MAGNUM

Hard Rock • United Kingdom
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Magnum are a British heavy rock/ Progressive Rock band from Birmingham, England. Formed as a four piece by Tony Clarkin (guitar), Bob Catley (vocals), Kex Gorin (drums) and Bob Doyle (bass) in order to appear as the resident band at The Rum Runner night club Birmingham. Magnum have undergone several changes in personnel over the years; however, the core of vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin remain today.

Magnum's most notable success during their early years was Chase The Dragon in 1982, which reached #17 in the UK, and included several songs that would be mainstays of the band's live set, notably "Soldier Of The Line," "Sacred Hour" and "The Spirit".

Their breakthrough album came in 1985 with the Gold Certified album On A Storyteller's Night which featured the single "Just Like An Arrow". This success continued in the following years with the Roger Taylor produced Vigilante in 1986, the Top
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MAGNUM Discography

MAGNUM albums / top albums

MAGNUM Kingdom Of Madness album cover 3.53 | 10 ratings
Kingdom Of Madness
Hard Rock 1978
MAGNUM Magnum II album cover 3.12 | 8 ratings
Magnum II
Hard Rock 1979
MAGNUM Chase The Dragon album cover 4.39 | 10 ratings
Chase The Dragon
Hard Rock 1982
MAGNUM The Eleventh Hour album cover 3.46 | 9 ratings
The Eleventh Hour
Hard Rock 1983
MAGNUM On A Storyteller's Night album cover 4.19 | 13 ratings
On A Storyteller's Night
Hard Rock 1985
MAGNUM Vigilante album cover 4.09 | 8 ratings
Vigilante
Hard Rock 1986
MAGNUM Wings Of Heaven album cover 3.72 | 5 ratings
Wings Of Heaven
Hard Rock 1988
MAGNUM Goodnight L.A. album cover 2.94 | 4 ratings
Goodnight L.A.
Hard Rock 1990
MAGNUM Sleepwalking album cover 3.00 | 5 ratings
Sleepwalking
Hard Rock 1992
MAGNUM Keeping The Nite Lite Burning album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Keeping The Nite Lite Burning
Hard Rock 1993
MAGNUM Rock Art album cover 2.93 | 3 ratings
Rock Art
Hard Rock 1994
MAGNUM Breath Of Life album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Breath Of Life
Hard Rock 2002
MAGNUM Brand New Morning album cover 3.57 | 3 ratings
Brand New Morning
Hard Rock 2004
MAGNUM Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow
Hard Rock 2007
MAGNUM Into The Valley Of The Moonking album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Into The Valley Of The Moonking
Hard Rock 2009
MAGNUM The Visitation album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
The Visitation
Hard Rock 2011
MAGNUM On The Thirteenth Day album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
On The Thirteenth Day
Hard Rock 2012
MAGNUM Escape From The Shadow Garden album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Escape From The Shadow Garden
Hard Rock 2014
MAGNUM Sacred Blood 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies
Hard Rock 2016
MAGNUM Lost on the Road to Eternity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lost on the Road to Eternity
Hard Rock 2018
MAGNUM The Serpent Rings album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Serpent Rings
Hard Rock 2020

MAGNUM EPs & splits

MAGNUM live albums

MAGNUM Marauder album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Marauder
Hard Rock 1980
MAGNUM Invasion Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Invasion Live
Hard Rock 1989
MAGNUM The Spirit album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
The Spirit
Hard Rock 1991
MAGNUM The Last Dance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Dance
Hard Rock 1996
MAGNUM Stronghold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stronghold
Hard Rock 1997
MAGNUM Days Of Wonder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Days Of Wonder
Hard Rock 2000
MAGNUM The River Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The River Sessions
Hard Rock 2005
MAGNUM Wings Of Heaven Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wings Of Heaven Live
Hard Rock 2008
MAGNUM Live At The Symphony Hall album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live At The Symphony Hall
Hard Rock 2019

MAGNUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MAGNUM re-issues & compilations

MAGNUM Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Hard Rock 1985
MAGNUM Mirador album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mirador
Hard Rock 1987
MAGNUM Foundation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Foundation
Hard Rock 1990
MAGNUM Archive album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Archive
Hard Rock 1993
MAGNUM Chapter & Verse: The Very Best of Magnum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chapter & Verse: The Very Best of Magnum
Hard Rock 1993
MAGNUM Road To Paradise: Athology 1978-1983 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Road To Paradise: Athology 1978-1983
Hard Rock 1998
MAGNUM Long Days Black Nights album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Long Days Black Nights
Hard Rock 2002
MAGNUM The Gathering album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Gathering
Hard Rock 2010
MAGNUM Evolution album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Evolution
Hard Rock 2011

