14. Rock Art - One Title Fits All
The autumn and winter of 1993 was used for renovations in the studio and for recording the first demos for the new album. Those were the three yet unrecorded songs, that were already in the live set and a fourth one called “Back In Your Arms Again“, a ballad.
A merchandising mail order service was set up in order to meet the fans' rising demand and Ashley Mortimer, a loyal follower of the band for many years, issued a fan magazine, “The Nitelight“.
The new album was recorded in the Zella/MAGNUM studios again, which took only three months.
It was called “Rock Art“ because Tony had seen a documentary about stone age paintings in Australian caves, which gave him the idea for the pun. It was released on 6th June 1994, but one day before that there was a little release event at the Virgin Megastore in London, where the band also played five out of eleven songs from the new album, which were: “We All Need To Be Loved“, “Hard Hearted Woman“, “Back In Your Arms Again“, “Rock Heavy“, “The Tall Ships“, “Tell Tale Eyes“, “Love's A Stranger“, “Hush-A-Bye Baby“, “Just This Side Of Heaven“, “I Will Decide Myself“ and “On Christmas Day“. Some background vocals were supplied by Mo Birch, Jacki Graham and P.J. Wright contributed some pedal steel guitar parts. The cover was a painting, but not by Rodney Matthews. A young artist called Eleanor Smith was responsible for the Indian Chief wearing war paint in front of a yellowish background that showed Indian patterns. The Magnum logo was the one that had been used in the “Vigilante“/ „Wings Of Heaven“ period.
Two singles were lifted from “Rock Art“. The first one, “The Tall Ships“ was a song about a clipper sailing from Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro around 1900. It was a mid-tempo song on which a steel guitar was used. As vinyl had meanwhile come out of fashion it only came out on CD, which featured an edit and the full version of the title track, “Hard Hearted Woman“ and a new song, “You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry“. The second single, which appeared about six weeks later, was the beautiful love song “Back In Your Arms Again“. It also contained “Hush-A-Bye Baby“ and two cover versions of old Rock'n'Roll hits, “Don't Start Me Talking“ and “Big Hunk Of Love“. Another outstanding song was “On Christmas Day“, which was not really a Christmas song. It was really an anti-war song around the idea that the soldiers in World War I interrupted fighting for Christmas and even played football together before the killing was resumed a few days later. Many years after that they would meet again and shake hands as veterans.
The release had been planned in April but was postponed to September due to record company politics and because the cover artwork and various other things couldn't be finished on time.
So the first leg of the tour started in April and May with a lot of material completely unknown to the fans “Intro“/ „We All Need To Be Loved“/ „Hard Hearted Woman“/ „Days Of No Trust“/ „Just This Side Of Heaven“/ „Love's A Stranger“/ „Les Morts Dansant“/ „Rock Heavy“/ „On Christmas Day“/ „How Far Jerusalem“/ „The Tall Ships“/ „The Spirit“/ „Vigilante“/ „Rockin' Chair“/ „Kingdom Of Madness“/ „Tell-Tale Eyes“/ „Sacred Hour“/ „Only In America“ and “Back In Your Arms Again“. The intro tape set the rhythm for “We All Need To Be Loved“. Tony used his acoustic guitar to replace the steel guitar in “The Tall Ships“. “Hard Hearted Woman“ was missing on the second leg of the tour, which took the band to Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and to the most important venues in Britain in September and October. The usual Christmas concert was staged in Wolverhampton on December 19th.
The band was supported by SHY and LIONSHEART in spring and by ROKO, BIG GUNS and LITTLE EGYPT in autumn/winter. The audiences were bigger than during the last tour and the album sold at least to No 83 in the German charts, but things were not quite as they seemed. Tony and Bob stated in some interviews that there was still a good climate in the band and a lot of optimism for the next projects, but Tony didn't really mean it.
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)