|As commercially successful as A Kind of Magic (album) was, I wish it had never been made because it was to a large degree restricted because of its association with the Highlander and a chunk of the album dedicated to that even though with some they later reworked into Queen songs it was still like recycling something to make the best of it rather than it being fresh and new and organic.
Imagine if they didn't have a 'fit the movie' remit that dominated a large chunk of the album, what kind of album they could have made at that time post-Live Aid with their enthusiasm and creative juices once more flowing into the vehicle Queen in a way we wouldn't have seen for a good few years by that time. It's almost a shame they had the commitment to the film at all. Not that the album is therefore without merit nor do I refuse to recognise how helpful the album was to their commercial success but artistically I'd have loved to hear what Queen could have produced at that time given free-reign creatively rather than be tied to in the most part having to refer back to the film.
|Good post, fully agree. One Vision and WWTLF are good songs, the rest is bland at best.
|Actually, One Vision is structurally one of their simplest (and therefore the most boring and forgettable) songs from 80's and sounds pretty uninspired. Can't argue with WWTLF though.
|Simple is not the same as boring. We Will Rock You is simple but not boring, and One Vision have a great "punch".
AKoM has some good moments.
Who Wants to Live Forever is one of Brian best songs.
The original version of A King of Magic is a great track.
The guitar arpeggios of Gimme the Prize and the sheer heaviness of the song.
Princes of the Universe, enough said.
I agree some other songs can be fillers or dull, like Don't Lose your Head.
|A simple song structure isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't hold you back to lay down the most beautiful solos,fills and vocals on a simple structure.
On the other hand take a listen on "The Miracle", no big improvement in my opinion..so movie related or not...that was their level in the mid/late 80 's.
|In hindsight, I agree AKOM was a disappointing effort and they could have capitalised on their Live Aid success in a much better way. Surprisingly, I am not sure if there was a will within the band to do it at the time. The Highlander project itself could have been more interesting and no-one forced them to put songs as bland as One Year of Love or Pain Is So Close To Pleasure on the album. It seems they decided to take the easy route and produced something which sounded fairly current at the time and guaranteed good ticket sales for the tour, not really concentrating on using the opportunity to bring the big Queen sound back. "Princes of the Universe" is just an example of what it might have been, a shame indeed.
|I like AKOM (the song) and FWBF and OV and WWTLF. The rest are OK. So, for me, that's a "below par" album but still very listenable to.
And it's the last before "something's up" :-( applies.
|I have a real fondness for the AKOM album. I was 14 when it came out and it was the album that got me into Queen. What you have to remember is that like most Queen albums it reflected the kind of music that was popular at the time. Yes Queen were innovative but even someone who knew very little about them would surely be able to place albums like Queen, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack in the arly 79's and albums like AKOM and The Miracle as being from the 1980's both in terms of production and feel. In 1986 music in the UK was very pop, very keyboard orientated so we end up with a Queen album in that vein in 1986. If they'd put out something along the lines of News of the World or Jazz it wouldn't have capitalised on Live Aid the way AKOM did. Similarly in 1989 UK and European music (where they were based at the time, no touring the world and soaking up other influences) music was at what I consider to be its musical nadir. Over-dependence on keyboards and synthetic technology and guff like Stock Aiken and Waterman's acts (shudder). Bros, Kylie and Jason and Phil Collins were having the big hits so it doesn't surprise me that Queen would put out my least favourite album of theirs - The Miracle. When I think back to the three year wait from AKOM and remember what was waiting for us at the end of it.... grimace!!! But it was a reflection of the musical times. Of course there wer other musical styles doing well and I wish they had veered closer to the power rock of Bon Jovi, GNR etc but the BIG hits were coming from the world of bland europop so that's what Queen aimed for sadly. After all, they'd been chasing hit singles rather than hit albums ever since 1980. :(
|I'm a big fan of the album and find all the tracks with the exception of 'Don't Lose Your Head' to be good/fun/interesting. I know it's not a popular opinion to have and maybe it's because i have a poppier ear, but i think it's a very listenable and enjoyable album.
|It's not my favourite album, but some of the highlights which have been listed, AKOM, WWTLF, POTU all came about because of the film. So maybe the film actually saved them from some very lengthy uninspired recording sessions.
