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Magnum - Wings Of Heaven Live (CD)

Magnum
Wings Of Heaven Live
by Grigoris Chronis at 13 March 2008, 1:18 PM

Prog/Pomp/(semi) AOR/Melodic Rock legends MAGNUM decided to pay tribute to their own most successful - in terms of sales - album so far. Their seventh studio album was originally released in 1988 and exceeded 200,000 sales in the UK (#5), thus certified silver. Three singles made it out: Days Of No Trust, Start Talking Love and It Must Have Been Love. Now, twenty years later…
…I still wonder why this review did not start off in a triumphant way. Hell no, MAGNUM had always been a low-profile band and so each 'penning' for them must be, in terms of…what? Of homage, recognition, thankfulness and credit for their unique contribution to the everlasting Hard 'n' Heavy scene worldwide. And if you doubt - since it's common sense MAGNUM did never taste their slice of the 'achievements' pie - then you can refer to some of your beloved bands (like e.g. EDGUY) to confirm the Birmingham-based act's impact on virtually every band located in Europe featuring 'pomp' elements.
MAGNUM did tour in late 2007 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this album and played a number of dates in the UK. Out of these valuable nights (November 10th - November 18th), this DCD release now emerges; the first disc features a blend of the band's whole career, while disc two sees the quintet performing the whole 1988 album, wrapping it up with a take on 1982's Sacred Hour (off the Chase The Dragon opus).
The first CD offers 4 songs from the Princess Alice… most recent release, and for those believing this is the best MAGNUM album in many years, truth is the band performs these takes with excellence on stage. Bob Catley is in fine mood, he's again convincing and his maturity does not omit any 'free spirit' perfection in singing. Tony Clarkin, to refer to the music base, guides the whole crew in his own formula, resulting in a solid support for Catley's ethereal voice to step up. Specific credit should be given to the keys sound; half of the band's music identity, again the setup is just the thing and - for the MAGNUM enthusiasts present at the UK tour - these nights should have been cherished. Old classics like Vigilante, Kingdom Of Madness and How Far Jerusalem really helped too, I guess.
On to the real deal: the songs off Wings Of Heaven sound somehow different from the originals, performed live twenty years later. And this is rather rational; but, where does the sound 'go' now? A harder approach - omit the keys parts - did I hear throughout the whole tracklist, something that may emerged due to some sentimental orgasm(?) or strictly due to immense decision. Don't Wake The Lion was always a personal favourite and was really glad hearing such a roaring take. On the other hand, it's MAGNUM we're talkin' about. When a MAGNUM gig is good, it is really good. Oh, and It Must Have Been Love can move even the most 'disbeliever' human over 'ere…
I only hoped (and this refers to both discs) the live feeling - the crowd, in specific - would be captured in maximum level, too. At times, I thought I was listening to a 'studio live' recording…By-passing this fact, I see this DCD live release as a must-have for MAGNUM followers. Now, for someone willing to dig now in the MAGNUM chest, he can start off with some 'classic' album (Chase The Dragon, On A Storyteller's Night or Wings Of Heaven) first.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disc 1

When We Were Younger
Back Street Kid
Out Of The Shadows
Like Brothers We Stand
How Far Jerusalem
Dragons Are Real
All Englands Eyes
Vigilante
Kingdom Of Madness

Disc 2

Intro
Days Of No Trust
Wild Swan
Start Talking Love
One Step Away
Must Have Been Love
Different Worlds
Pray For The Day
Don't Wake The Lion
Sacred Hour
Lineup:
Bob Catley - Vocals
Tony Clarkin - Guitar & Vocals
Al Barrow - Bass
Jimmy Copley - Drums & Percussion
Mark Stanway - Keyboards
Record Label: SPV
     


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