MAGNUM singles (0)

MAGNUM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

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Live: The Sacred Hour
Hard Rock 1985
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0.00 | 0 ratings
On A Storyteller's Night
Hard Rock 1985
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Live: On The Wings Of Heaven
Hard Rock 1988
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
From Midnight To L.A.
Hard Rock 1990
.. Album Cover
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Chapter & Verse
Hard Rock 1993
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Winter's Tale
Hard Rock 2003
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Legends
Hard Rock 2004
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Birmingham: Another Chapter, Another Verse
Hard Rock 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In London
Hard Rock 2005
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Live From London
Hard Rock 2005
.. Album Cover
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Livin' The Dream
Hard Rock 2005
.. Album Cover
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Live
Hard Rock 2007

MAGNUM Reviews

MAGNUM The Serpent Rings

Album · 2020 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Three of the band may have been there for less than four years, with the latest recruit being bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, Unisonic, among others) who replaced Al Barrow, but as long as the band include Tony Clarkin and Bob Catley then that is what really matters (the other guys are keyboardist Rick Benton and drummer Lee Morris). I first started listening to Magnum at the time of their ‘Marauder’ live album which came out in 1980, bought the previous two albums and was head of the line when they released ‘Chase The Dragon’. That album, along with ‘The Eleventh Hour’ and ‘On A Storyteller’s Night’ cemented their reputation as one of the finest hard rock/pomp rock bands around, and anyone who has been fortunate enough to catch them in concert will know that reputation is richly deserved. Magnum have developed a style which is very much their own, in that Tony concentrates mostly on chords and rarely provides guitar solos in the traditional sense, and everything about the music is deigned to concentrate on the vocals of Catley. It is hard to imagine that at the time of recording this album he was 72 years old, as his vocals are still as powerful and strong as they ever were, while the person standing to his left crunching out the songs as he has for nearly fifty years is actually a year older!

I must confess to not having heard all their albums since they reformed in 2001, but it is hard to imagine there are many much better than this, as for me this is a real return to their classic form. The years have been stripped away, and to my ears this is a far more suitable follow-up to ‘Storyteller’ than the more lacklustre ‘Vigilante’. As with the last album, the Magnum logo is the same as which originally appeared on ‘Chase The Dragon’, with another Rodney Matthews cover and while the artwork will make an old Magnum fan smile, the music inside even more so. It is classic Magnum from start to end, and I found not only was I enjoying myself immensely, but I kept turning up the volume and joining in on the choruses. Clarkin has always had a knack of writing great hooks, and this album is very much a case in point. This is a band who are never going to stop recording and touring while they are physically able to do so , and although the Covid 19 outbreak curtailed much of their European tour I am sure they will soon be out when they can, providing they are one of our classic hard rock acts.

MAGNUM Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow

Album · 2007 · Hard Rock
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Warthur
This was the third Magnum album after their reunion, and it's another high-quality slab of material from the band - certainly suggesting they still had some fresh ideas to offer. It's not a revolutionary release - still largely in that strange middle ground between neo-prog, the poppier flavours of NWOBHM and melodic rock rock that their classic albums occupy, this time around with substantially less in the way of NWOBHM and more of those other two ingredients. It's a bit more introspective than, say On a Storyteller's Night, as the wistful album opener When We Were Younger strongly emphasises, but it's a delightful development of Magnum's music into a mature style.

MAGNUM On A Storyteller's Night

Album · 1985 · Hard Rock
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Warthur
Slightly too cheesy and light to be part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal or the neo-prog scene, but somewhat too heavy and complex to be middle-of-the-road AOR hard rock, Magnum plotted a course between genres which finds them in fine form with this album. Compared to, say, Chase the Dragon, there's a bit more in the way of cheesy poppiness to proceedings on occasion, but it's part of a rich blend of musical styles which has consistently left Magnum very difficult to pin down in terms of genre, but means their music ends up having something to offer a wide range of listeners. Fantastic stuff.

MAGNUM Chase The Dragon

Album · 1982 · Hard Rock
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Warthur
Recorded in 1980 but only released in 1982, Chase the Dragon is a landmark album for Magnum for many reasons. For one thing, it's the first of their albums to be graced by the delightful fantasy artwork of Rodney Matthews, who'd work closely with the band on numerous later releases and here establishes striking images which he'd keep coming back to in the Magnum cosmos - why, that combination of distant city, desolate plain, and spooky tree would be reflected on the cover of Escape From the Shadow Garden.