Remember also that the album's success led to The Magic tour, which although only covering the UK and Europe, was a great way for the band with Freddie to end their touring days.
|I agree too. Post-Live Aid Queen should have been able to do better, if we accept the official story that Live Aid made them a band again, which can possibly be debated (we have a "making-of" video for One Vision, but it's a promotional video after all). Maybe that other events (that came a bit later than 1985) made Queen a band again:
- Freddie being finally successful in solo with Montserrat -- the consensus here is that Mr. Bad Guy made Freddie record again with Queen because it was a flop. Had it been a success, maybe that Freddie would have done parallel careers (à la Phil Collins/Genesis) and would have felt better being in a band;
- The first signs of illness that made gave the band a sense of urgency and helped them bury their egos;
- Freddie shaving his moustache (my personal most logical explanation).
That's why I think that The Miracle is the first album of the new, born again Queen and not AKOM. Imagine what a great album it would have been, without the synths (particularly the synth drums)!
Finally, worse than AKOM was Flash... That's the album I wish was never made. Even more than Hot Space.
|Yeah, first double post for me here!
|Weel, AKOM is actually my 6th favourite album. I usually hear 7 of the 9 album tracks. Princes is great. WWTLF is great also. Prize is just as amazing. One Vision is very good. Magic, Year Of Love and Friends are not bad also.
|I don't necessarily think it's the album itself that's the problem but more the fact of the concept of the album. You could get a world class chef and ask him to make a meal using only ingredients that began with the letter S and you'd end up with a nice enough meal but it doesn't mean it's as good as it would otherwise have been without restriction.
It's a case of:
a) Make an album using left overs from songs you wrote for a movie
b) Go into the studio and make a new album
We got more 'a' than 'b' and at that time supposed creative invigoration it's a shame that Queen wouldn't release an album that could fully harness this creativity without restriction until 1989.
|The King Of Rhye
|Not sure where exactly I'd rank it, but AKOM is probably my 2nd or 3rd least favorite Queen album. That being said, the only songs I'd say I hope weren't made were OYOL and DLYH.....
|Well, of course they could not release another album like Jazz in 86. That's not what I meant. I meant an 80's sounding album, but simply more brave and with better songs. Something slightly more sophisticated artistically than Friends or Don't Lose Your Head. Songs like Forever, Princes or Was It All Worth It demonstrate they were still capable of it, even midway through such a plastic decade as the 80's. It's a bit of a shame a band as clever as Queen did not grab this opportunity, settling for a few hit singles and filled stadiums.
|I agree, its an album with an identity crisis. It is sort of something to do with Highlander (a film I have still never seen!) but isnt a soundtrack but is a normal Queen album too. The film inspired some of the better songs on the album but at the same time sorts of taints it too. In my humble opinion.
|people on streets
|Bla bla bla.
God knows what might became of Queen, if they even decided to continue as a band instead of breaking up, would Highlander not have happened.
Way I see it: Queen were on the verge of breaking up. At least Highlander gave them a reason to work.
Results could have been better, but far worse as well.
IMHO it's still a better LP than most of their 80s work.
|wish it was never made. Dumb statements like that make queen fans look stupid. It is towards the bottom or their records, but to say f with it means stupidity. No person/groups puts out a masterpiece to every single person ever and there never will be that scenario. Take it or leave it. As Freddie said, it's only a bloody record. Now last night I listened to random queen songs and FWBF was one of them. When I first heard it, I loved it then got tired of it's cheesy-ness. I Playing the extended version, I remembered how great it was. The guitar sounds of May at it's best. Only wish the production was better, allow the guitar and drums to be powerful like the Works. They should have continued to record in the US in the 80's where rock and metal was more powerful that the poppy European sound.
