The Cherry Red Boxsets / The Toweringly Great Magnum

This quartet of delights from Cherry Red lets the listener immerse themselves in a world long left behind due to the stress of mortgages and rising supermarket prices. In Part Four of four delightful boxset releases from Cherry Red, we look at Magnum – Great Adventures : The Jet Years 1978-1983.

The Cherry Red Boxsets – Magnum

Magnum – Great Adventures : The Jet Years 1978-1983

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Magnum have always been one of the best-loved yet most underrated rock bands in the country, their own brand of melodic pomp rock never less than toweringly great. A fascinating record of their early years, Great Adventures : The Jet Years 1978-1983 is a six-disc set covering their time at Don Arden’s Jet Records, the band honing their style over a number of albums that saw them provide a perfect bridge between prog rock and Heavy Metal.

Built around the lyrical guitar playing of guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin, his partnership with the distinct voice of Bob Catley was a marriage made in heaven, the two elements complimenting each other with melody and power.

From their early days playing Birmingham’s Rum Runner club onwards, it seems like the six-stringer has never seen his own creative well run dry, and the collection is generously studded with songs that remain classics to this day.

To modern ears, their 1978 debut Kingdom Of Madness may sound a little of its time and somewhat lightweight compared to what was to come, but there’s a huge charm to be enjoyed here, particularly with the insistent title track, and this led to them opening for the fast-rising Whitesnake.

Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
Magnum. Still going strong. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

With the beefing up of their sound for Magnum II and live album Marauder showing what they were truly capable of, the band quickly grew a committed following in the rock community, and they became a mainstay on the touring circuit, their crunch much heavier live.

Now with the distinctive artwork by artistic grand wizard Rodney Matthews gracing the album covers, 1982’s Chase The Dragon and 1983’s Eleventh Hour saw them grow to be major players on the scene and with the string of gold-plated classics like The Spirit, Soldier Of The Line, Sacred Hour and The Lights Burned Out they staked their claim on rock immortality.

Rumour has it that they split up in ’83 following ‘farewell’ appearances at Birmingham and Reading Festival to enable them to get out of the contract with Jet, but, whatever the truth, this collection stands as a testament to a band in some ways equal to Queen in their ability to blend magnificent pomp and exhilarating hard rock.

The band would soon reach even dizzier heights, but for those late to the party or just in need of a big hit of majestic and heavy music, this is an ideal starting point and a delicious treat.

The Cherry Red Boxsets:

Hanoi Rocks – The Days We Spent Underground 1981-1984

Raven – Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Oliver/Dawson Saxon – Screaming Eagles : The Complete Works

Magnum – Great Adventures : The Jet Years 1978-1983

To read about each at MetalTalk, visit https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/cherry-red-boxset

DISC ONE – Kingdom Of Madness (1978)
1 In The Beginning
2 Baby Rock Me
3 Universe
4 Kingdom Of Madness
5 All That Is Real
6 The Bringer
7 Invasion
8 Lords Of Chaos
9 All Come Together

DISC TWO – Archive (1974-1976)
1 Sea Bird (1974 Demo)
2 Stormbringer (1974 Demo)
3 Slipping Away (1974 Demo)
4 Captain America (1974 Demo)
5 Master Of Disguise (Kingdom of Madness session outtake)
6 Without Your Love (Kingdom of Madness session outtake)
7 Find The Time (Kingdom of Madness session outtake)
8 Everybody Needs (Kingdom of Madness session outtake)
9 Kingdom Of Madness (Alternative Version)

DISC THREE – Magnum II (1979)
1 Great Adventure
2 Changes
3 The Battle
4 If I Could Live Forever
5 Reborn
6 So Cold The Night
7 Foolish Heart
8 Stayin’ Alive
9 Firebird
10 All Of My Life
Bonus Tracks
11 Lonesome Star
12 Changes (Remix Version)
13 Everybody Needs
14 Changes (Live)
15 Foolish Heart (Acoustic Version)

DISC FOUR – Marauder (1980)
1 If I Could Live Forever
2 The Battle
3 Foolish Heart
4 In The Beginning
5 Reborn
6 Changes
7 So Cold The Night
8 Lords Of Chaos
Bonus Tracks
9 All Of My Life (Magnum Live EP)
10 Great Adventure (Magnum Live EP)
11 Invasion (Magnum Live EP)
12 Kingdom Of Madness (Magnum Live EP)
13 Reborn (Invasion Live)
14 Changes (Invasion Live)
15 All Of My Life (Invasion Live)
16 Invasion (Invasion Live)
17 Kingdom Of Madness (Invasion Live)

DISC FIVE – Chase The Dragon (1982)
1 Soldier Of The Line
2 On The Edge Of The World
3 The Spirit
4 Sacred Hour
5 Walking The Straight Line
6 We All Play The Game
7 The Teacher
8 The Lights Burned Out
Bonus Tracks
9 Back To Earth
10 Hold Back Your Love
11 Soldier Of The Line (Invasion Live)
12 Sacred Hour (Invasion Live)
13 Long Days, Black Nights
14 The Lights Burned Out (Archive)
15 The Spirit (Invasion Live)
16 Soldier Of The Line (Acoustic Version)

DISC SIX – Eleventh Hour (1983)
1 The Prize
2 Breakdown
3 The Great Disaster
4 Vicious Companions
5 So Far Away
6 Hit And Run
7 One Night Of Passion
8 The Word
9 Young And Precious Souls
10 Road To Paradise
Bonus Tracks
11 The Word (Alternative Orchestral Version)
12 True Fine Love (Outtake)
13 The Prize (Acoustic Version)
14 One Night Of Passion (Acoustic Version)

Sleeve Notes

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