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A Kind of Magic

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  • In the early 80s, Queen were contacted to do a song for a new movie, “Highlander.” Intrigued by the movie, they agreed to do more than just one. Queen performs every non-orchestra track that appears in the soundtrack to Highlander. However, no actual soundtrack was released (Despite the claims of the movie’s credits).Enter Queen, “A Kind of Magic.” While these are not the same versions, they are indeed the same songs. From the theme to Highlander (Princes of the Universe) to the Title Track, played during the closing credits, most of the songs from Highlander appear here. One Vision, featured in the Film “Iron Eagle” appears here also, along with a bonus extended version of it.Missing from the Highlander set are Hammer to Fall, which appears on “the Works.” and “New York, New York,” which cannot be verified to exist, short of the clip in the movie. Enough about Highlander, on to the songs themselves.The highlights are clear: A Kind of Magic contains entire guitar lessons and chapters of music theory in BRian’s solo. Princes of the Universe contains Queen’s Trademark power rock harmonies and excellent guitar. Who Wants to Live Forever shows off the sheer Beauty of Freddie’s Voice. Gimme The Prize (The Kurgan’s Theme) is awesome hard rock. Don’t Lose Your Head is a more synth pop oriented song, but shows what the rest of the 80s musicians should have done with them (Aside from maybe the cars). Forever, an instrumental piano based version of Brian’s touching ballad, delivers depths in the fashion of true masters of symphonic music.Despite Queen’s loss of popularity in the US during the 80s, all of their records have essential hits on them, even “The Game” (Which features Another One bites the Dust, Dragon Attack, and Save Me). “A Kind of Magic” is no exception, featuring many solid songs which are essentials to any Queen or serious rock collections.I recommend this both for it being a solid Queen album, and for it being the closest you can get to a Highlander Soundtrack. I’d rather get the cuts to “Princes” and “AKoM,” but I will take what I can get.

    Posted on January 4, 2010