11 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A Kind of Magic is regarded as the unofficial soundtrack to the 1986 film Highlander, a tale of immortal Scottish warriors battling in modern-day New York. It’s not hard to see why the producers wanted Queen for the score. There were a lot of hard rock bands striving for majesty in the mid-‘80s, but none could match Queen, who practically wrote the book on blood-pumping songs with “We Will Rock You.” Songs here like “Gimme the Prize,” “Princes of the Universe” and “One Vision” are completely over the top, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent battle anthems. There are also a few gauzy, floating ballads, but the real gem is “Pain Is So Close to Pleasure,” which didn’t appear in Highlander, but instead reveals Mercury’s love for classic Motown. Although Mercury’s health would undergo a sharp downturn following A Kind of Magic, the album features some of the most passionate singing of his career. Like the characters in Highlander, Mercury sings these songs not as a rock frontman, but as an immortal warrior.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A Kind of Magic is regarded as the unofficial soundtrack to the 1986 film Highlander, a tale of immortal Scottish warriors battling in modern-day New York. It’s not hard to see why the producers wanted Queen for the score. There were a lot of hard rock bands striving for majesty in the mid-‘80s, but none could match Queen, who practically wrote the book on blood-pumping songs with “We Will Rock You.” Songs here like “Gimme the Prize,” “Princes of the Universe” and “One Vision” are completely over the top, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent battle anthems. There are also a few gauzy, floating ballads, but the real gem is “Pain Is So Close to Pleasure,” which didn’t appear in Highlander, but instead reveals Mercury’s love for classic Motown. Although Mercury’s health would undergo a sharp downturn following A Kind of Magic, the album features some of the most passionate singing of his career. Like the characters in Highlander, Mercury sings these songs not as a rock frontman, but as an immortal warrior.

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