|A Kind of Magic is my favorite album. The general opinion of this album by fans is negative. The title track in particular seems to be dismissed and pop fluff. I find this amusing because in the years considered Queen's prime, they released such tripe as "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottom Girls".
As for the remainder of the album I can find no poor tracks. "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure" is average I admit. The rest to me, is flawless. It contains two of their best ballads in "WWTLF" and "One Year of Love". "One Vision" is a brilliant opener with great riffs and hooks. "Princes of The Universe", "Friends Will Be Friends" and "Gimme the Prize" all have excellent and memorable hooks.
The production is ahead of it's time. And the performances rival their best-ever on record.
I know I'm in the minority because my favorite Queen period is 1984-1991. What I'm wondering is why that era and AKOM in particular is hated on when the "classic" albums had IMO, much more filler and lacked an abundance of good melodies.
This is only my opinion and I respect everyone else's. I'd just like to hear some feedback as to the rationale behind the negative comments of this album and the '84-'91 era in general. Thanks for reading!
the album has never been a classic. Maybe its just too formulaic
the cover is a gem though
|master marathon runner
|Sir ! - ill have you know"bicycle race' is an absolute delight and could only have been penned by and performed, by our dear Mr. Mercury.
|To me, A Kind of Magic is a bit short and has a couple of awful tracks.. the second part is subjective, though.
To me it feels a bit disjointed, like it's just a collection of songs and not a proper "album". It doesn't take advantage of any of the Highlander connections between songs... not that they should have done a full-on Highlander soundtrack but even "The Works" -another group of good songs just thrown together into an album- had a bit of a concept throughout, with the whole Machines vs. Humans stand off (the machines won, of course!).
I don't like the cover one bit. They should have gone with the Princes of the Universe concept.
|The sax in One Year Of Love...no, just no. Freddie's straining voice...no just no.
One of their poorest ballads, in my opinion.
|It maybe also depends on with what kind of music you were grown up to? I always liked 70's stuff so yea, 70's Queen has my preference, although the AKOM album is indeed also very good and I played it a lot many years ago but not so often these days and I dont even know why... well.. maybe because of Friends Will Be Friends :)|
|I have to agree with the 'Freddie's straining voice' comment on One Year of Love.
To me, that had the POTENTIAL to be a good/great song, but just couldn't pull it off.
|^ yeah. Michael Bolton-ism. The song is nice though. Not sure about the delivery.
It's not their strongest album but contains their greatest most ominous riff since Death on Two Legs in Gimme the Prize/princes of the universe.
Also their greatest power ballad in WWTLF
I'm in the minority in liking Don't lose your head.
Only beef is the downfall of Princes of the universe.... I prefer the recently leaked demo version that maintains its darkness without adding the awkward middle bit.
|Over reliance on drum machines is one reason I dislike this records.|
|The Nosuch Disco
|i must say i love this album... i can take or leave some tracks, PISCTP and DLYH.
I must be in the minority with liking One Year of Love! - don't seem to mind/notice the vocal strain.
|As a guy who's prefers early Queen, I can still say akom is a good album. Only songs I tend to skip is don't lose your head and funnily fwbf, hate the lyrics. One year of love, I can understand the debate, but it has a more personal nature due to a relationship I was in at the time and when singing it, I can understand and feel the voice strain, like it is showing deliberate emotion. Wish they had done potu live though in 86, that would've been fun|
|I absolute love the album. It's brilliant.
And the title track is probably the greatest pop song ever produced.
|people on streets
|^ "God Only Knows". Best pop track that is.
Queen II is the best LP Queen ever made (in my opinion). A Day At The Races comes close.
Considering the fact that a LOT of rubbish was produced in the 80's, for an 80's LP, A Kind Of Magic is not that bad.
Wouldn't call it great either. The Miracle is a much better 80's LP if you ask me. Even Hot Space is better.
Just my opinion though.
|Is it just me or does Freddie's vocals for one year of love sound much better on the Highlander movie as they do sound slightly strained in parts on the album, I think AKOM album was a strong album just to short, I prefer Rogers version of A Kind of Magic.|
matt z wrote: I'm in the minority in liking Don't lose your head.The music for Don't lose your head is good but the lyrics are stupid...to me at least...I prefer to listen to A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling...
|Sheer Brass Neck
|"...they released such tripe as "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottom Girls".
OMFG. There is more personality and genius in Bicycle Race than 99% of most bands catalogues. And Fat Bottomed Girls has exquisite harmonies, great musicianship and hits the mark that Brian wanted, a "southern stomper" that got people moving. Both would have been killer tracks on AKOM, and made almost all (WWTLF stands the test of time, the rest, nah) sound like total crap.
