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Magna Carta - Martin's Cafe CD (album) cover


Magna Carta


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1.55 | 12 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars A bit of a burger

"Martin's Café" was recorded by Magna Carta in 1974, a year after their fine "Lord of the ages" album. Due a serious dispute between the band's management and their record company however, it was not released until 1977. There is significant uncertainty about who played on the album, de facto leader Chris Simpson apparently preferring not to recall the actual line up. We can safely assume that along with Chris, Glen Stuart was still on board. Stan Gordon is likely to have left and, since the album was recorded after "Lord of the ages", it is unlikely that Davey Johnstone appears.

The music is a rather eclectic mix of the soft folk influenced material the band had perfected on previous albums, together with some more upbeat but misguided rock numbers. "Roll on" and "Easy if you try" fall into the latter category, and sadly drag the album down significantly. The nadir is the poor "I'm gonna take you down", a wholly uninspired piece of pop rock. As a whole, the album has much more in common with "Songs from Wasties orchard" than the band's classic albums "Seasons" and "Lord of the ages". Even "Wasties" though was a good listen, if a little too safe. Here, while there are some songs which sit well beside the band's short melodic compositions of the past, there are simply too many nondescript pop rock based numbers to make this anything other than a disappointment.

The partial move towards a rock orientation pulled the band apart, with Stuart leaving soon after the album was completed, the band effectively becoming Chris Simpson alone.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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