Most helpful critical review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2007
I've never been a fan of live albums. I've always believed that they are nothing more than a cheap and cheerful way for bands and record labels to make a bit of money out of the fans while they sit around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the cheques to arrive.
Having said that, every now and again a live album comes along that makes you sit up and take notice.
By 1980, Magnum were a hard working midlands based band with a cult following and a decent reputation as a support band. Their first two albums, 'Kingdom Of Madness' and 'Magnum II' contained well written songs by guitarist Tony Clarkin, exceedingly well performed by a band who could seriously play. All that was required for Magnum was a break. It's ironic that the break they were looking for would come through a live project, rather than two good studio albums.
'Maruader' was recorded at London's famous Marquee club, during the band's tour in support of 'Magnum II', and would give Magnum a top 40 album in 1980. The accompanying live E.P., simply titled 'Magnum' would give them a top 50 single.
This remastered edition brings together both the album and the E.P., giving the lucky listener the whole Marquee show in it's entirety. Like all these remastered albums,it also comes complete with some amusing sleeve notes.
As for the music, the live renditions of these songs are actually superior to their studio counterparts. They are beefier and more vibrant, and due to the live atmosphere, seem charged with adrenalin.
The perfect example of this is 'Lords Of Chaos'. The studio version on 'Kingdom Of Madness' is flat and sounds almost like a funk track. The live version on 'Marauder' rocks like a beast. The same goes for 'The Battle'.
The best tracks though are 'In The Beginning' and 'If I Could Live Forever'. These songs alone, seem written with the live arena in mind, and are played to perfection.
'Marauder' is a rare example of a live album that actually delivers and gives value for money. It's also Magnum music, the way that nature and Tony Clarkin intended.