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Snow Dog
Errors & Omissions Team
1 stars Appallingly bad live album. really give it a wide berth and seek out the far superior Live At Wembley. It is from the same tour and is a complete Concert on double CD. Why they released this I'll never know, considering this is the next live album after the excellent "Live Killers". You have been warned!
Report this review (#40910)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars A poor excuse for a live album, the songs are good, the performance is equally great, as can be expected from a band of Queens kaliber, but the production is awfull. I remember buying this album with huge expectations, just a view at the setlist made me drule with anticipation, but I didn't noticed the song length, only some songs are played in entirety, most songs are edited down to fit in a fifty minute album. horrible. I was really appaled when I put this in my CD player.

The full length songs are good, with a recommendation for Another One Bites The Dust, one of my least favourite Queen songs, but on this version it really is great, I had it incorporated in a live compilation tape I made, between Deep Purple's Highway Star and Whole Lotta Love from Led Zeppelin, worked really well.

But even songs that normally last 2 till 3 minutes where edited down to be even shorter, the production ruined and destroyed something that could have been a great album. Later on they released a full length concert registration, that's far superior compared to this evil after-birth. Get Live at Wembley instead, for the setlist and Queen's performance is great.

STAY AWAY FROM THIS. One star because of Another One Bites The Dust, they should have called this 'Live eviL'.

Report this review (#41197)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I don't think this album is as bad as some people say, but it is correct to mention that "Live at Wembley '86" is better than this one, not only because all the concert was recorded, but also because the editions of the "Live Magic" are poorly done.

It also has another con...with the edition of the concert, they took out some songs that were the climax of the concerts of their tour "A kind of magic", like Love of my life (in which the 72 000 people in the stadium sang with Freddie and without him), Crazy little thing called love (where Freddie played the guitar), Now I'm here (A hit) and Tuttti Frutti (a country song) play by Queen in their tour.

I don't really recommend this album because of the production and because it doesn't have great songs such as the ones above :P, but I highly recommend the Live at Wembley '86, that is the complete concert and it is just awesome...that's why 72 000 people gathered in the Wembley Stadium and not only there, but in other parts of Europe. There is no doubt that Queen concerts were great shows and that Freddie was a genious in the stage, but the edition of this album is very poor. 1 star for the songs that remained complete after the edition :D and another star for the awesome show in stage. :D

Report this review (#41565)
Posted Thursday, August 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars The purpose of this one is not very obvious...all the tracks are shortened, the concert atmosphere is not very present, all the tracks are included on the "Live At Wembley '86"... in one word....weak.

The purpose was much more obvious back in 1986 when this thing came out...QUEEN were ultra-popular, there were no official live document from the 80s and therefore no opportunity to hear new mega-hits performed live.

Even in that case this is a poor work. I guess fans were quite disappointed when this one came out, especially compared to excellent "Live Killers" from 1979.

This is not truncated version of "Live At Wembley '86", actually only "Hammer To Fall" and "Is This The World We Created...?" are recorded live from Wembley Stadium, the rest is from Knebworth Park and Budapest. However, there is no significant difference in the performance here and on "Live At Wembley" CD (save the fact that while listening to "Live At Wembley" you can feel like you were there, and the songs are prolonged rather than shortened).

I guess you have to be a really die-hard QUEEN fan (like I am) to get this CD - simply because of completing your collection, and because of alternative live versions. This one failed miserably on the test of time. One and a half star, but considering the fact that this document is not of any interest for prog rock fan, I won't round it to two stars.

Report this review (#101053)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Under pressure. . .to fit it all in

"Live magic" captures Queen at pretty much the height of their career. The resurgence in their popularity which resulted from their appearance at "Live aid" is captured here in a succession of songs which were live anthems and pop classics.

OK, that's the good news. The bad news is that this album fails to satisfy. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most significant is that the compilers have tried to squeeze a quart into a pint pot. There are a total of 15 tracks, squeezed onto two sides of an LP. This results in many of the songs being abbreviated.

The album is made up of songs taken from three separate gigs, two in the United Kingdom, and one in Hungary. Such is Queen's professionalism that in reality it matters not where the recordings took place, the sound and the crowd's reaction is the same. There is no doubt that these recordings capture some of the excitement of a Queen gig; from the opening "One vision" through "Tie your mother down" and "Seven seas of Rhye", the band rapidly wind up the crowd to a frenzy.

