Their roots go back to Birmingham, England in 1972 when they were formed by guitarist Tony Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley, bassist Dave Morgan and drummer Kex Gorin. At one stage they were Del Shannon's backing band, until 1978 when they added keyboard player Richard Bailey (ex-Copperfield) and replaced Morgan with Wally Lowe, and they signed to Jet Records. They released their excellent debut album, "Kingdom of Madness" in 1978 and the album met with a moderate degree of success, as was the case with this, our featured album, and their 1980 album, "Marauder". They toured relentlessly with the likes of Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest, building up a sizeable fan base. Bailey left and was replaced by Mark Stanway, and the resulting album, 1982's "Chase the Dragon" gave then their first Top 20 entry. A final album for the label, "The Eleventh Hour", was released in 1983. The band later signed to FM Revolver Records, and what was to be probably their best album, "On a Storyteller's Night", was released in 1985. It's Top 40 success, along with a very successful tour of the UK, prompted Polydor Records to offer them a long term contract. They went on to record five albums for the label, with their professionalism, great stage act and expert songwriting ensuring that their hard earned popularity remained with them to the end, which ultimately came in the mid nineties, when Catley and Clarkin broke away from the band and went on to form Hard Rain. Hard Rain, unfortunately, lasted for only two albums, and they split a few years ago, Catley having embarked on a successful solo career, backed by members of the stunning UK outfit, Ten. His three solo albums are testimony to the fact that he's still one of the best rock vocalists in the UK. We're not quite sure what Clarkin is up to nowadays, but he's far too good a guitarist and songwriter to just lay down and "die". No doubt he'll be back with something of his own. Don't forget Magnum, however. They were a very hardworking band that got to the top the hard way and they released many excellent albums, all of which are worth investigating.
Question: Where in the UK were Magnum from - London, Liverpool or Birmingham?
Answer: Birmingham.
Prize: A copy of "Magnum 2".

Magnum 
Magnum - Sacred Hour, from "The Spirit" in 1991, their 10th album. Here is class personified. Magnum struggled for quite a while before people sat up and recognized the genius of guitarist Tony Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley, who formed this Birmingham, England-based progressive/hard rockoutfit in 1972. The other early members were keyboard player Richard Bailey,(who joined later), drummer Kex Gorin and bassist Dave Morgan, although Morgan was later replaced by Colin ''Wally'' Lowe. In between touring with Blue Oyster Cult, Def Leppard and Judas Priest between 1978 and 1980, Magnum released three promising albums, "Kingdom Of Madness", "Magnum 2" and "Marauder", all on the Jet Records label. Two further albums for the label, "Chase the Dragon" (with new keyboard player Mark Stanway), and "The Eleventh Hour", were released in 1982 and 1983, before they moved over to FM Revolver Records for their best album, "On a Storyteller's Night" in 1985. This was the album that finally got them the recognition they deserved - it was a masterpiece in every sense of the word. They later moved to Polydor Records, releasing about five albums before moving to EMI Records for their final album, "Rock Art" in 1994. They split in the mid to late 90's, with Catley and Clarkin forming Hard Rain, although Hard Rain didn't rattle too many cages and folded a few years ago. In the meantime, Catley has released three solo studio albums and a live album, and the even better news is that Magnum have now reformed (don't know who the rest of the members are at this stage, but both Clarkin and Catley are back together), and a new album is due later in the year.  

 (If you have more info on this band, please e-mail us)
 


Biography by Gary Hill
This band must be the poster child of the "no one in the U.S. has ever heard of them despite an illustrious career elsewhere school" of progressive rock. With 2002's Breath of Life bringing their studio album total to 11, fewer people in the United States have heard of this group than have heard of Hawkwind, Max Webster, or Nektar (three other bands from that same alma mater). Magnum got its start in Birmingham, England, in the mid-'70s. The band's first album, Kingdom of Madness, came out in 1978, right in the midst of the punk rock musical revolution. That timing may be one factor contributing to the band's unknown status. 1979 saw the release of Magnum II. After extensive gigging, the group released Marauder, a live album in 1980, and Chase the Dragon came two years later. Going back to their "album-a-year" pace, The Eleventh Hour was released in 1983. The band went two years between discs again, with On a Storyteller's Night not being released until 1985, but the time seemed to have done some good for them. The album was well-received and their fame was growing in Europe. Their next disc was produced by Roger Taylor (Queen) and Vigilante (1986) continued the group's rise. The true fruition came with Wings of Heaven the following year, as it made several charts in England. 1990 saw the next studio release, Goodnight L.A., and an album of rarities, entitled Spirit: A History, came the next year. By 1992, the band had recorded their next release, Sleepwalking. They decided to call it quits in 1994, releasing Rock Art and commencing on a farewell tour. The tour was documented with the live album The Last Dance (1996). Little did they know at the time that the breakup was not a permanent one and the band re-assembled in 2001 to record a new album, Breath of Life, released in 2002. The disc reunited original members Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin with '80s keyboardist Mark Stanway. 

 

 

Pink Floyd
Jethro Tull
Blue Öyster Cult
Wishbone Ash
Barclay James Harvest

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

Click on the link and type your comment on this band:

 

 

 

Here are a list of websites for this band.  More...

 

 

Magnum - 1978 - Kingdom of Madness - 4/5

Magnum - 1979 - Magnum II - 3/5

Magnum - 1980 - Marauder - 1/5

Magnum - 1982 - Chase the Dragon - 3/5

Magnum - 1983 - The Eleventh Hour - 3/5

Magnum - 1985 - On a Storyteller's Night - 3/5

Magnum - 1986 - Vigilante - 2/5

Magnum - 1988 - Wings of Heaven - 2/5

Magnum - 1990 - Goodnight L.A. - 3/5

Magnum - 1992 - Sleepwalking - 3.5/5

Magnum - 1995 - Keeping the Nite Lite - 4/5

Magnum - 1995 - Rock Art - 3/5

Magnum - 1997 - Stronghold - 4/5

Magnum - 1999 - Invasion Live - 4/5

Magnum - 1999 - Mirador - 3/5

Magnum - 2002 - Breath of Life - 3/5

Magnum - 2002 - Days of Wonder - 3/5

Magnum - 2004 - Brand New Morning - 4/5

 
Rating

 

Home | Genres | Reviews | Links | Contact

Copyright (c) 2006 DINOSAURDAYS. All rights reserved.