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Wings of heaven Live 2008

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01 When we were younger
02 Back street kid
03 Out of the shadows
04 Like brothers we stand
05 How far Jerusalem
06 Dragons are real
07 All englands eyes
08 Vigilante
09 Kingdom of madness
01 Intro
02 Days of no trust
03 Wild swan
04 Start talking love
05 One step away
06 Must have been love
07 Different worlds
08 Pray for the day
09 Don't wake the lion
10 Sacred hour
It has been almost 20 years since the British melodic rock act Magnum brought out one of the best and most successful recordings of their career: Wings Of Heaven entered the British charts at no.2 and included three successful single releases. A milestone in the history of a band who decided to perform and re-record the full album as part of their tour of Britain in autumn 2007. The result is called Wings Of Heaven Live and will be released on double CD by SPV on 25 February 2008 (Germany: 22 February 2008, US: April 2008).

CD 1 consists of a cross-section of the band’s career, featuring classics such as ‘How Far Jerusalem’, ‘Vigilante’, ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ and ‘All England’s Eyes’, plus tracks from their current studio release, Princess Alice & The Broken Arrow, such as ‘When We Were Younger’, ‘Dragons Are Real’, ‘Out Of The Shadows’ and ‘Like Brothers We Stand’. CD 2 includes haunting live versions of the full Wings Of Heaven opus, starting with the opener, ‘Days Of No Trust’ and closing with the furioso finale, ‘Don’t Wake The Lion’. The show’s final number was Magnum’s legendary ‘Sacred Hour’ from their 1982 classic, Chase The Dragon.

Wings Of Heaven Live was recorded between 10 and 18 November 2007 in Glasgow, Cambridge, Birmingham and London, among other cities. The album was produced by guitarist Tony Clarkin. The line-up, the same as featured on Princess Alice & The Broken Arrow, was one of the strongest in Magnum’s history, consisting of Clarkin and his experienced colleagues, Bob Catley (vocals), Mark Stanway (keyboards) and Al Barrow (bass), plus new addition Jimmy Copley (drums).

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. 2 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 2004 album, Brand New Morning, and a major European tour in late summer of that year, Magnum went even further at an ambitioned artistic level, documenting that this band, like a good wine, gets better with every year. Looking at it this way, Princess Alice & The Broken Arrow came as no surprise but was the logical result of a mature and well thought-through creational process.
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