THE LATE LATE REVIEW: QUEEN – A KIND OF MAGIC

Is it even a celebration of pride month without taking a listen to Freddie Mercury (and the rest of Queen, obvs)?

Release Date: June 1986

Achievements: Certified gold in the USA, 2x Platinum in the UK. Not bad.

Rating: Despite The Times describing the album as one of “the most successful releases this year”, there wasn’t too warm a critical reception of this record, averaging a middling 3 stars.

Queen, and their frontman Freddie Mercury, need no introduction. Maybe you’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody (I figure at this point it goes without saying that I haven’t), or maybe you’ve lived on this planet at some point in your life – which I figure goes for the vast majority of us.

I feel like everyone else in the band would probably be a little annoyed for everyone saying this, but Freddie Mercury really is Queen. I’ll back this up for the purpose of this review by saying it is Pride month, and Freddie was gay, so…

Anyway, the album.

This one has a few of the big hits on it. One Vision? This album. Who Wants To Live Forever? You guessed it! A Kind of Magic? You’re being ridiculous, that’s obvious. I feel like you aren’t taking me seriously. That’s rude.

Speaking of Who Wants to Live Forever, I had always been led to believe that it was a song written by Freddie on learning that he had HIV. This is very much not the case. Brian May wrote the song for the Highlander soundtrack based on a scene from the film. He sings on the song too. This was the last album that Freddie got to tour with Queen before his diagnosis however, and the song has also been used in memory of Freddie when Seal sang it at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, so maybe that’s where the confusion came from.

I didn’t realise how many of the tracks in this album were written with Highlander in mind, or are connected to Highlander in some way; and yes, this might have something to do with the fact I’ve not seen Highlander. 6 of the 9 Songs on the album are related to the film. I feel like I’ve missed something here…

Ah yes. A bit of light Googling and a trip to Wikipedia says that this album is something of an unofficial soundtrack for the movie. I have also now looked into the movie and suddenly this album makes more sense as a soundtrack based on the fact that I got Highlander mixed up with Braveheart.

I think this album got an unfair critical reception when it was released. Sure, it’s a bit frothy compared to some of Queen’s other music which has a harder edge, but it’s certainly not a bad album.

It feels like it has a very specific time-stamp though and might have dated a bit. It still gave us some absolute bangers though, so for that this gets a thumbs up from me!

Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview

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