k-m wrote: Well, of course they could not release another album like Jazz in 86. That's not what I meant. I meant an 80's sounding album, but simply more brave and with better songs. Something slightly more sophisticated artistically than Friends or Don't Lose Your Head. Songs like Forever, Princes or Was It All Worth It demonstrate they were still capable of it, even midway through such a plastic decade as the 80's. It's a bit of a shame a band as clever as Queen did not grab this opportunity, settling for a few hit singles and filled stadiums."plastic decade!> Ha haa! Love that! :D
|I absolutely love the album. It's fresh, and it sounds very good in 2015. Not to mention that the song AKOM is one of the best pop songs ever written. Great record!
|Let me disagree with you, Snackpot. It is my favourite album. I'm not saying that you have to love it since it's my favourite, but let's be realistic: it sounds great, all nine songs. And as Mr.QueenFan put it, it still sounds fresh even now, in 2015. They hadn't put out such bright an album before nor did they do so later - it's only my opinion. You can't change the past but speculation isn't bad, though.
|SLACK MAGIC - A Kind Of Magic - Album Review 86'
musicland munich wrote: SLACK MAGIC - A Kind Of Magic - Album Review 86'What was wrong with this Barone guy to dish Queen like this in newspapers. What a jerk. No wonder they hated British press. What a bunch of tossers to insult Queen music and even Freddies voice. This guy Barone is retarded or hates Queen guts back then.
musicland munich wrote: SLACK MAGIC - A Kind Of Magic - Album Review 86'Freddie bless your scans.
Freddie Save The Scans.
|Wow.... it WAS a toilet brush moustache!
Geez. Slag the band and hardly even talk about the music. Maybe the guy just heard a few songs or dismissed the rest entirely.
Eh. Still a better review than "Shark Sandwich" got.
He's right about Spielberg though.
Pretty empty films. (Up to that point) his best being the adaptation of DUEL.
|That review is just pure bile, from someone basically laying bare his own personal preconceived thoughts on the band as an entity, and as individuals, rather than actually reviewing the music. Yes, it's not there best album by a long chalk, but hell, at least review the music and critique that, rather than just personal attacks...what a tool.
goose44 wrote: allow the guitar and drums to be powerful like the Works. .I must have several dodgy copies of The Works then, because the drums are anything but powerful on the editions I've been listening to for the last 30 years!!
|master marathon runner
|"wish AKOM had never been made" - quite possibly the stupidest post heading ever on QZ.
Very good album, ......and I like "don't lose your head"
|My point wasn't difficult to grasp.
I'd rather the album was a proper Queen album rather than being largely songs for a movie specifically reworked. If people are too dense to understand the premise of the point then that's not my problem, it's hardly unclear.
If you paid £100 for a meal made by a 3 Michelin star chef who was restricted to only using ingredients beginning with S, chances are you're still going to enjoy the meal. It doesn't mean to say you wouldn't have rather seen what could have been cooked for you without that restriction.
Whether or not you like AKOM isn't really relevant to the central point that the restriction of the album of needing to be largely made from songs produced originally for the film meant that it is a very different album to what it would have been had the band been allowed free artistic reign and not have to pigeon hole much of what they did to fit the narrative of a film.
But if this is the "stupidest post ever" on QZ, then fair enough. I know that's probably proven because some tit said "I like it".
Case closed then.
The argument clearly is that Queen were incapable of producing their own album in 1986 and nobody would want to hear it if they did.Instead people are pleased that the album was almost rigidly tied to the soundtrack and most other artistic ideas that may have sprung up during that time were rightly rejected as we're all delighted they produced an album jammed with songs for/from the movie and nothing else.
master marathon runner wrote: "wish AKOM had never been made" - quite possibly the stupidest post heading ever on QZ. Very good album, ......and I like "don't lose your head"Yes, I think wishing it was never made is a bit too much.
|If in 1986 Queen instead decided to make an album on the concept of he colour blue then whether or not you liked the album doesn't mean it's illigitimate to say you'd wish they instead produced an album without that self-imposed restriction.
Same applies in this instance.
