13. Keeping The Nitelight Burning - But Unplugged
In the early nineties the television programme MTV had started a series of live shows in which no or hardly any electrical instruments were used. As the audience sensed that this was the chance to see whether their idols could convince them of their qualities even without the latest technical equipment, “Unplugged“, as the programme was called, became extremely successful. International superstars like Phil Collins, KISS, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Germany's Herbert Grönemeyer and many others queued to perform here.
Although Tony wasn't asked to perform on MTV with MAGNUM he liked the idea of the whole thing and decided to rearrange some older songs for an acoustic album to be recorded in the Zella Studios.
“Keeping the Nitelight Burning“ was out on November 22nd 1993. There were twelve new versions of older songs on it: “The Prize“, “Heartbroke & Busted“, “Foolish Heart“, “Lonely Night“,
“Start Talking Love“, “Only A Memory“, “Need A Lot Of Love“, “Maybe Tonight“, “One Night Of Passion“, “Without Your Love“, “Shoot“ and “Soldier Of The Line“. The black and white cover photo showed the band sitting in a dark room with old-fashioned instruments with Bob holding a fifties-style microphone. The top third of the cover was blue with the MAGNUM logo from the “Sleepwalking“-album as a neon sign.
A horn section and a cello reinforced the band during the recording. “The Prize“ featured a cello introduction, a 6/8 rhythm instead of the original 4/4 and Mickey playing hand drums. “Heartbroke And Busted“ didn't change the rhythm but was dominated by Tony's acoustic guitar. “Foolish Heart“ got a completely new sound because of the horn section. “Lonely Night“ became a slow ballad whereas “Start Talking Love“ featured Tony on acoustic guitar and Mark on the piano, “Only A Memory“ became an a-cappella song. Maybe the most unusual change was done to “Need A Lot Of Love“ which suddenly became a Reggae song! “Maybe Tonight“, once a true rocker, was also converted into a ballad and “One Night Of Passion“ was equipped with Jazz elements. The only lately rediscovered “Without You Love“, which had been on the “Archive“ album was only slightly modernized just like “Shoot“, that changed its mode only a little due to piano and acoustic guitar. The highlight of the album was “Soldier Of The Line“, with the new piano intro and such a tight atmosphere that it sent shivers down your spine.
The band didn't go on a tour to support this album but at least they played a summer festival in Corby and the traditional Christmas show with a few warm-up gigs. This time the show was at Wolverhampton on 20th December 1993 where they performed as many as twenty-one songs:
“Intro“/ „All England's Eyes“/ „Guitar Solo“/ „C'est La Vie“/ „Soldier Of The Line“/ „Rock Heavy“/
“On A Storyteller's Night“/ „Sometime Love“/ „Les Morts Dansant“/ „How Far Jerusalem“/
„Start Talking Love“/ „Heartbroke & Busted“/ „The Spirit“/ „Vigilante“/ „Days Of No Trust“/
“Kingdom Of Madness“/ „Hard Hearted Woman“ (Then called “Feel Of A Woman“)/“Sacred
Hour“/ „When The World Comes Down“/ „Merry Christmas“ and “On Christmas Day“. The set featured two brand new tracks, “Rock Heavy“, a song with a Reggae rhythm and “Hard Hearted Woman“, a rocker .“Start Talking Love“ and “Heartbroke and Busted“ were rendered in acoustic versions as they had been recorded for “Keeping The Nitelight Burning“. Robyn Catley spoke the intro of “On A Storyteller's Night” again and like in the year before the fans were taken to a club afterwards where the fans could meet the band after a little set of Rock'n'Roll classics and got free beer and fan goodies.
Johan (Montag, 18 Januar 2021 13:57)
Thanks for a great read through Magnum history.
Howeve, it looks like something has happened with the link to chapter 17 Bob Catley's Towering Solo Efforts. It points towards the prologue instead of chapter 17.
Glenn Gibson (Freitag, 20 November 2020 19:35)
THANK YOU for this site, you need to turn this into a book. I'd buy it!
Colin (Montag, 06 Januar 2020 23:41)
Good reading and very interesting. Just one small point, Magnum played at the Birmingham Odeon on the March 87 tour. They didn’t play the NEC until the Wings of Heaven tour...
William (Freitag, 30 März 2018 18:19)
One small error - KTNLB does count as a studio album, and LOTRTE is album #20 counting KTNLB (if skipping it, it's album #19). Otherwise great article!
Dave Millward (Montag, 05 März 2018 10:00)
I saw the band on the last date in Wolverhampton on their darewell tour in 1995. Was there a concert programme for the gig?
AustrianMagnumFan (Montag, 05 Februar 2018 10:47)
Hi there,thank you for this wonderful Page.. is it possible to put this informations together to One .Pdf maybe to read it offline ? Regards
Kevol (Dienstag, 08 März 2016 00:54)
Just want to say thank you for this site. It's amazing. Spent there more than hour already :)
Birgit (Montag, 23 März 2015 15:54)
This is a great site. Thanks so much for putting all those facts together. Just a wee amendment on the double headliner shows: At least in Munich they played all three songs which you marked as dropped for double headline purposes... :-)
Chris Beddall (Sonntag, 29 Juni 2014 17:10)
Excellent info, really well done mate!
Jordi Joan (Sonntag, 14 Oktober 2012 21:01)
my tribut to magnum, from catalonia
Lin O'Connor (Montag, 01 Oktober 2012 16:23)
Was the Archive album available on vinyl? If not is the cd quite rare cant find it anywhere!
Fred (Mittwoch, 01 Februar 2012 21:22)