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Magnum The River Sessions album cover
3.52 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Before First Light (3:49)
2. The Spirit (4:45)
3. All England's Eyes (4:38)
4. The Lights Burned Out (4:45)
5. Endless Love (4:16)
6. How Far Jerusalem (6:37)
7. On A Story Tellers Night (4:48)
8. The Prize (3:46)
9. Les Morts Dansent (5:42)
10. Just Like An Arrow (3:49)
11. Two Hearts (7:53)
12. Soldier Of The Line (4:07)
13. Changes (3:17)
14. Kingdom Of Madness (4:36)
15. Sacred Hour (6:12)
16. Last Dance (4:50)

Total time 77:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Bob Catley/ vocals
- Tony Clarkin / guitars, vocals
- Jim Simpson / drums
- Mark Stanway / keyboards
- Wally Lowe / bass, vocals

Releases information

CD 2005 Hypertension records HYP5237
Recorded 28 May 1985 at The Mayfair, Glasgow, Scotland by Radio Clyde

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
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Buy MAGNUM The River Sessions Music

River Sessions [German Import] by MagnumRiver Sessions [German Import] by Magnum
$120.47 (used)
River SessionsRiver Sessions
Hypertension 2008

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MAGNUM The River Sessions ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MAGNUM The River Sessions reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A magical night in (the) Mayfair

This is without question the definitive live album by Magnum. Recording took place in 1985 during the tour to promote their then current album "On a storyteller's night". As a result, that entire album is here with the exception of "Steal your heart". The tracks are not played in album order, but in an order which makes for a complete gig. Also included are several tracks from the band's previous albums, the album running to just under 80 minutes.

Glasgow, Scotland has always had more than its fair share of Magnum fans, the band playing in the city many times over the years. This particular gig was recorded in the intimate atmosphere of The Mayfair (now called "The Garage") for broadcast on the local radio station, Radio Clyde. The recordings were however only made commercially available on CD some 20 years later in 2005.

The gig was recorded using Radio Clyde's mobile studio, resulting in a quite extraordinary quality of sound. The bass playing of the under recognised Wally Lowe come through as particularly strong and clear.

Right from the start there is an urgency and energy here which prevails throughout the album. Slightly older songs such as "The spirit" and "Soldier of the line" make for worthy diversions. It is the though the inclusion of so many songs from "Storyteller's night" which sets this album apart from others. Such is the band's own pride in that album that many songs from it have remained central to their live set lists.

Musically, the focus is very much on melodic rock, with a fine mixture of up-tempo crowd pleasers and power ballads. Of the ballads, "The lights burned out" finds Catley and Clarkin in top form on vocals and guitar respectively. Tracks such as "The prize" and "Endless love" are pretty simple but irresistible sing-a-long songs. "Two hearts" is nicely extended from its original version to around 8 minutes through a fine Tony Clarkin lead guitar solo. Occasionally, Magnum will create something with a little more substance, such as (the song) "On a story tellers night" and "Les morts dansant". Such songs do not really trouble the prog genre to any great extent, but they do serve to illustrate that the band are capable of creating pieces of greater substance.

Regardless though of any prog credentials (or lack of them) on display here, this is a fine live album. Recommended for fans of the band. . . and anyone else for that matter.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A Story Teller's Night

There have been quite a few Magnum live albums released over the years. Some of these are better than others and this is one of the good ones. In some ways, it features perhaps the definitive version of the On A Story Teller's Night album, being performed (almost) in its entirety here (only one song absent and you will hardly miss it!). I have always felt that this particular studio album consisted of too many songs that sounded a bit too similar to each other. This problem is partly remedied here by mixing the song order around and breaking it up with songs from their earlier albums. With older classics like The Spirit, Kingdom Of Madness, Sacred Hour, and Soldier Of The Line rubbing shoulders with the new (at the time) classics like How Far Jerusalem, Les Morts Dansant, The Last Dance, and On A Story Teller's Night (the title track). This makes this live CD a very good experience.

Some songs are slightly longer here than their studio counterparts and a bit more instrumental workout is allowed, but nothing too exceptional. The sound quality is pretty good and the performance is energetic. Obviously, there are the normal problems with live albums, but this is a very honest recording without obvious studio tinkering and the end result is quite satisfying. The material involved is, of course, not really progressive. If you don't know Magnum, I would say that they are similar to late 70's/early 80's Uriah Heep in some respects, and also to some American AOR bands like Styx and Journey, but more Metal, and with a bit more substance, and above all, very British.

A good live disc, but some others are even better

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