One purpose the album does serve is to demonstrate the strength of the song-writing talent throughout the band. All four band members have songs included which can be classified as Queen classics. The emphasis is largely on Queen's then more recent numbers, with songs such as "Killer Queen", "Brighton rock". Everything from the first album is ruthlessly (if understandably, some were on 1979's "Live Killers") omitted. The six songs on side one of the LP are largely unabridged, with only "Seven seas of Rhye" being cut down to segue into "A kind of magic".

The shortened tracks on the second side are presented as a sort of medley, leading to disappointing renditions of songs such as "Friends will be friends". The anthems "We are the champions", "Radio ga-ga" and "We will rock you" inevitably wind the crowd up further, Freddie by now has them in the palm of his hands. There is though a feeling of coldness and aloofness to it all.

For me, an integral part of the appeal of Queen's music is the quality of the studio production, and the perfect nature of the final product. In a live environment, such qualities are given lesser importance. It is therefore necessary to witness the performance to gain full satisfaction from it, not to simply hear it. As live Queen albums go, this is adequate, but in terms of the Queen discography it is far from essential.

Report this review (#118780)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is a Queen live album recorded at the peak of their popularity.

Of course, several tracks are emasculated, but it was already the case during their first live album "Live Killers" released some seven years prior to this one.

The set list is of course seriously oriented towards their latest work (but who can blame a band to promote their most recent albums even if they were not great ones). Numerous hit singles are featured (and this was probably what the audience wanted to listen to).

Since this live record is shortly formatted, there won't be too much of a karaoke in here (which is a good thing). From the glory days (IMO), only three songs remain in this set : "Seven Seas Of Rhye", "Rhapsody" of course and the very good rocking "Tie Your Mother Down".

One gets the classic closing sports anthems which are almost an obligation for the band to play. The version of Hammer To Fall is also showing that the band still rocks all right and is more than a Kind Of Magic oriented.

It is of course not a great live record, but still a decent one. You shouldn't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album? Two stars.

Report this review (#160597)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars It is very unfortunate, that although Queen were one of the best live acts ever, they really hadn't figured out how to record and release a decent document of their live show! Their 1979 attempt, Live Killers was not a terrible attempt, but the sound quality and the lack of several of the tour's best songs made for an incomplete and uneven document. When they finally tried again, with this release in 1986, they collected together a horrid collection of tracks from their 1986 Magic Tour.

The sound quality is much improved, but half of the show is missing...and the tracks are taken from various shows, really breaking any kind of live feel. Those tracks that are included are often edited down to cut out the parts that actually make them interesting. The only really good thing about this release is that it DOES contain several tracks from Queen's last ever concert at Knebworth Park in August 1986. All-in-all, Queen's 1986 tour, although their most successful tour ever, was nothing all that exciting. The set was made up of mostly hit songs, with a few surprises for older Queen fans. Almost every show was identical and Freddie's voice at this point was past its LIVE prime.

This album is pretty terrible!! If you want a really good, complete record of Queen's 1986 tour, buy Live At Wembley. There are actually MUCH better shows out there from the 1986 tour, all on the bootleg market. If you can track down either the German radio broadcast (where Fish from Marillion sings Tutti Frutti on stage with Queen), or the SOUNDBOARD release of their final concert at Knebworth Park (although everyone has been saying for 15 years that it doesn't exist..I own it people), get them. Much better, unedited, raw recordings from the greatest touring act in my opinion of course.

Report this review (#191010)
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars Truncated live magic

Queen was a fantastic live band and the shows where this live album was recorded were no exceptions. However, the final result is embarrasingly bad! Most of the songs have been truncated and there is simply not much 'magic' left in them at all. Also, this was recorded in several different places which gives a shattered impression.

There is the much, much better 2CD (and now also DVD) Live At Wembley, with a full show from this same tour. In the light of that excellent release, which contains every song from this album but in full, Live Magic is a very unneccessary release!

This is really only for completionists this one. By no means up to par with Live At Wembley CD and DVD (the DVD offers more value for money in my opinion as you get visuals with it as well as a 5.1 mix and lots of extras).

This is a very weird live album!

Report this review (#236675)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink

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