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4.8 out of 5 stars34
4.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2012
DISC 1 (The Album)
"A Kind of Magic" was probably the peak of Queen's studio-based highly-polished era of the 1980s/90s 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! That is certainly clearer again in this newly remastered re-release. 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, punk, disco, Queen were now taking on the new romantics). A number of the songs featured in the film "Highlander" or are based on themes from the movie, but this is NOT a soundtrack album. There is such amazing energy in songs from "One Vision" to "Princes of the Universe" and warmth and emotion from well-crafted songs such as "Friends Will Be Friends" and "One Year of Love".

DISC 2 (THE 'EP')
The purpose of the 2011 'Deluxe Editions' (putting all cynical marketing, profit-making, blood-from-a-stone comments to one side) is to give a bonus 'EP' of rare or previously unreleased tracks which compliment the original album. In the case of the later albums it was always going to be a difficult choice of what to leave off as there are any number of tracks that could have been included when this was the time when remixes, extended versions and instrumentals were so popular and the marketing machine started to kick in with 12" singles, picture discs and alternate single versions a-plenty.

So we actually get a few rare tracks on here, including some early versions of "One Vision" / "A Kind of Magic", a couple of single versions and a live track. Not bad. But, three 'bonus' tracks were previously included on the original CD album release and only two of them are included this time around, meaning for most people that you have to keep hold of your original CD to hear "A Kind of A Kind of Magic". Also, the EP fails to gather up all of the additional material that exists commercially in other formats, namely:
- One Vision (Extended version)
- Blurred Vision (b-side)
- A Kind of Magic (Extended version)
- A Dozen Red Roses for my Darling (b-side)
- Friends Will Be Friends (Extended version)
- Who Wants to Live Forever (Single version)
- Pain is so Close to Pleasure (Extended remix)
- The Prize (Instrumental)
Given that the rare (and incomplete) 12" Collection album is long deleted then that leaves quite a number of vinyl records to hold on to for completists! In addition, there are the other versions of existing tracks and unreleased tracks produced for the Highlander movie which still lack an official release.
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on 12 September 2011
Although Queen would release another three albums with Freddie Mercury (including the posthumous Made in Heaven), A Kind of Magic would turn out to be the band's last ever album promoted with a concert tour, due to Mercury's diagnosis with AIDS the following year and his eventual death from AIDS in 1991. For the first time in their career, the band allowed filming of them while they were in the recording studio. The video for "One Vision" shows them in various stages of writing and recording the song.A Kind of Magic reached 1 in the UK, selling 100,000 copies in its first week, and remained in the UK charts for sixty-three weeks.The album spawned four hit singles; the album's title track "A Kind of Magic", "One Vision" and "Friends Will Be Friends".Also the sixth track on the album, "Who Wants to Live Forever", features an orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen, while the last track, "Princes of the Universe", is the theme song to Highlander.It is Queen's first album with a title track, and every album released thereafter also contained one. Critical reaction to the album was mixed, but it has, in recent years, been cited by music publications and fans as one of Queen's best records of the 1980s. The 1994 edition of the Guinness All Time Top 1000 Albums listed A Kind of Magic 171 in the all-time greatest rock and pop albums.my original CD has many of the bonus tracks tagged on the end of the disc, this version has decided to add them to the bonus disc and also add a heavier version of A kind of magic, again with the extras not really anything rare or special. This was Queens first album recorded and mixed digitally, and having the original and the new version now, there is an improvement in the frequency range and thank heavens not a massive increase in volume to ruin the quality.This is still worth investigating if there is a gap in your Queen collection.
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on 24 November 2011
I am pinning the following comments to all of the Queen back catalogue (excepting "Flash" which I wont get on cd) as they apply right across the board. I wont comment on the music - others have done so very well. I want to praise the sound.

Modern mastering technology will in most cases demonstrate more noticeable improvements in older recordings. I have now bought and listened to all of the recent Queen reissues and chronologically the benefits of the 2011 remastering lessen as recording technology and technique improved album by album.

The biggest improvement is to the earlier analogue work, which to my ear sound more "Queen" than the digitally recorded stuff - more bite and attack - irrespective of musical direction. My view is that digital recording "rounded" the Queen sound, particularly Brian May's guitar.

However, notwithstanding this there are clear improvements throughout the catalogue, even the later ones which were recorded using digital technology to whatever degree. Music is more open, brighter and fuller in a very revealing, listenable and non-tiring way. Bass and drum parts are now very clear as are the vocals which are expressive warm and very detailed - many more sibilants can now be heard which really brightens up "Queen 2" and "A Night At The Opera" for example where there were a tremendous number of overdubs which saturated the sound in places.

As I said in a previous review of "Greatest Hits", those who have a fair or passing interest in Queen will be happy with earlier issues, but for the enthusiast these remasters really are rewarding listens and well worth investing in. They really are very good indeed.
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on 16 May 2016
The remastered version of this classic 1986 album is brilliant, Queen cd's often suffered from multi layers of studio gloss and over producton, which meant that the sound and its volume often suffered too, now...30 years later i can finally hear 'Gimme The Prize' and 'Princes Of The Universe' with volume and with the quality and clarity of today's standard of sound, I have always prefered the heavier songs by Queen and this sounds very clear, Bob Ludwig has excelled with his work, even on the later releases of Queen's catalog of stunning albums. A Kind Of Magic was always a good album, featuring some epic tunes from Highlander...except for the highlander version of A kind of magic, its such a pity that some of the alternate version's that appear in the film have not been put onto the bonus disc...am i being greedy or just re living my past? if you are a Queen fan like me who owned the original LP, Music Cassette, and the original CD..the thought of buying another copy worried me at first however when i heard the upgrade sound that was it...it was worth it.
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on 9 June 2012
I like this re-released version. There is one thing though. What happened to the songs "A Dozen Red Roses For My Darling" or "New York, NY"?
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on 19 November 2014
Sound is fanastic .you can the bass lines so clearly.mainly bought for the highlander version of a kind of magic .pain is so close to pleasure single version ive never heard.think its better than album version .highlander version of who wants to live forever should have been on this though
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on 19 April 2015
Bought this for my husband, a devout queen fan and he loves it, I was surprised that he did not have it in his collection and I have to say that this is a great album well worth a listen and worth the money,as my husband says Queen can do no wrong
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on 23 May 2014
One of the better Queen Cds. Had many years ago and decided to rekindle my youth and buy again. Good mix of songs quality very good and supplier posted quickly and wrapped well.
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on 7 February 2013
This is a must have for any Queen fan. The bonus disc includes a demo of One Vision that I've never heard before - It's nice to hear new stuff from the Greatest Singer ever!!!
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on 21 February 2014
The original 1986 cd was amazing.... This newer digital cd with extra tracks on it is simply full of new energy. Its like listening to a new released cd 10/10
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