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Magnum Goodnight L.A. album cover
2.43 | 42 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rockin' Chair (4:10)
2. Mama (4:34)
3. Only A Memory (7:04)
4. Reckless Man (3:11)
5. Matter Survival (4:19)
6. What Kind Of Love Is This (4:35)
7. Heartbroke And Busted (3:37)
8. Shoot (3:34)
9. No Way Out (3:59)
10. Cry For You (3:57)
11. Born To Be King (5:33)

Total time 48:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Bob Catley / lead vocals
- Tony Clarkin / guitars, backing vocals
- Mark Stanway / keyboards
- Colin "Wally" Lowe / bass, backing vocals
- Mickey Barker / drums

- Deric Dyer / sax
- Jim Crichton / programming
- Mark Stanway / programming
- Michael Sadler / backing vocals
- Tommy Funderburk / backing vocals
- Paulinho Da Costa / percussion
- Keith Olsen / arrangements, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

CD Polydor ‎- 843 568-2 (1990, Europe)

LP Polydor ‎- 843 568-1 (1990, Europe)

Thanks to salmacis for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAGNUM Goodnight L.A. ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

MAGNUM Goodnight L.A. reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars And it's goodnight from them

For me, the previous Magnum release "Wings of heaven" was both their best and their most progressive release. Two years on, and "Goodnight L.A." finds the band rather treading water, while reverting to a generally simpler approach. Possibly as a result of pressure from their record label, here Magnum remove the relatively few vestiges of prog which have been scattered across their previous albums, moving solidly into the hairspray heaven arena with which they have always been familiar. To record this album, the band relocated to Los Angeles, to the Goodnight LA studios hence the album name.

Tony Clarkin dominates the song-writing as usual, but here he is joined on three tracks by former Argent front man, Russ Ballard. Ballard's distinctive style of writing is immediately apparent on these tracks, the best of which is "No way out", an ASIA like mid-paced pop rock song. "No way out" is one of a trio of consecutive tracks of a similar style and structure, which are the highlights of the album. "Shoot" is a power ballad which passionately pleads the case against blood sports, while "Cry for you", co-written with Sue Shiffron, is lyrically more prosaic but melodically above average.

Of the other tracks, the closing "Born to be king" has a slightly more adventurous structure, but unfortunately sounds fragmented and incoherent. At seven minutes, "Only a memory" is the longest track. The track builds through a basic repeating melody with fine harmonies while telling a developing story.

And that's about it really. Bob Catley does a passable impersonation of Robert Plant on "Mama", and Deric Dyer adds some decent sax to "Heartbroke and busted" but, like so many of the tracks here, the song is average, poorly developed, and largely anonymous. Much of this album could be by KISS, or REO SPEEDWAGON, or FOREIGNER, or any of the many bands who have ploughed the furrow of melodic hard rock over the years.

Although the album sold reasonably well, it was to be the band's last studio album and they eventually split in the mid 1990's. That of course was not the end of the story, and they reformed in the noughties, releasing a new studio album "Brand new morning" in 2004.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Magnum's first album in the'90's. Well this album for my tasre is much better than Vigilante and on the same level with previous one Wings of heaven.Indeed Goodnight LA from 1990 is more an hard rock/AOR album but that doesn't mean is bad, contrary i find it very enjoyble with some pieces stand as among the best Magnum release like:Only A Memory,What Kind Of Love Is This (the strong voice of Bob Catley is shown here on the highest calibre), No Way Out and Born to be a king, the rest are so so, but not bad. If you have some hard rock background in music you might give this band a chance and specially this album, quite less enjoyble than predecesors with the exception Vigilante, but nevertheless a good one. The musicians are still in top form, even the Magnum music is no more something to talk about, even the music is good, some of the fans and critcs turn in the early '90's to a new kind of music who appear to be the main road to many bads - alternative and grounge music, who slap in the face some really good bands who carrys on their music and playing now in the shadow of this so called rock music .Anyway Magnum manage to survive in this jungle and release respectable albums. Finally a pleasent album, but only for those who can listen to other music than the traditional prog music. 3 stars and among their best.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars Magnum completely lost their identity here. What did they do to Catley's voice? It is hardly recognizable on some songs. The other thing that gave Magnum what little identity they had was the strong presence of keyboards. But the keyboards here are almost completely buried under hard rocking guitar riffs. And this makes it very hard to believe that this is the same band that did Vigilante a few years earlier. Vigilante was very much of its time (1986), Goodnight LA is also very much of its time (1990); the guitars are more distorted, and much more dominant in the mix. But there are not many guitar solos and certainly no keyboard solos (there rarely were on Magnum albums anyway).

All this gives the impression that Magnum was a band in search of an identity; a band with a serious identity crisis. However, on the previous album Wings Of Heaven (1988) we did get to see a more confident Magnum, seemingly at ease with what they were doing. And that was probably their strongest album ever. Unfortunately, they quickly lost it again with this album. It is quite strange that such a strong album as Wings Of Heaven is surrounded by two such weak ones as Vigilante and Goodnight LA.

The lack of identity ensures that Goodnight LA could have been made by any melodic hard rock band around that time. There is too little that tells us that this is Magnum. As if this was not enough, there is a serious lack of memorable songs. I listened to this album three times today and yet I cannot remember any of the songs from it.

An ordinary melodic hard rock album without the melodies!

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