Review Summary: Still as the album does cover different venues, other than a certain particular concert (like Live at Wembley did) it therefore still has some interesting moments.
Released a few months after their 1986 A ‘Kind of Magic Tour,’ “Live Magic” covers a mixture of some of the best moments of the tour, although the hack knack effort and the unnecessary editing down of some of the songs do make this an at times annoying experience.
A best example of this is how "Seven seas of Rhye" is performed from nowhere before it just seemingly jumps to "A Kind of Magic," instead of following "In the lap of the gods...revisited," and leading to "Tear it Up," as it had done during the tour. There are many instances when this happens.
Although, admittedly, the band do play well throughout, sadly songs like “Tie your mother down,” “Another one bites the dust,” “I want to break free,” perhaps most criminally “Bohemian Rhapsody,” "Radio ga ga," "Friends will be Friends" and “We will rock you,” have been dramatically, yet obviously cut to a shorter length. The album has less songs than were officially played at the “A Kind of Magic Tour,” and is now kind of redundant, especially since the ‘1992’ release of “Live at Wembley 1986,” which documents the entire ‘Magic Tour’ without taking any short cuts.
Still as the album does cover different venues, other than a certain particular concert (like Live at Wembley did) it therefore still has some interesting moments. For example, ‘One Vision’ is efficiently played and is much better live than it’s studio release. Also the song ‘A Kind of Magic’ performed in ‘Hungary’ behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ is an excellent performance. Other highlights include ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Another one bites the dust,’ which are all played to their original length (Although Another one bites the dust was cut a bit in the middle section, it doesn’t ruin the overall listening experience of the song). There's also a delicate performance of 'The Works' accoustic track "Is this the world we Created."
There is nothing wrong overall with the quality of the bands playing throughout the album, and die hard ‘Queen fans’ might enjoy this, but for those unfamiliar with the band, the constant ‘short cuts,’ and obvious ‘edited out sections’ may turn out to be a major turn off.
Perhaps a bit redundant now thanks to the superior ‘Live at Wembley’ release, it still has some of Queen’s best live moments. But the album was made to be compressed on vinyl and the short cuts made to do so may for the listener be less forgiving than forgiving.