Wings Of Heaven represents Magnum's commercial peak. It also happens to be one of the finest British rock albums of the late 1980s.
What guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin manages to pull offf here, is creating a set of songs which balance the band's early sound (Chase The Dragon, Kingdom Of Madness), with the more streamlined sound of the previous two records (Vigilante, On A Storytellers Night). The result is an album of breathtaking quality.
Days Of No Trust, Start Talking Love and It Must Have Been Love are irresistibly accessible tracks, and its no surprise that all three were hit singles at the time. Pray For The Day, One Step Away, Don't Wake The Lion and my personal favourite, Wild Swan are much bigger, more complex tracks that give a tip of the hat to former glories, and Different Worlds is a good if a little forgettable album filler.
The production is crisp, slick and powerful and the cover artwork is stylish, evoking memories of U2's Unforgettable Fire sleeve.
It's no surprise that Wings Of Heaven made the top ten here in the U.K., or that Magnum would end this period as perhaps the most popular band of their ilk in Europe. It's just a shame that more difficult times lay ahead for the group. For the time being though, this was a band at the peak of their powers and if anyone can track down the live video (no DVD as yet sadly) of their show at the Hammersmith Odeon from the Wings... tour (I grabbed a copy from this website), you'll know what I'm getting at. Sublime.