As it happens AKOM isn't my favourite album but even I did like it I'd still would rather have them produce an album that was a true reflection of the creativity at that period of time rather than one shackled to an arbitrary concept: the colour blue in he above example, or the movie in the case of the album that was actually made.
musicland munich wrote: SLACK MAGIC - A Kind Of Magic - Album Review 86'I couldn't read it until the end. Another music critic who is a failled musician at heart. And let's face it, if this man knew anything about music he would be creating it, not reviewing it!
|Personally at the time I thought this album was good, didn't like One Year of Love or Pain Is So Close to Pleasure, how could anyone not like AKOM or POTU?
They have stood the test of time, AKOM has so much going on, yes it's a pop song, but a good Roger song reworked by Freddie which simply made it better. The Highlander version must have been nearer to what Roger envisaged and obviously must have been kicking around since the One Vision sessions given the outtake we now have on the 2011 release.
Disagree with e original sentiment of the post, but we are all entitled to our views.
|It's a bit hit and miss, but I like the album. AKOM, POTU, WWTLF, and Prize are amongst my favourites from the 80's. One Vision and Don't Lose Your Head I enjoy very much as well. Its the three tracks at the end of side one that never did it for me. I like the cover, which isn't a popular opinion, and I love the videos they made for this album. Even the one for Friends WBF and that is a song of which I've never been a huge fan.
The problem with wishing they hadn't made it, is that without it, there would have been no tour in 86. I've seen comments (And no I'm not searching the web for the proper attributions) from I think both Brian and Freddie, that they didn't want to tour without a new album. So timing wise it was perfect, and musically it was far from their worst effort.
It was also the very last time that a new Queen album came out and my introduction to it was from a window display in HMV on the day it came out.
First time I saw the cover and the first time I knew the track listing was when I was standing in the store, cash in hand. (probably 4 pounds 99, but I cant be certain). (I remember it very well, it was a sunny day and the trip home on the bus seemed to take forever)
I'm not convinced that without the Highlander soundtrack work there would ever have been another Queen album. Without that focus, they may have just drifted apart.
(Though maybe Live Aid was enough, and Highlander was just the delivery system)
|The King Of Rhye
matt z wrote: Eh. Still a better review than "Shark Sandwich" got. He's right about Spielberg though. Pretty empty films. (Up to that point) his best being the adaptation of DUEL.Shark Sandwich!!! lol.....
And Duel rules....
|hey snackpot, buy a fake passport and fuck off
|hobbit in Rhye
ggo1 wrote: The problem with wishing they hadn't made it, is that without it, there would have been no tour in 86. I've seen comments (And no I'm not searching the web for the proper attributions) from I think both Brian and Freddie, that they didn't want to tour without a new album. So timing wise it was perfect, and musically it was far from their worst effort. It was also the very last time that a new Queen album came out and my introduction to it was from a window display in HMV on the day it came out. First time I saw the cover and the first time I knew the track listing was when I was standing in the store, cash in hand. (probably 4 pounds 99, but I cant be certain). (I remember it very well, it was a sunny day and the trip home on the bus seemed to take forever)Good point^^
If I wish that AKOM was never made, which I don't, I would also have to wish that Miracle was never made, because I don't like it anymore than AKOM. But WWTLForever, AKOMagic and IWIAall are too good to be wished never was made.
Snackpot, I think you may want to rephrase the title because it wasn't what you really meant in your post. Wishing AKOM hadn't been made that way?
|I am one of few people to like this album, i prefer this to the works and hot space, a track that i saw many here hate that i like is don't lose your head!
|WWTLF by itself is so good that even if the rest of the album were crap, it alone would justify the album's existence.
Having AKOM, POTU and OV on it as well make it not only justified in its existence, but a good album too. Yes, they were constrained by it having to be shaped in a certain manner because it was a film soundtrack, and yes it wasn't as good as some of their earlier work. But it's certainly left us with some really good songs.
|AKOM (the song) has some very nice "twiddly" guitar work on it.
sexmachine wrote: hey snackpot, buy a fake passport and fuck offYes they don't have the internet abroad, that'll work.
Some real pig-shit thick people here. All my point was is that I'd rather in 1986 they made an album not largely confined to having to relate to scenes in a movie and that I'd rather they made an album that was a true reflection of where they were as a band at that time.
