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Magnum - Chapter & Verse CD (album) cover




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2.28 | 6 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Crying time

This compilation - sporting a dreamy, Pendragon-like cover image - was released in 1993. The subtitle "the very best of Magnum" is very much of an overstatement, especially as it only features material that was originally recorded between 1986 and 1991. One would think that no compilation that does not feature Kingdom Of Madness, or Sacred Hour, or The Spirit could deserve to be called a best of. The two songs originally from 1985's On A Storyteller's Night are both live versions which (I guess) is entirely due to the fact that the band's current record company did not own the rights to any pre-Vigilante albums. It is however not the previously released tracks that are interesting here anyway.

The only reason to investigate this compilation is that it contains two non-album b-sides in C'est La Vie and Crying Time, both from the Wings Of Heaven sessions. C'est La Vie is a rather typical Magnum anthem that would not have been out of place on Wings Of Heaven. As such it is clearly better than several other songs here, especially those taken from the lacklustre Goodnight L.A. Crying Time was recorded with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and is heavy on the symphonics. This is probably the most interesting track here.

Also included is a 12" remix of Midnight (You Won't Be Sleeping). Produced by Roger Taylor of Queen, it is very much in the same style as the 12" remixes Queen did for several singles from the A Kind Of Magic album. As far as such remixes go, this is actually a good one. But very far from essential.

Chapter & Verse is absolutely not the very best of Magnum, but it is a rather decent overview of the relatively short period that it covers (especially since it includes the wonderful, epic Don't Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young)). Still, one should definitely get the regular studio albums first; Wings Of Heaven is essential. Compilations like this one is primarily for those fans and collectors who want to get their hands on the couple of tracks not available elsewhere.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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