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Music / A Kind of Magic

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One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal…
A Kind of Magic is the twelfth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released in 1986. It is considered an unofficial soundtrack album to the 1986 movie Highlander, with only three songs — "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure", "Friends Will Be Friends", and "One Vision" — not appearing in the film. ("One Vision" was previously released in 1985 and had also appeared in the 1986 movie Iron Eagle.) This album would be the last one promoted with a tour, because of Freddie Mercury's diagnosis with HIV the following year, leading to his death in 1991.


Side One
  1. "One Vision"
  2. "A Kind Of Magic"
  3. "One Year Of Love"
  4. "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure"
  5. "Friends Will Be Friends"

Side Two

  1. "Who Wants To Live Forever"
  2. "Gimme The Prize (Kurgan's Theme)"
  3. "Don't Lose Your Head"
  4. "Princes Of The Universe"

Principal Members

  • Freddie Mercury – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (1-6, 9), keyboards (2, 4, 5, 9), sampler (1, 4, 5)
  • Brian May – electric guitar (all but 3), backing vocals (5, 6, 9), synthesizer (1, 6), sampler (1), lead vocals (6)
  • Roger Taylor – drums (all but 3), backing vocals (2, 5, 6, 9), drum machine (2, 6, 8), synthesizer (2)
  • John Deacon – bass (all but 6), electric guitar (4, 5, 8), synthesizer (3, 4), sampler (3, 4), drum machine (3, 4)


Heeeeere we are! Born to be kings, we're the tropers of the universe!

  • Album Title Drop: "It's a kind of magic" on the Title Track.
  • Badass Boast: In "Princes Of The Universe" and "Gimme The Prize".
  • Bragging Theme Tune: "Princes Of The Universe" for Highlander.
  • Face on the Cover: All four members of Queen done in a cartoon style.
  • Heavy Mithril: "Princes of the Universe".
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: "Princes of the Universe" is all about how awesome immortals are.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "One Vision" is an upbeat, inspirational song mostly about Martin Luther King Jr. It was covered by Laibach, who rendered it as a German-language faux-Nazi song. Critics at the time had sometimes equated Queen with fascism, due to the hold Freddie had over the audience coming as one and the critics' dismissal of the kind of arena rock Queen did so well.
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  • Lyric Swap: Near the end of "One Vision": "Just gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme... FRIED CHICKEN!"
  • Metal Scream: "Gimme the Prize" showed that Freddie could do this, even though he hated the song.
  • The Power of Friendship: Celebrated in "Friends Will Be Friends".
  • Record Producer: Queen, Mack, David Richards.
  • Rule of Cool: During the video for "Princes of the Universe", Connor MacLeod (played by Christopher Lambert and all) challenges Freddie Mercury to a sword fight. Freddie's fighting with his microphone stand... and the duel ends in a draw. Think about that for a second...
  • Shout-Out: Around the mid-80s, John Deacon lost his license for a year because of a DUI. Roger Taylor referenced that in his song "Don't Lose Your Head".
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Gimme The Prize" contains voice clips from Highlander.
  • Title Track: "A Kind Of Magic".
  • Villain Song: "Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)".
  • Vocal Tag Team: Brian May and Freddie Mercury trade off vocals on "Who Wants To Live Forever".
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The song on the album is the Trope Namer.


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