MAGNUM - Wings Of Heaven Live

Magnum - Wings Of Heaven Live

19 songs
116:29 minutes
Steamhammer / SPV


Magnum are one of those bands that were at the peak of their career when I started listening intensely to hard rock music. Albums like On A Storyteller’s Night, Vigilante and especially Wings Of Heaven were released at a time where so-called hair metal was the fashion of the day. Magnum’s mix of melodic hard rock, blow-dried hair and very slight progressive elements helped them sell many albums back then, and especially the last named record, their most famous and popular one, can be found entirely on their new live CD.

But first we have to listen through the first disc, which instead of being a trip through their thirty year history, focuses too heavily on their last studio album Princess Alice & the Broken Arrow from last year. Fans will be consoled by classics like the epic How Far Jerusalem, Vigilante and Kingdom Of Heaven. The second disc is a live version of the Wings Of Heaven album from 1988, and finished with another classic, Sacred Hour. Must Have Been Love was one of those sugary ballads from the Eighties which you either hate or secretly stash into your guilty pleasures bag. The long Don’t Wake The Lion has its moments though.

We can be grateful that this is a live CD and not a live DVD, because the years have left their traces on Magnum. Vocalist Bob Catley has aged a lot and tries to hide that fact by still blow-drying his hair the same way he did twenty years ago, and that just looks wrong. Guitarist Tony Clarkin definitely put on a lot of weight since I last saw him.

Wings Of Heaven Live is probably a nice two hour pastime for Magnum fans, but then I wonder who is a Magnum fan these days. Even when they were famous in the Eighties, it was never really cool to admit listening to Magnum. Nowadays you can pay them some respect because they still do their thing, but it doesn’t make it any more interesting to people like me who never got into their too harmless kind of hard rock in the first place. For fans only!

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