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MAGNUM

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Magnum picture
Magnum biography
Founded in Birmingham, UK in 1972 - Hiatus between 1995-2001 - Still active as of 2019

Magnum formed in Birmingham around the early 70s. The members which guided through times good and bad were Bob Catley, the singer, and Tony Clarkin, the guitarist and chief songwriter. They gradually gained a solid enough reputation to be signed by CBS for one single. However, this deal didn't last too long, and it took them three years before they got another record deal. This time round they signed to Don Arden's label Jet, who were most famous for housing the Electric Light Orchestra. This deal lasted for 5 albums; 'Kingdom Of Madness', 'Magnum II', 'Marauder' (a live album), 'Chase The Dragon' and 'The Eleventh Hour'. Slowly the band did gain some real acclaim for these superb albums, yet Jet were struggling with internal problems at this time and soon Magnum bore the brunt of this. However, luck was at hand as they signed to FM-Revolver for the big hit album, 'On A Storyteller's Night' in 1985. This album even led to a big hit single in 'Just Like An Arrow', and soon the major label Polydor signed them up. Three more hugely successful studio albums- 'Vigilante', 'Wings Of Heaven' and 'Goodnight LA'- plus a live album, 'The Spirit', were to follow with various hit singles along the way. However, their commercial renaissance proved to be short lived as their next albums on different labels did very little, and after a valedictory live album in 'The Last Dance', the band split in 1996. This split didn't last too long though, as they came back with the 'Breath Of Life' album in 2002, and the 'Brand New Morning' album in 2004. They continue to delight fans with their brand of very English, pomp/prog rock.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Magnum are a band in the great tradition of Uriah Heep, Styx, Asia and Argent, in that they fused prog rock with a touch of heavy rock and/ or AOR.

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MAGNUM Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MAGNUM Music


Invasion LiveInvasion Live
Receiver Records 1999
$78.43
$20.43 (used)
Magnum : Chase the DragonMagnum : Chase the Dragon
Extra tracks · Remastered
Castle Music Uk 2005
$6.11
$2.88 (used)
Storytellers CollectionStorytellers Collection
Spectrum Audio Uk 2010
$5.30
$2.71 (used)
On a Storyteller's NightOn a Storyteller's Night
Remastered
Sanctuary 2008
$6.25
$9.98 (used)
Magnum : Magnum IIMagnum : Magnum II
Extra tracks · Remastered
Castle Music Uk 2005
$6.19
$5.97 (used)
Fully LoadedFully Loaded
Jamie / Guyden 2000
$13.63
$13.61 (used)
Wings of HeavenWings of Heaven
Polydor 2007
$7.75
$1.79 (used)
Evolution: Best ofEvolution: Best of
Steamhammer Us 2011
$11.98
$5.99 (used)
Lost On The Road To EternityLost On The Road To Eternity
Steamhammer 2018
$10.64
$11.68 (used)

More places to buy MAGNUM music online Buy MAGNUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

MAGNUM discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MAGNUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 54 ratings
Kingdom Of Madness
1978
2.65 | 57 ratings
Magnum II
1979
3.71 | 73 ratings
Chase The Dragon
1982
3.24 | 62 ratings
The Eleventh Hour
1983
3.89 | 81 ratings
On A Storyteller's Night
1985
2.78 | 55 ratings
Vigilante
1986
3.69 | 63 ratings
Wings Of Heaven
1988
2.34 | 33 ratings
Goodnight L.A.
1990
2.80 | 32 ratings
Sleepwalking
1992
2.61 | 26 ratings
Rock Art
1994
3.23 | 28 ratings
Breath Of Life
2002
3.15 | 32 ratings
Brand New Morning
2004
3.39 | 43 ratings
Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow
2007
3.23 | 36 ratings
Into The Valley Of The Moonking
2009
3.27 | 37 ratings
The Visitation
2011
2.92 | 27 ratings
On The 13th Day
2012
3.12 | 24 ratings
Escape From The Shadow Garden
2014
3.21 | 14 ratings
Sacred Blood Divine Lies
2016
3.60 | 17 ratings
Lost On The Road To Eternity
2018

MAGNUM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 22 ratings
Marauder
1980
3.80 | 5 ratings
Invasion Live
1989
3.34 | 16 ratings
The Spirit
1991
3.89 | 8 ratings
Stronghold
1997
4.00 | 8 ratings
Invasion
1999
3.70 | 10 ratings
The Last Dance
1999
3.52 | 8 ratings
The River Sessions
2005
4.57 | 7 ratings
Wings Of Heaven Live
2008
2.14 | 3 ratings
Live On Air
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At The Symphony Hall
2019

MAGNUM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.50 | 6 ratings
A Winter's Tale
2003

MAGNUM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.38 | 12 ratings
Vintage Magnum
1986
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Collection
1990
3.00 | 7 ratings
Keeping The Nite Light Burning
1991
2.28 | 6 ratings
Chapter & Verse
1993
4.00 | 4 ratings
Progressive Classics
1999
4.20 | 5 ratings
Long Days Black Nights
2002
3.14 | 9 ratings
Evolution
2011
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Valley of Tears - The Ballads
2017

MAGNUM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
On Christmas Day
2014

MAGNUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On A Storyteller's Night by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.89 | 81 ratings

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On A Storyteller's Night
Magnum Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 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.
 Chase The Dragon by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.71 | 73 ratings

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Chase The Dragon
Magnum Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 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.

