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Reviews > Queen Music Reviews > 06-21-1986 - A Kind of Magic - The Times


The sound and the fury


Queen's 14th album, A Kind of Magic, sold 100,000 copies in the seven days after its release, and entered the British chart at number one. A week later Invisible Touch by Genesis replaced it at the top of the chart.

Clearly, these are two of the most spectacularly successful releases this year, yet hardly a good word has been said about either in the press. What is their appeal, and why does it not extend to those of us who are given the records to review?

Both groups employ musicianship and production values of the very highest standard to create albums of an unvarying and predictable quality, giving good value for money but providing no new insights.

Queen's album already contains three hit singles, 'One Vision', 'Friends Will Be Friends' and the title track. Freddie Mercury does a fine camp imitation of Diana Ross on 'Pain Is So Close To Pleasure', and elsewhere there are baroque metal anthems, like 'Princes of the Universe' with its Aryan sentiments, that have as much chic as a set of flying ducks on the wall.

While Queen flaunt their lack of concern for the fashionable mores, Genesis try a bit harder to gain the credible vote. Having divested themselves of their earlier penchant for long, rambling 'conceptual' arrangements, they now go for a lighter, soul-tinged pop rock approach and end up sounding like the Phil Collins Band. 'Anything She Does' has a swift, crisp beat and synthesizer horn sounds while 'The Last Domino' romps along to a Seventies neo-disco beat.