Following their massive 1986 European stadium tour for the A Kind of Magic album, Queen took an extended break. Rumors swirled about an impending breakup, but it turned out the break was brought on by a painful marital divorce for guitarist Brian May (who subsequently battled depression and contemplated suicide), and Freddie Mercury being diagnosed with AIDS. Instead of sinking further into misery, the band regrouped, worked on each other's mental state, and recorded one of their most inspired albums, 1989's The Miracle. Lyrically, the songs tend to reflect on the band's past accomplishments ("Khashoggi's Ship," "Was It All Worth It") as well as the state of the world in the late '80s (the title track, "I Want It All"). Produced by the band and David Richards, The Miracle packs quite a sonic punch, recalling the rich sounds of their past classics (1976's A Day at the Races, etc.). Split 50/50 between pop ("Breakthru," "The Invisible Man," "Rain Must Fall") and heavy rock (the aforementioned "I Want It All," "Khashoggi's Ship," "Was It All Worth It"), the album was another global smash, even re-establishing the band stateside (going Top 30 and attaining gold status). Along with The Game, The Miracle is Queen's strongest album of the '80s.
The Miracle Review
by Greg Prato