In addition to being the album where Magnum's distinctive cover art aesthetic really came together, Chase the Dragon is also the album where their sound came into its own. In retrospect, perhaps 1982 was the perfect year to release something like this, with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal wave riding high and the neo-progressive rock movement bubbling up through the underground.

It's not that Magnum quite belongs to either of those movements, but they seem to occupy a unique musical space all of their own which hovers in a somewhat AORish region partway between the two styles. They have enough synthesisers, fantasy lyrics, and occasional instrumental flair to put one in mind of neo-prog, without ever quite leaning enough on prog influences like Uriah Heep or embracing long, complex song structures sufficiently to really be any flavour of prog, neo- or not.

Likewise, whilst they have a boisterous energy reminiscent of the NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal (which are also fields not averse to fantasy lyrics), they don't quite go heavy enough to cross the boundary between hard rock and metal. (If they did, it feels like they'd land somewhere near Dio.)

On paper, it feels like such an act would end up falling between two stools, failing to be sufficiently one thing or the other and pleasing nobody. Instead, Chase the Dragon is a delightful album which will have something to appeal to fans of the lighter ends of traditional heavy metal or neo-prog alike - and if you happen to dig both, as I do, you'll probably absolutely love it. Soldier of the Line is an excellent album opener, one of those songs which will have you reaching for the "back" button when it ends so you can listen to it over and over again despite yourself, and the rest of the album retains a high standard throughout.

This was apparently a make-or-break moment for Magnum, due to the shaky reception of Magnum II throwing them off-kilter a little; in retrospect, they pulled out exactly the album they needed to produce here. You can count me as a freshly-minted Magnum fan on the strength of this album alone.

MAGNUM Live At The Symphony Hall

Live album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Back in 1980, I was perusing the singles at my local branch of Woolworths, and saw a double live single by a band I had never heard of, but it was only 50p! Looking at the photo on the rear they appeared to be a rock band so thought I would give it a try. I took it home, played it, and was then straight back down the shops to purchase the latest album, ‘Marauder’. None of the four songs were contained on the live album, but I was immediately a fan of everything I heard. At the time I had no idea who they were, but on the basis of that album I ordered the first two, ‘Kingdom of Madness’ and ‘II’. From here on I was a fan, grabbing each album when it came out, but I don’t think even the fans were expecting the majestic might that was ‘On A Storyteller’s Night’ in 1985. During the Eighties/early Nineties I saw them in concert multiple times (the first time I ever saw IQ was when they supported Magnum!), but until the last studio album must confess to having heard nothing by the band since 2004’s ‘Brand New Morning’. Nothing to do with the band, but moving to the other side of the world meant I just lost touch with what they were doing.

But when I realised they had a new live album out, then of course I had to get it. Guitarist Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley are of course still there, without them both this could never be Magnum, and bassist Al Barrow was working with them when Magnum stopped with Tony and Bob forming Hard Rain and has been in the band ever since. I am sorry to see Mark Stanway left in 2016 after many years of service, as I always felt he was a much under-rated keyboard player, but here he has been replaced by Rick Benton while drummer Lee Morris joined in 2007 when Thunder’s ‘Arry felt he could no longer commit. By now surely everyone knows what they are going to get from a Magnum concert. They have cornered the market in British pomp rock, and the way the keyboards and guitar link are really like no other. Tony has never enjoyed playing solos, so these are few and far between and are far slower and more melodic than one would expect from a guitar hero, as instead he provides the crunching riffs everyone enjoys so much. Just listen to the crowd joining in during “How Far Jerusalem”, not letting even an extended bass solo slow them down too much. This was their first gig in Birmingham for a while and was at the end of a 42-date tour, so both they and the crowd were on fire.

The older numbers such as “Don’t Wake The Lion” are still my favourites to honest, just because I know them so very well indeed. Guest Tobias Sammet (Avantasia, Edguysounds like he also had a great time when he appeared for ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’ to provide additional vocals, just like he did for the track’s studio recording. It is a wonderful album, with Bob showing that hitting 70 has had no impact whatsoever on his vocals – he is one singer I have always been impressed with as he is always in total control, and again proves it in spades. One problem of a band who have been going for so many years (formed in 1972, first album in 1978) is the amount of material they have available when it comes to a setlist, so there are always going to be favourites missing. But I never thought I would hear a Magnum concert without “Kingdom of Madness”, and it doesn’t appear to have been on the set list for when this was recorded on 19th April 2018. But that really is a small moan, Magnum have always been a great live band, and 40 years on from their debut they prove it yet again.

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