A Kind of Magic (song)
|"A Kind of Magic"|
|Single by Queen|
|from the album A Kind of Magic|
|B-side||"A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling"
"Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)" (US)
|Released||17 March 1986 (UK)
4 June 1986 (US)
|Format||7"/12" vinyl single|
|Producer||Queen, David Richards|
|Queen singles chronology|
"A Kind of Magic" is a rock song written by Roger Taylor for the film Highlander, for which Queen wrote the music. The song reached number three in the UK Singles Chart, top ten in a number of European countries, and #42 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song is the opening track on the band's compilation albums, Greatest Hits II, and Classic Queen.
The phrase "a kind of magic" is actually used in the film by Christopher Lambert and impressed Roger Taylor so much that he made it into a full song. There are references to the film in the lyrics – "one prize, one goal"; "no mortal man": "there can be only one".
Taylor wrote the melody and chords for the version that appeared in the film. Freddie Mercury composed a new bass line, added instrumental breaks, and changed the song's order. Mercury and David Richards produced this new version. The song was still credited only to Taylor. Whilst Taylor's version is at the end of the film, Mercury's version appears on the album. Taylor's version of A Kind of Magic did not see official release until it was included on the extra EP for the 2011 special edition of the album.
The song was a live favourite on Magic Tour of the same year, which proved to be Queen's last with the original foursome.
On the Rock the Cosmos Tour of Europe, Taylor took lead vocals for the song at some concerts.
The music video for this song was directed by Russell Mulcahy, director of Highlander. Notable is that guitarist Brian May did not use his famous Red Special guitar in the music video, instead he used a 1984 copy. Mercury is dressed as a magician type of figure. He enters an abandoned theatre (The Playhouse Theatre in London) where May, Taylor and John Deacon (all dressed as stereotypical tramps) are asleep until awakened by Mercury's entrance. Mercury, dressed as a magician, transforms the hobos into the Queen members dressed regularly with their instruments, and back to hobos again as he leaves. Throughout the video, cartoon images dance to the beat of the song which was produced by the Walt Disney Corporation.
The single was certified platinum in Brazil for more than 100,000 digital downloads of the single.On Last.fm the song has more than 48,000 hits and is the sixteenth most listened Queen song ever.
Queen's compilations The Platinum Collection, Classic Queen, and Greatest Hits II all make an unsubstantiated claim that the song reached #1 in 35 countries around the world, but to date, there is no known territory where the song did reach the top position.
|UK Singles Chart||3|
|Irish Singles Chart||3|
|Swiss Singles Chart||3|
|Dutch Singles Chart||4|
|French Singles Chart||5|
|German Singles Chart||6|
|Australian Singles Chart||6|
|Austrian Singles Chart||12|
|U.S. Singles Chart||42|
Sales and Certifications
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Freddie Mercury: lead and backing vocals
- Brian May: guitar
- Roger Taylor: drums, electronic drums, synthesizer, backing vocals
- John Deacon: bass guitar
Usage in other media
- The music was used in the trailer for the film The Adventures of Pinocchio.
- A promotional music video, made by Boeing, was released called, Hornet Magic was released on VHS. The video was music video of the song set to video footage of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter planes. In the video, the word "magic" appeared on screen every time it was mentioned in the song.
- A shortened version of the song is used in the opening credits of the children's animated series A Kind of Magic.
- The song was heard on a launch promo of Disney Channel in the UK in 1995, but also in 2009 for the launch in the Netherlands and Flanders.
- A sample of Mercury saying "Ha ha ha ha ha, it's magic" also appears in the Queen version of the song "I Was Born to Love You" from their 1995 album Made in Heaven.
- M-Net have used the song in promo's several times, as their motto is "we call it magic".
- The BBC used the song as the background music for the 1986 edition of the The Rock 'n' Roll Years (aired in 1994) when featuring footage from the all-Merseyside FA Cup final of that year, in which Liverpool beat Everton 3-1 at Wembley Stadium.
- The BBC also used the song in a montage showing clips from Series 1 of Merlin.
- The Brazilian telephony company Claro used the song in the launch campaign for their first 3G cellphones. The commercials depicted people using the new features only possible with 3G technology with "A Kind of Magic" as the background music.
- It was used as the ending song for the #18 episode of the Queer as Folk series' first season; the episode was directed by Russell Mulcahy.
- It was used by the BBC for the introduction of the opening ceremony in the 1986 Commonwealth games in Edinburgh.
- Queen Album: Classic Queen MTV. Retrieved 2 July 2011
- Jenkins, Jim; Smith, Jacky; Davis, Andy; Symes, Phil (2000). The Platinum Collection (CD booklet). Queen. Parlophone. p. 11. 7243 5 29883 2 7.
- "Brazilian single certifications – A Kind of Magic" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
- "A Kind Of Magic by Queen Songfacts". Songfacts. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
- Official music video on YouTube
- Cover by Queen + Paul Rogers on YouTube
- Lyrics at Queen official website