NI ROCKS Recommends "The Valley of Tears - The Ballads" by MAGNUM
I’ve posted recommendations for the last 3 studio albums from Magnum, but wouldn’t have counted myself as a fan of the band prior to those. For whatever reasons I never made much effort to get into the albums that the band released from the late 70’s to early 90’s. Over the past few years, I’ve dipped my toe into the expansive pool of earlier Magnum tracks and added a few to my library, so I was interested to hear of the release of “The Valley of Tears – The Ballads” via Steamhammer / SPV on 6th January 2017. There can be no doubt that Magnum have a talent for ballads and this album brings together 10 of those. I played “Back In Your Arms Again” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 9th December and “Your Dreams Won’t Die” on the Show on 30th December.
Singer Bob Catley was my guest on the Friday NI Rocks Show in May 2016 ahead of the band’s first gig in Belfast in many years and we played a few tracks from “Scared Blood, ‘Divine’ Lies”. You can read that interview on the Rock Radio NI website or listen to it via our MixCloud page - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/2621-ni-rocks-interview-with-bob-catley-from-magnum.html
The Magnum line-up for the album featured Tony Clarkin on guitars, Bob Catley on vocals, Mark Stanway on keyboards, Al Barrow on bass and Harry James on drums. Stanway announced his immediate departure from the band during their tour of the UK and Ireland in December.
The band originally shortlisted 16 tracks, but managed to cut that down to 10 for the album. The tracks chosen cover the period from the “Vigilante” album in 1986, through “Rock Art” released in 1994 before the split and the comeback album “Breath of Life” in 2002; right up to the most recent album “Sacred Blood, ‘Divine’ Lies” in 2016. Some have been re-mastered and/or remixed whilst others have been re-recorded.
I don’t normally list all the tracks on albums I recommend, but thought it might be worthwhile for this one:
01 Dream About You– From “Breath of Life” (2002) (remastered)
02 Back in Your Arms Again – From “Rock Art” (1994) (newly re-recorded)
03 The Valley of Tears - From “Escape from the Shadow Garden” (2014) (remixed, remastered)
04 Broken Wheel – From “Sleepwalking” (1992) (newly re-recorded)
05 A Face in the Crowd – From “Into the Valley of the Moonking” (2009) (remixed, remastered)
06 Your Dreams Won’t Die – From “Sacred Blood, ‘Divine’ Lies” (2016) (remastered)
07 Lonely Night – From “Vigilante” (1986) (acoustic version, newly re-recorded)
08 The Last Frontier – From “The Visitation” (2011) (remixed, remastered)
09 Putting Things In Place – From “On the 13th Day” (2012) (remixed, remastered)
10 When The World Comes Down – From “Vigilante” (1986) (new live version)
Recommendations for the previous 3 studio albums can be found on the Rock Radio NI website; including the most recent -http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/back-stage/music-reviews/2517-ni-rocks-recommends-sacred-blood-qdevineq-lies-by-magnum.html
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About “NI Rocks Recommends”
The simple idea behind “NI Rocks Recommends” is to acknowledge and promote some of the great music being submitted to Rock Radio NI. I'll not be giving marks or ratings or analyzing the tracks in great detail; just telling you something about the artist and the album. It’s a personal recommendation to go check something out, not a traditional “review”!
My musical tastes cover most things rock; from the not too melodic to the not too heavy. The albums that I’ll be recommending are those that you’ll hear me playing tracks from on my shows on Rock Radio NI.