QUEEN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

A KIND OF MAGIC

(1986)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
80's, Easy-Listening, Epic, Funky, High-pitched vocals
"Thought as a succession of singles for the cinema, "A Kind Of Magic" is probably the most contrasted record of Queen."
MARC M (03.11.2010)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (9)
After "Flash Gordon", the members of Queen are again asked to compose pieces for the movie "Iron Eagle", and especially "Highlander". But they were asked to write real songs. In fact, the six songs that appear in the film are here in more or less different versions. Besides these, the film featured "Hammer To Fall" and an unfinished cover of "Theme from New York, New York".

Roger Taylor signs two tracks alone and co-wrote a third one, the rather heavy but very catchy "One Vision", with its synthetic intro and its epileptic guitar solo on an electronic drum background. The latter is curiously signed by the whole band, a bit in the vein of "Hammer To Fall". "A Kind Of Magic" is lighter. Freddy Mercury would have added the typical bass line, very round, a little funk, which contrasts with the superb melody of the verse and the voluntarily kitsch choirs. Brian May delivers two rather complicated soli with his famous harmonized sound...

"One Year Of Love" is a pretty cheesy ballad signed by John Deacon in which May doesn't play. Quite exceptionally, Queen called upon a saxophonist for the central solo! What was originally the A side ends with two Mercury/Deacon collaborations: "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure" which is a medium tempo track between soul and funk sung entirely in falsetto voice like "Cool Cat" on "Hot Space" and "Friends Will Be Friends", a kind of slow anthem not particularly striking.

The B side opens with one of Brian May's masterpieces, the symphonic ballad "Who Wants To Live Forever" arranged for orchestra with grandiose choirs and an emotional Mercury. May returns to big hard rock on "Gimme The Prize," which includes dialogue from the movie. Probably one of the band's two or three heaviest songs to date, with explosive guitar solos and a certain lack of melody. Queen surprises with Taylor's more synthetic and fast-paced "Don't Lose Your Head" which recalls his 2 solo albums to date, and sees the participation of Joan Armatrading for some backing vocals. Finally, it's the main theme of the credits with "Princes Of The Universe", a not very long but very complex track signed Mercury, surprisingly heavy and grandiose, full of those typical choirs of the first years of the band with still an impressive solo of May on a very fast break.

"A Kind Of Magic" is probably the most contrasted record of Queen. Out of nine tracks, no two are in the same vein! In some ways, the album sounds like an 80's record with lots of synths and electronic drums and it will be the first record of the band to be released on CD.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. One Vision (5:10)
02. A Kind Of Magic (4:24)
03. One Year Of Love (4:26)
04. Pain Is So Close To Pleasure (4:21)
05. Friends Will Be Friends (4:07)
06. Who Wants To Live Forever (5:15)
07. Gimme The Prize (kurgan's Theme) (4:34)
08. Don't Lose Your Head (4:38)
09. Princes Of The Universe (3:32)
10. A Kind Of 'a Kind Of Magic' (3:38)
11. Friends Will Be Friends Will Be Friends... (5:58)
12. Forever (3:20)

LINEUP:
Brian May: Chant / Guitares / Claviers / choeurs
Freddie Mercury: Chant / Claviers / choeurs
John Deacon: Basse / Claviers
Roger Taylor: Claviers / Batterie / choeurs, chant
Spike Edney (invité): Claviers
Steve Gregory (invité): saxophone sur "One year of love"
   
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