 Live At The Symphony Hall by MAGNUM album cover Live, 2019
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live At The Symphony Hall
Magnum Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars 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.

 Lost On The Road To Eternity by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.60 | 17 ratings

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Lost On The Road To Eternity
Magnum Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Back in 1980 I was perusing through a record store, when I came across a double single by a band I hadn't heard of. I was intrigued by the format, liked the fact it was a cheap price, so bought it unheard and went home. The Magnum Live EP featured four songs recorded at the same time, but not featured on, the live album 'Marauder' which was my very next purchase, soon to be followed by the two studio albums. I then started following their career with interest, and thought the following two albums were amazing, only to be blown by the fifth, 'On A Storyteller's Night'. I managed to see them in concert multiple times in the Eighties, and was devastated when the band decided to call it a day. Of course, after working together as Hard Rain, singer Bob Catley and guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin couldn't resist using the old name again and a new band was formed. So, here they are, back with their twentieth studio album and although bassist Al Barrow has been there since 2001, both keyboardist Rick Benton and drummer Lee Morris are new additions.

For one reason or another I have lost touch with the band over the years; the last album I recall hearing was 2004's 'Brand New Morning', but just putting this on and it was as if they had never been away. Tony crunches the pomp rock riffs like no other, rarely soloing, while Bob Catley has always been one of finest singers around, whether in the studio or in concert. When I first played this I was convinced that it was just another Magnum album that I had come across over the years, not really any better or worse, but the more I listened to it I started to realise that this was actually the best Magnum album I had come across for many years. In fact, possibly the best since those heady days in the Eighties when I was singing "How Far Jerusalem" along with everyone else in the crowd (strange fact: the first time I ever saw IQ was when they supported Magnum at the Hammy O). Tony seems to have a new enthusiasm, and given that he is now 71 he is showing no sign at all of slowing down! If like me you were a Magnum fan who felt they had gone off the boil, then track this out and listen to "Welcome To The Cosmic Cabaret" and you won't be disappointed.

 Lost On The Road To Eternity by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.60 | 17 ratings

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Lost On The Road To Eternity
Magnum Prog Related

Review by Kingsnake

3 stars This album could possibly be their best since Wings of Heaven.

The production isn't as loud and distorted as their recent outings. The band sounds young and energetic, like they sounded in the days of Storyteller's Night and Chase the Dragon.

The first thing that is noticable is that Mark Stanway doesn't play on this record. Is he missed? Not really. I hate to say it, but Rick Benton was maybe exactly what Magnum needed.

In recent years Magnum sounded washed out, more as a four-to-the-floor rockband like AC/DC than a melodic rockband bordering symphonic rock. Thanks to the new keyboardplayer, they have more flavour and colour to their sound.

Another big change is the drummer, Harry James (Thunder) is an excellent drummer, but he is more a rockdrummer. The new drummer (Lee Morris) is playful and reminds more of the rhythmic acrobats of star-drummer Mickey Barker (I always missed his drumming since the reunion of Magnum).

Of course Catley is singing great, more gritty but still melodic as ever. Clarkin plays a lot of good riffs and solos but thanks to the new bandmembers he is not the main character anymore.

The last 20 years were difficult for the band and on most albums there were at least 2 or 3 good songs, but on this new album, every track is a killer. I would really recommend this album to everyone that loves pomprock infused symphonic rock. Maybe not much much progressive rock here, but really great melodic rock.

 Magnum II by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.65 | 57 ratings

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Magnum II
Magnum Prog Related

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Continuing exactly where 'Kingdom of Madness' left off, Magnum's second album, titled "Magnum II" (how original...), sticks to its tried-and-tested formula of 70's keyboard-based hard rock with progressive elements thrown in for good measure.

Magnum have never really been more than a small blip on my musical radar, although I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed their debut record. As it is, 'Magnum II' lacks the same energy and sense of fun that its predecessor has. There's some good songs on offer here, but there's also a few rather naff ones. And when you add in the cheesy lyrics and over-the-top vocal performances, as a whole there just isn't really anything of any major substance to inspire me to come back.

