Music Monday – A Kind of Magic

Way back when I was 16, a mate of mine dragged me to the cinema to watch a movie that I’d never heard of. We sat there waiting for it start and, baring in mind that it was one of the first showings of the film at the cinema, we were virtually on our own.

To this date, that film has remained a firm favourite of mine and it featured some awesome music by none other than the mighty rock group, Queen. The film, of course, was Highlander.

Now, I’ve never been a massive fan of Queen, heresy I know, but whilst they’ve done some great individual tracks, I’ve always found there albums to be a bit hit and miss. They tend to contain several great tracks, which I love, and several tracks I have to press the skip button on. A Kind of Magic, though, is for me their most complete album.

Okay, Pain is so Close to Pleasure, will never be in my top tracks to listen to but the rest of the album just takes me back to the film, and it’s a blast.

It has everything you’d expect from Queen. Great vocal contrast, lots of guitar riffs, and some diverse lyrical content. Ballads and light rock songs fill the album with the latter part providing some thematical lyrics if you’ve seen the movie, otherwise you’ll probably not enjoy them so much.

After the opener, One Vision, the album builds on the title song, ‘A kind of Magic’, with a few ballads and another chart hit, Friends Will be Friends, before blasting into my favourite segment – Gimme The Prize, Don’t Lose Your Head, and Princes of The Universe – all of which gets me singing along.

It also left a man’s decapitated body
Lying on the floor
Next to his own severed head
A head which at this time has no name

“I know his name…”

Gimme The Prize (Kurgan’s Theme)

The CD version I have then closes with some extras, an instrumental, Forever, and an extended version of One Vision. I’m not a fan of repeat songs on an album, these so called remixes and such. I don’t mind the inclusion of unreleased stuff, tracks that were deemed unworthy of earlier release or were put to one side because of limited space on the vinyl. But no, I don’t go for this kind of thing and this version of One Vision never gets played; I end the album after Forever, which is a nice piano version of Who Wants to Live Forever – this I can put up with.

Returning to my original statement of this being their most complete album, let me justify that in my terms (of course, this is all my own opinion and I’m sure many will not agree!). It doesn’t contain a truly great song, not when compared to some of their other, earlier, releases. There’s nothing here to match the greatness achieved by Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, and so on, but then there are also no real bums, like Get Down, Make Love, Good Company, and the majority of the Hot Space album. No, this is an album that I like to listen to in its entirety (apart from that One Vision extended track on the CD, that is) and it always puts me in a good mood. It’s an album I like to paint to, though how I concentrate when bopping along I’m not sure, and one that gets played on a long journey in the car – it, for me, is a ‘Happy’ album, if you get what I mean!

A Kind of Magic

Released 1986

Track Listing

  1. One Vision
  2. A Kind of Magic
  3. One Year of Love
  4. Pain is so Close to Pleasure
  5. Friends Will be Friends
  6. Who Wants to Live Forever
  7. Gimme the Prize (Kurgan’s Theme)
  8. Don’t Lose Your Head
  9. Princes of the Universe
  10. Forever (Bonus track)
  11. One Vision – Extended Vision (Bonus track)

My version: CD – Hollywood Records label – HR-61152-2 – 1991 reissue. On Discogs it has a low of £1.24, a median of £4.11, and a high of £5.81.

16 thoughts on “Music Monday – A Kind of Magic

  1. I’d say I’m not a Queen fan, Justin, but I do like some of their better known tracks, so we’re on a better footing than the last two weeks! 🙂 Ages since I’ve seen Highlander, but I do remember liking the music to Flash Gordon (yes, I know that some will hold that against me)!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Flash Gordon is so catchy though!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is my favourite Queen album, but will happily listen to other albums as well, just not Freddy’s solo albums that totally loss the magic that was Queen. The only disappointing part of the album as a soundtrack was the queen song that was playing in the car wasn’t on the album as it was on an older album, but that’s just a personal gripe ! LOL
    A lot of the older albums can be hit or miss for a lot of people as all the band members wrote songs and they weren’t always to everyone’s taste.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I’m not a fan of his solo work either, as it lacks the punch you get with the group.
      Yes, Hammer to Fall was in The Works, probably my second favourite album of theirs.
      I like their older stuff, but as I say, I prefer to pick and choose the track as some aren’t to my taste at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Not a huge Queen fan, but “Another One Bites the Dust” was probably the first song I ever played over and over as a kid. There’s some good songs in the Highlander movie too. Although the premise of the movie was great for its time, I don’t feel like it has aged really well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree, it hasn’t aged well and the sequels were terrible. Still, I have fond memories and it will always be a favourite of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had all but forgotten about this gem of an album;

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In that case, I feel like I’ve achieved something in reminding you 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My Dad is not a Queen fan and so I was raised to not be one either haha. I can’t comment much further on them or their music because it was always turned off or the radio station was changed when they came on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that really is a downer on Queen! Maybe your radio never played their good songs – there’s a fifty fifty chance😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, I get why my Dad doesn’t like them. I’m pretty indifferent to their music. It just isn’t my style. I’m too into punk and find the nonsense and bombastic nature of Queen to be a turn-off. Have you ever heard of Foxy Shazam? They’re an American band from my hometown and while I don’t like their music, I think they’re heavily influenced by Queen so I thought I’d better give them a shout, assuming if you’re open to music that predominantly appeals to Millennials 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Foxy Shazam? Nope, can’t say I have. I’ll give them a look up, though, but it sounds like we may be musically incompatible!😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hopefully you enjoy them. After your Nintendo comments, mate, its been all downhill if we’re being honest! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooo, I taped this off my cousin’s album back in the dim dark past (1987) and loved it. I even made a collage cassette inlay card in an attempt to mimic the overwhelmingly 80s album art 🙂

    As far as the actual songs go, I agree with your assessment of them, and I’ve deleted the “Pain Is So Close To Pleasure” MP3 from my hard drive as I can’t stand it. “A Kind of Magic” and “One Vision” are wonderfully poppy songs, “Friends Will Be Friends” is kind of meh to me, and “Who Wants To Live Forever” is a pretty good track. “Gimme The Prize”, “Don’t Lose Your Head” and “Princes of The Universe” are absolute bangers and a great way to end the album.

    In summation, two words: FRIED CHICKEN!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Nice summation!

      Small world. I did the same kind of thing when I was a kid. I had a load of tapes with homemade inlays, mostly of stuff taped off the radio. How annoying was it when the DJ would speak over the end!

      Yeah, the last few tracks are awesome.


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