Instead what we got was no proper Queen album for 5 years from the Works to The Miracle because AKOM was really an attempt to salvage a sound-track album into a proper studio album.
And I get "buy a fake passport and fuck off"
It's hilarious how incapable people are at understanding anything beyond "is this song about AIDS?" and "did you like the moustache"
Snackpot wrote: As commercially successful as A Kind of Magic (album) was, I wish it had never been madeMe too, then I might not be here looking at posts from nutters and trolls (they know who they are)
I might also have shed loads of money as I wouldn't have spent it on collecting Queen stuff!
Of course, on the downside, I may have ended up being a fan of "girl bands" instead and the only person at an S Club Juniors concert above 2 feet in size LOL!
|Yeah. I get both points.
But the premise is Nazi like. Completely revisionist... how could Queen have emerged in the 80's without highlander.
They were going to quit and call it a day.
I think they made off well with WWTLF DLYH and POTU (*though I prefer the original soundtrack edit that was leaked a year ago)
FWBF had immaculate guitar work. Cheese or no cheese it's absolutely beautiful work by Brian.
To articulate that bit to a band would probably be taken very deeply and personally. Its basically saying. .. YOU GUYS SUCKED $#!+ ... WTF was that crap you released. ..
And further it states "I could do better" when you (the fan) really couldn't
On the other hand yeah if they'd focused on completely new work you might have had a WHAM style song in the mix and something ala DURAN DURAN/U2
ME? I'm grateful the artistry Brian had had shown in WWTLF and others. They weren't exactly swinging for hits.
Take it out loathe it, I think it was a good turn
|The album is definitely a Curate's Egg. It suffers from a lumpy tracklist (I'll say this about nearly every Queen album!) with side one too weighed down with OYOL and PISCTP. It's a truly 'European' album - when I listen to it I think of nice trips abroad in France and hearing OYOL on the radio (!) and like other posters here I have happy memories of it coming out. I was about 9 so loved the cover and had a t shirt of it, it's only now I look at it and cringe. Its VERY 1986 and with that in mind I still enjoy it immensely. The Works has better songs somehow, but for some reason AKOM has more depth and hold the attention more. Considering they both have 9 songs, The Works seems much more 'slight'. It's strange, earlier this week I got DLYH stuck in m head out of no where and thought about listening to the album (on tape of course!) and picked it out of my shelf and had a look at the inlay and really enjoyed being transported back to '86. Tellingly, I didn't actually put it on! But I will. Sooooon.
PS - that review is from Sounds so I wouldn't pay it much heed. They still thought it was 1976 and Queen were the enemy. You can bet the reviewer was actually a fan (as they all were) but the readership expected, and the mag mission was anti-Queen.
|*made even more strange as DLYH is one of my least favourite Queen tracks. However, I still love A Dozen Red Roses... which was on the AKOM 7". I'm sure their should've been room for that on at least the CD instead of the refried Extra Magical Ingredients - of which only Forever seems to work as the album closer 'proper'.
|I have it on good authority that A Dozen Red Roses was created when someone in the studio accidentally leant on the big machine thing and it made a noise and some arty person thought it would be a good B side. Queen fans seem to lap it up though.... :/
|Hey I was little and it sounded odd. It pretty much started the entire Hoxton scene.
Needless to say I grabbed the cassette for a car ride only to find it was Live Magic. AKOM will have to wait another few years for a window.
|I like One Year Of Love, but mainly because Freddie absolutely sings the shit out of that song. It would just have been a boring synth pop-with-sax-solo song otherwise. Which it may already be.
I found a Spanish promo of the single on a fair :)
|I'd probably like it more if it was placed later on side 2.
|we could seal it in the same concrete bath i've consigned Hot Space to in the Mariana Trench
|Had a listen, and what I didn't note in 1986 is that the Mack produced songs on it piss all over the DR ones. Would've been interesting to see what had happened if it was Mack all through.
|Was it the first time David Richards worked on any Queen songs, as opposed to Roger Taylor ones? I wonder if he was finding his feet with the other 3.
|Yaah maybe. Was A Dozen Red Roses a Roger solo effort then that was his 'in'? Dunno.
