen till they did Live Aid ,like a lot of people I believe ,I mean their singles most of us knew and to this day I still only own best of and the greatest of albums ,anyway this one has a few more tracks than most which makes it better value but still contains the same core tracks ,actually I am playing it now and when all eighteen tracks are over then I will switch off
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on 19 May 2014
Brilliant album, with end to end quality - one vision, a kind of magic, gimme the prize, princes of the universe, who wants to live forever, friends will be friends..????? Hard to see how you can pack an album with any more quality than this!!
A superlative album that wonderfully sums up Queens extravagant approach to 80's stadium rock...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2006
Not one of the well known albums but one of my favourite. Having seen the film Highlander I recognised the songs when brought this album and have to say this is the best work. Gimme The Prize shows some skill from Brian May one the guitar and the classic Who Wants to Live forever and A Kind Of Magic Shows Mercury at his best. A must have album in my opinion
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2000
One Vision is the perfect beginning to this album. A great rock song, though a little slow on this recording. A Kind of Magic is one of Queen's finest, and definitely Taylor's best. The poignant One Year Of Love is beautifully handled by Mercury, and though Pain is so Close to Pleasure isn't very strong, it's by no means a poor song. Friends will be friends, despite being a great singalong track doesn't really conform to Queen's image, and will probably be forgotten quickly. Who wants to live forever is great until the ending, which goes on too long. Gimmee the Prize is a great prelude to the hard rock and majesty of a typical mercury effort, Princes of the Universe. Talyor's don't lose your head, is a weak track, on an otherwise good album. Freddie only contributes once this time, and it shows, as he was recording for "Mr Bad Guy" just a few monnths previously, and the album suffers from it. Still, a good CD
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