Sheer Brass Neck wrote: (WWTLF stands the test of time, the rest, nah) sound like total crap.Nah, One Vision, A Kind Of Magic (Highlander), Friends Will Be Friends, Gimme the Prize and Princes of the Universe still stand along with WWTLF.
|It's a sound track album, so they're excused. Some of the songs feels a bit like products which had to be made before a deadline. Freddies voice is - as always - great, but the songs are quite boring. My favourites are Pain is so Close to Pleasure and Don't Lose Your Head.|
|Mr. Bed Guy
|It's all about the point of few. A Queen fan from the start will not like AKOM, because it's too poppy, eighties, synthy, whatever you call it....
But I became a Queen fan right in that years,so it was a part of my life, a part of growing up. Of course, it's not their musically highlight. But in these days we loved WWTLF, One Vison, Friends Will Be Friends....
The Miracle was the first album released when I had become a real fan. I waited for the day of release weeks before....but many people think the same of The Miracle...it's only a "song collection", too.
But after A Day at the races all Queen albums are "song collections"!!!????
|Very interesting feedback folks. Thank you.
|Synth-bass and computerised drums make it sound quite amateurish compared to most of what they did before and after.
There's very little of Roger's backing vocals compared to many previous and upcoming albums.
Songwriting's good, but on many albums before and after it was way better.
Same for production, etc.
Guitars are fantastic, and that's indeed a high point. Drums have some great moments but on a big part of the album they're either too dry or too poorly mixed or simply not there (replaced by MIDI- or computer-generated percussion). Bass is overall good but we're talking about a man who not only could play better, but also routinely did.
Don't even get me started on the piano ...
As for Freddie's vocals, they were good, with some excellent moments. The usual for him, however, was to have albums with excellent vocals with some magnificent moments.
AKOM is like a six-foot-tall man surrounded by 7- and 8-foot-tall men: he's not by any means a dwarf, but he's not by any means a giant.
|AKOM was the first Queen single I bought although I didn't hear the album until a bit later. I agree it's short and disjointed - like The Works. Out of those mid / late 80s albums I prefer The Miracle.|
|One Vision - one of the poorest attempts to rock. At least they had fun at the studio according to the documentary footage. The live versions are so much better...
A Kind Of Magic - I hate the 80's disco sound. Again, the live versions are a MILLION TIMES better.
One Year Of Love - a boring song with a bloody saxophone solo
Pain Is So Close To Pleasure - an S&M song in a funk/disco rhythm with a dated 80's sound? Were they serious?
Friends Will Be Friends - one of the most boring Queen ballads ever. Come on, Fred, what happened? You knew how to write this type of songs, e.g. Champions is a brilliant song
Who Wants To Live Forever - FINALLY! A true masterpiece ! Definitely my favourite song of the album, and probably one of my TOP 5 80's songs.
Gimme The Prize - Another pretty good song with amazing performances by mainly Freddie and Brian
Don't Lose Your Head - I'm not sure if I EVER managed to listen to it till the end.
Princess of the Universe - Another good song. Not great, just good.
Poor mixing, too much synths and computer programmed drums, weak songs, very dated sound. Freddie and Brian delivery pretty good performances most of the time, but Roger and John sound like they were not there most of the time (which they probably weren't). And the main problem (at least for me) - it doesn't sound like an album, but like a random collection of random songs, most of them being songs which would 10 years earlier be skipped in the "demo stage" of development
|Too much filler, unforgivable for Queen. The second time I ever suspected Queen of using crap filler tracks only because I heard Jazz many years before...|
Mr. Bed Guy wrote: But after A Day at the races all Queen albums are "song collections"!!!????Not at all! Jazz is the first one which runs a bit awkwardly in my opinion, but then The Game REALLY works as an album - even the more forgettable tracks like Coming Soon fit in with the rest of them. You can criticise a lot about Hot Space, but you can't say it's inconsistent within itself. I'd say 84-86 was when their albums were really sounding a bit all over the place, perhaps cos they were more focused on getting good singles out at that point.
|Hot Space was the last Queen album to take risks, The Works and Magic were too safe & ref Magic its mish-mash with the Highlander soundtrack which everyone knew back in 1986|
|I grew up in the 80s and became a fan in the 80s. I do like their 80s sound. I believe that AKOM highlughts the entire 80s era quite well. it is so 80s. There are up and downs across all work from that era, but I cannot really say bad things about their work. I find Miracle to be the weakest album. I like to hear all of those albums on vinyl from that time. it adds romance.|