Magnum-"Chase The Dragon" 1982
Hailing from Birmingham, UK, Magnum was fonded by vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist Tony Clarkin around 1972. After a few years doing the usual cover tunes, the group began playing their own material exclusively. Playing high profile gigs with the likes of Judas Priest, they were signed to Jet Records in 1978 and released their self titled debut soon after. From there, and `til their breakup in `95, Magnum went on to become one of the most popular melodic/AOR/Hard Rock acts in Europe. Despite several tours supporting labelmate & fellow Brummie Ozzy Osbourne, Magnum never achieved anything above cult status here in the states, sadly. And even though the band`s line-up had a bigger turnover than Burger King [Clarkin and Cately would be the only mainstays], the group`s output overall was generally consistent and, for the most part, high quality. These two albums are considered to be among their best, as the group`s sound is more fully realized than on previous efforts. Released in `82, "Chase The Dragon" featured the song which was MY first introduction to Magnum, "Soldier Of The Line", an emotion drenched anti-war tune [anti-war themes ran through out much of Cately`s lyrics]. Magnum`s sound was JUST heavy enough to fall into the Hard Rock category, but also had the smooth, melodic sheen to allow the band equal billing under the AOR billing, as well. Hints of Foreigner and 38 Special abound, coupled with that distinctive Euro feel.
Magnum-"On A Storyteller`s Night" 1985
"On A Storyteller`s Night" is probably their best know LP, and not just for the cool cover! "How far Jerusalem" is my favorite Magnum track. Other prominent cuts; "Just Like an Arrow", "Steal your Heart", "The Last Dance", "All England's Eyes". Magnum attained a reputation of class and intelligence, watchwords not associated with their genre! And in 2001, the band reformed with plans for a new album to be released in early `02, so things are DEFINITELY lookin` up for the melodic Hard Rock scene! Welcome back, mates! We missed ya..........