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Brand New Morning


 
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30.08.2004
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01 Brand New Morning
02 It's Time To Come Together
03 We All Run
04 The Blue And The Grey
05 I'd Breathe For You
06 The Last Goodbye
07 Immigrant Son
08 Hard Road
09 The Scarecrow
 
For some months now, Magnum fans have been eagerly awaiting August 30, 2004 –the day when Brand New Morning, the latest album release by the British rock act surrounding vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist Tony Clarkin, is scheduled to see the light of day. Brand New Morning takes up where its predecessor, Breath Of Life, left off. The latter arrived at the stores three years ago as the eleventh studio release in the band’s eventful career, marking their successful comeback after a hiatus of over six years. Their most recent offering is the current product of the collaboration between Magnum’s three masterminds, namely vocalist Bob Catley, guitarist Tony Clarkin and keyboarder Mark Stanway. For three years now, bassist Al Barrow – whose perfectly timed style complements the homogeneous ensemble playing of the long-serving Magnum musicians – and drummer Harry James (a former member of the British rock act, Thunder) have been a constant part of the line-up. These glorious five are about to return with nine hot new tracks, presenting themselves as ambitioned and enterprising as ever.

The title track, ‘Brand New Morning’, also the opener of the new album, is a true Magnum classic. Its rocky guitars, contemporary sound and catchy melody add to Magnum’s list of greatest hits, while the excellent ‘We All Run’ with its characteristic piano sounds and ‘The Blue And The Grey’ with its acoustic guitars are also true chips off the Magnum block. Bob Catley sings addictive melodies, and Tony Clarkin seasons his songwriting with typically impressive solos. Sensitive numbers along the lines of ‘ Hard Road ’ alternate with rock-based tracks like ‘I’d Breath For You, ‘The Last Goodbye’ or ‘Immigrant Son’, demonstrating the breadth of the Magnum range. Brand New Morning closes with ‘The Scarecrow’, monumental in terms of its almost 10 minutes playing time as well as its style, a song with special significance for the whole album, showing that Magnum are still masters when it comes to creating atmospheric soundscapes. Catley knows why his band comes across in such a great shape: “It was a highly satisfying experience to record with a band that plays with the same line-up on stage and in the studio.” So it’s hardly surprising that he’s already looking forward to the band’s festival appearances this summer.

Founded in the mid-Seventies, Magnum brought out their debut, Kingdom of Madness , featuring diverse prog-rock of the melodic variety, in 1978. Magnum II, out one year later, sounded even more symphonic, and their first live album, Marauder, arrived at the stores twelve months later. Chase The Dragon (1982) and The Eleventh Hour (1983) documented the musicians’ unmistakable development, but the big breakthrough took a long time in coming. It arrived, deservedly, in 1985 with On A Storyteller’s Night, Vigilante (1986) (produced by Queen drummer Roger Taylor) and Wings Of Heaven, which made no. 5 of the British album charts and spawned three top 30 single hits. Celebrated tours and invitations to most important open-air festivals of the Eighties followed, the Reading Festival, the Monsters Of Rock in Castle Donington among them, as well as several shows at the Wembley Arena and annual appearances at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon.

In the early Nineties, the musicians flew to Los Angeles , where they recorded their Goodnight L.A. album, composer Clarkin being supported by Russ Ballard and Jim Vallance. The band’s record company released The Spirit, featuring rare or previously unreleased tracks from another studio session, towards the end of their mutual contract, followed by Sleepwalking, another new, regular studio album soon afterwards. The first chapter of Magnum’s success story ended in 1994 with Rock Art and a major farewell tour, during which the final live album The Last Dance (out in May 1996) was recorded.

Clarkin went on to work as a producer and songwriter for other artists, released two albums with Bob Catley, recorded by their intermezzo project Hard Rain in 1997 and 1999 (Hard Rain & When The Good Times Come), and generally recharged his musical batteries. Then, almost precisely eight years after Rock Art, glorious times returned for Magnum. Their 2001 album Breath Of Life oozed present and past all at once and was followed by a number of celebrated shows. “It was very inspiring for me to write and produce material for Magnum again,” Clarkin explains. “Compared to the Hard Rain tracks, Magnum compositions are more powerful, deeper and more passionate.”

With their current release, Brand New Morning, and the impending European tour in late summer 2004, the band offer an exciting preview of the future which allows but one prognosis: Magnum will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come!


 
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