Brief highlights include 'Reborn', 'The Battle' and 'Great Adventure', though oddly enough, one of the more memorable songs is a bonus "acoustic" version of the song 'Foolish Heart', which is a jazzed up ballroom-style take on one of the albums more generic tracks. It features a brass section, a saxophone solo and an incredibly up-tempo rhythm that actually gets you quite pumped up. Why, oh why was this a bonus track?!

Overall, this isn't a terrible album, and Magnum have been able to at least grow on me a little, but this just doesn't have anything all that interesting going on. Listen to 'Kingdom of Madness' instead.

 Kingdom Of Madness by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.16 | 54 ratings

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Kingdom Of Madness
Magnum Prog Related

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Oh Magnum... one of "those bands". They never really had that one massive hit that would forever engrave them into the hearts and souls of music lovers the world over, but they had a strong enough body of work that would permanently etch them their place on hard rock (and sometimes even heavy metal) compilations. Your old man has probably heard of them, but can't name a single song of theirs. Classic dad rock.

Magnum's music is heavily keyboard-driven (cheesy 70's keyboards, at that!), with big, bombastic vocals and a progressive touch. If they're typically considered "before your time" then 'Kingdom of Madness' probably sounds naff today, but give it a chance, because it's a solid debut with some fun, high-energy tracks.

While there are a few fairly dull songs on here, the good songs are truly something special. Magnum, and AOR in general (that's "adult oriented rock"... whatever the hell that means!), has never really been my cup of tea, but special praise must go to songs like 'In the Beginning', 'Invasion', 'Lords of Chaos', 'All Come Together' and the title track, all of which have converted me into a Magnum fan.

And I'm not ashamed of it.

 Wings Of Heaven by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.69 | 63 ratings

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Wings Of Heaven
Magnum Prog Related

Review by Scotprog

5 stars Following on their hot streak of their on a storytellers night and vigilante albums both 5 star efforts could they do it again with on the wings of heaven? The answer to that question is yes because they took what was great about those albums and mixed it to great effect. There is a lot to love on this album from the arena pop rock tracks that could have been on vigilante like days of no trust and start talking love to the mor proggy songs like the excellent wild swan and the stand out epic don't wake the lion a prog classic .In a sense wings of heaven is the last true classic the band made, sure they've made great music since but wings of heaven is the full stop on a upward trajectory that started with on a storytellers night everything that came afterwards struggled to live up to these great albums.
 Sacred Blood Divine Lies by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Sacred Blood Divine Lies
Magnum Prog Related

Review by sukmytoe

3 stars I own every album that Magnum released and why that is, is an enigma to me. Magnum have long since diverged their path away from prog music and solidly into arena / melody rock. There is something about Magnum though that keeps me getting hold of their albums on release. There is something about Magnum that although they no longer get all that much playtime on my sound equipment that makes me feel strangely at home when I do spool their music up. I could only possibly put my compulsion to owning everything this band releases down to the bands musical "honesty" - I don't know how to put it really. They do what they do and they do that same thing over and over with each new release, no more and no less. Magnum are more in line now with bands like Foreigner than they are in line with anything resembling progressive music other than for a few glimpses into prog territory now and then.

At close to 70 years old Bob Catley can rock the house - good heavens !! - he puts a lot of 20 year old rockers to shame. This album is no Wings of Heaven (which for me was Magnum's highlight album - an album which I adore) but it is an album that is honest in what it is and it is enjoyable for what it is.

If you enjoy straight up melodious arena rock then this is for you. Personally I will continue to get hold of anything Magnum releases and unfortunately I can't see that given the age of Catley and Co there will be many more of them.

 Sacred Blood Divine Lies by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Sacred Blood Divine Lies
Magnum Prog Related

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars The fun continues (in context)

Faithful to their recent pattern of frequent releases, Magnum return with a yet another album that features the excellent artwork of Rodney Matthews, with clear references to their 80's releases (Chase the Dragon, The Eleventh Hour). The similarities to the predecessor "Escape From The Shadow Garden" don't end here since the character of the song-writing and overall approach is unchanged: pompous melodic hard rock.

The difference that makes me rate this album just a notch higher is the wider involvement/visibility of Stanway's keyboard work that colours a lot of the compositions rather than simply relying on Clarkin's riffage. Catley, despite his 68 years (!), still delivers solid vocal melodies with some of the harmonies resembling their best (80's) albums. "Sacred Blood, Divine Lies" seems to be less affected by balladry (thank God for that) and sounds more balanced than its predecessor. Still, tracks such as "Your Dreams Won't Die" could be absent but we can't have it all...

Of course prog is not featured but the enjoyment reaches peak with the anthemic title track and signature-Magnum-melody driven "Princess In Rags", "A Forgotten Conversation" and "Twelve Men Wise And Just" with the rest not so far behind. Again, Magnum fans won't be dissapointed and proggers may feel a bit of prog/AOR nostalgia listening to some of the vocal lines.

In context then, 3 (-) stars deserved; a band that still uphold their reputation

Thanks to salmacis for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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