HistoryMagnum is a British pomp rock band from Birmingham, England. The group was formed in 1972 and has since undergone many line-up changes. The duo of singer Bob Catley and guitarist Tony Clarkin is the band’s mainstays however. The band’s most commercial days were the mid-'80s, however, Magnum has seen many peaks and valleys in its history. The band called it a day in 1995 with the main duo forming Hard Rain and Catley going solo, but the duo came together again in 2002 since Hard Rain was having little success.
The group toured the UK from 1972 to 1977 and along the way added keyboardist Richard bailey. A serious record contract was still not in hand however until Jet Records issued the band’s 1978 debut Kingdom Of Madness, which charted in the UK. Having already supported Judas Priest the group soon hit the road with Whitesnake. The band played Reading Festival in 1983. Long-time drummer Kex Gorin departed in 1984. With Jet Records’ increasing inability to support the group Magnum issued an album called On A Storyteller's Night in 1985. Polygram signed the band following the album’s success and Magnum was offered a slot on the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donnington.
Magnum and Catley have gained a new lease on life this side of the century with many tours and releases. Increasing European musicians site the group as an influence. Catley has also appeared on the Avantasia albums. Magnum’s Escape From The Shadow Garden album was out in the spring of 2014 through SPV. The album featured artwork by Rodney Matthews. It reached number 14 in the German charts. Magnum would release a new live album, called Escape From The Shadow Garden - Live 2014, through SPV on May 6th of 2015. Having joined the band in 1980 Keyboardist Mark Stanway quit Magnum due to differences with the rest of the pomp band. The band had a compilation of its slow songs in January of 2017. It was called The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads. The UK-based pomp rock band released a new album, called Lost On The Road To Eternity, on January 19th 2018 through Steamhammer/SPV. The group released another live album, Live At The Symphony Hall, through SPV/Steamhammer on January 18th 2019. The band asked bassist Al Barrow to leave in 2019 and replaced him with Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic, etc.). The group had an album called The Serpent Rings through SPV in January 2020. Magnum would issue an album replete with rare tracks and special cuts called Dance Of The Black Tattoo in January 2021.