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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'.Read more ›
The age shows through in some of the recording though, sometimes even the feedback is heard, yet any die-hard fan would accept this as being part of the 'classic sound'. Overall, the quality of the recording does not let it down too much. The only weakness I can see in it is the lack of hits like 'Kingdom of Madness' and 'Great Adventure'. Having been a die-hard Magnum fan for a few years now, this album is a welcome addition to anyones collection, and has a nice selection of songs not just limited to all-time favorites. I would not recommend this for those who are new to Magnum though.
The music is great, much better than the studio offering.
However, the only thing that lets the album down is the gaps in the editing.
While the band didn't have a lot of say in the comnpletion of the record, the record company should have made more effort to make it a continuous piece of work.
That said, I'm going to play it death still!
Marauder, the refreshed version that this is, is worth a serious listen to remind yourself of how good their early stuff sounded. OK, the track sequence is still hacked up, and simply parking the four songs from the EP on the end sort of spoilts this a little more, but the rawness and power leaps up at you.
Tony Clarkin's one real problem seems to be the naff song titles he produces. The quality of playing on this set is excellent and once you have got passed the titles, reminds me of their far better known fellow travellers, who were filling stadiums at the time, not just the Marquee club.
My one real gripe about this is the bodge-welding of the Invasion album onto this. What was the point - several of the tracks are virtual duplicates of the ones recorded a couple of years previous, and yet very little of Chase the Dragon....
Despite the shoddy album sleeve(surely a live shot would have been better) and daft album title,this is a really good disc.It was a brave decision to have 6 of the original 8 tracks featured coming from the poorly selling Magnum 2 album.
The tracks,despite the basic sparse production,of its time,sound great,tougher live than in the studio,no real standouts ,they're all great.
The bonus tracks are pretty good to,the original E.P was an excellent choice as the 2 best tracks on the remastered disc are on there,namely 'All Of My Life and 'Kingdom of Madness'
Interesting that its 'live' at times you can barely hear the crowd and it sounds like it could have been recorded at the soundcheck,plus the annoying fading of tracks kills the atmosphere,rendering it a series of live tracks rather than sounding like a complete concert,its a pity that it couldn't have been stretched to a double LP back in the day,it may just have broke them,made them stars.
The final 5 bonus tracks,recorded Nashville '82,duplicate 5 tracks which appeared on the original disc/EP and are unneccesary,worth hearing i guess but detract from the Marquee performance.
Overall a pretty good if frustrating disc,IMHO,probably 3.5 stars but im feeling generous.
Incidentally,the booklet/notes in my copy suggest that there are 6 bonus tracks from Nashville,'including a cover version of Runaround Sue',i assume this is an error? or did original copies have an extra track?,answers on a postcard,ha ha.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had this on vinyl many years ago didn't realise how hard it was to get on cd . Great condition for 2nd hand and an amazing albumPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I should have looked closer - I was expecting the complete show including the 4 tracks from the Live EP released at the same time. Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2013 by Megamanic
Bought for a die hard Magnum fan. Loves playing this super loud. He would highly recommend this for rock/metal fans.Published on 8 Jan. 2013 by BullyFee
PLAYED IT CONTINOUSLY
CANT PICK OUT ONE SONG THAT STANDS OUT FRM YHE REST
ALL THEM FANTASTIC
My first live album was back in 1973, Kiss' Alive!. Since then, I really enjoyed to have live recordings. Read morePublished on 23 Aug. 2009 by A. David Garza Marin