Martin Packer wrote: Was it the first time David Richards worked on any Queen songs, as opposed to Roger Taylor ones?No, it wasn't. In 1979 he'd engineered all of 'Live Killers' with John Etchells (and the overwhelming majority of that record contains material Roger didn't write). He also co-engineered the B-Side of 'Hot Space' (except for 'Life Is Real') and played piano on 'Under Pressure.'
|Makes sense I guess as he based at the studio there?
Also on my latest listen, I have to say that I have a new found love for the title track. Excellent 'light' pop that Queen excelled at, like Killer Queen.
|Lookin' Divine In Good Ol' '89
|A Kind Of Magic, even with the non-soundtrack songs, still just completely comes off to me as "Highlander-The Soundtrack".
I mean that in a good way.
They really should've just made it a full on soundtrack or perhaps if they didn't want to do a whole soundtrack album, make it an EP and do a full album of other songs.
|If it had just been "Highlander - The Soundtrack" it would've contributed to rumours of the band's demise. Whether they then had to consciously pad with a few non-movie songs or not remains an open question. (I suspect not as One Vision and Friends Will Be Friends are pretty decent attempts at non-movie songs (but One Vision WAS from a movie).)
Martin Packer wrote: If it had just been "Highlander - The Soundtrack" it would've contributed to rumours of the band's demise. Whether they then had to consciously pad with a few non-movie songs or not remains an open question. (I suspect not as One Vision and Friends Will Be Friends are pretty decent attempts at non-movie songs (but One Vision WAS from a movie).)I never really class One Vision as a movie track......it was written as a band song as per any other, and just happened to later be used in a movie, as opposed to the Highlander stuff written specifically for a film.
|The first place I heard One Vision was on Live Magic, and it was certainly credited to 'Iron Eagle' all over the packaging :)
cmsdrums wrote: I never really class One Vision as a movie track......it was written as a band song as per any other, and just happened to later be used in a movie, as opposed to the Highlander stuff written specifically for a film.well perhaps it's one for the pedantics, but here's something worth considering
One Vision - release date - November 1985
Iron eagle - release date January 1986
Now, on the basis that films can take much longer to make than a 5-minute rock single - i'd say that there's very good chance that by the time One Vision was released, Iron Eagle had probably already been completed and was ready for cinema release.
brENsKi wrote:It's a good point, and one I did consider. I still reckon that the soundtrack would not have been settled on and it could have been ANY Queen track included, but just happened to be 'One Vision' as it was their latest single.Capital Records released the soundtrack, and Queen were signed to them, so this was a mutual business decision. I'm sure (especially having seen the 'making of One Vision') that it wasn't written 'on demand' for the film, or in any way relating to it.cmsdrums wrote: I never really class One Vision as a movie track......it was written as a band song as per any other, and just happened to later be used in a movie, as opposed to the Highlander stuff written specifically for a film.well perhaps it's one for the pedantics, but here's something worth considering One Vision - release date - November 1985 Iron eagle - release date January 1986 Now, on the basis that films can take much longer to make than a 5-minute rock single - i'd say that there's very good chance that by the time One Vision was released, Iron Eagle had probably already been completed and was ready for cinema release.
CPL593h wrote: - Freddie shaving his moustache (my personal most logical explanation).It's true that Freddie didn't have the same attitude without the moustache. He was the genuine shy Freddie without the 'stache.
|If Freddie decided to put all his effort on magic, and forget Mr. Bad Guy AKOM could have been great. Some of those songs were good but ruined on BadGuy with bad production, and lousy session players. The works also had better potential. Include I Go crazy and Let Me in Your Heart again and even love kills, then exclude man on the prowl and tear it up.
|I also talk to people who aren't huge Queen fans but love the highlander movie, they loved the soundtrack so much that they became proper fans later on. But most here on queenzone think of Magic as weak. Not everyone agrees.
|A Kind of Magic is the weakest album, but they're excused because it's a sound track album - the most interesting songs are Pain is so Close to Pleasure and Don't Lose Your Head, I think. One Year of Love has grown a bit on me, and I think the title song is okay.