The original Midnight Blue album came out in the early Eighties and was regarded as a high point in the band's career. Magna Carta have now revisited the original album, stripped out material which they were unhappy with and added an abundance of extra tracks. The results are truly superb. The album is balanced, loaded to the rafters with strong material and an absolute joy. As a bonus, the package includes a brand new live album compiled from nearly forty years worth of recordings, which are 'stitched' and 'woven' together to make up one, rather enjoyable and highly eclectic show, featuring an abundance of different musicians down the years, anchored by Chris Simpson. Both albums are top rate folk, featuring delightful acoustic guitar work and charming vocals.
This is a lovely package combining the original Midnight Blue release from the 80s (one of their best) with a live album spanning their entire career. The studio album has been revamped, with weaker tracks removed and other material added strengthening an already solid album. The live album seamlessly ties together tracks featuring different line-ups and styles. Both are superb and the package as a whole is pure acoustic folk at its best.
As I grew up around Chris and his family in the early 80s,it was a joy to find Midnight Blue,I have fond memories of been sat in the SNUG, with my friend listening to Chris belt out Danny... Ace,so pleased the band is still around and am looking forward to listening to these beats over and over again.
In their time, Magna have produced some classic albums that, for one reason or another have quickly become hard to obtain. It is clearly a red letter day, when another one becomes available . Angel Air have done an excellent job in the packaging and Chris Simpson has worked hard to direct the project, remix the tracks, add an excellent second CD of live music and restructure the main album. The music, as always, with Magna Carta is a joy to listen to. We are treated to a display of excellent song writing and superb musicianship. Chris himself is on fine form and leads the band through a varied repertoire of his songs ( There is one track not by him but by Doug Morter)........We see a side of Magna that is not seen in the other albums , Having survived the early days of progressive folk Magna have shown that they are a band with staying power they have adapted to the times but, show now signs of selling out. The feel of the Yorkshire Dales and Chris's solid passions for life are still there if, somewhat altered in presentation by the style of production and approach used at this time. It is great to hear Chris playing his guitar in the excellent company of many good musicians here.........Paul Burgess , George Norris, Doug Morter, Lee Abbot and Vic Emerson. The track listing includes some real classics including "Highway To Spain", "Danny " and the excellent "Midnight Blue" Catch Kate Robbins on "Wind On the Water' too ................... So , by they time you have got this far its time to stop talking ( or reading ), its time to locate this album's order button click on it and look forward to nearly two and a half hours of shear pleasure !