HistoryThe oft-criticized singer Tatsuya Umehara formed 44 Magnum circa 1978, but it took the Japanese heavy metal band until 1983 to record and issue a full-length album, which also managed to feature the weapon on its cover. A little-known self-titled 1983 demo led to the band’s contract with Japan’s own Moon Records and a series of albums. The group played in Osaka at the Jumping Live event at a hall on the grounds of Osaka Castle alongside Hurry Scuary, Presence, Rajas, Marino and others. 44 Magnum played the Grand Metal Live 5th Japan Heavy Metal Fantasy festival in 1984. Also on the bill was Marino, X-Ray, Action, Arouge, Rajas, Misako Honjo and others. The group lost some of its edge as the '80s progressed. Love Or Money, in particular, was a candid title and featured poppy music with K&F (Keyboards & Female Vocals). As with most Japanese metal bands, the group took the '90s off announcing dissolution on April 4th, 1989 returning with the Ignition album, a compilation, a DVD and even a tribute album full of 44 Magnum covers. The band was relatively inactive thereafter nonetheless. Singer Paul announced is affliction with Parkinson during an Osaka show at Bahama in Osaka in November 2006. The band appeared at the Japan Heavy Metal Fantasy – Kansai Nagurikomi 2008. 2009’s 44 Magnum bore the same title as a 1983 EP. Live At Alive was a 2010 video. Umehara ceased live work due to Parkinson’s in 2012. He would still contribute songs. His son Stevie Umehara joined. 2016 04 03 04 Special Live was recorded in Tokyo in 2016. Prisoner featured older, but unreleased, tracks.
Despite issuing an album in tandem with or later than several of its contemporaries, 44 Magnum through its music and concerts had an inordinate influence on its contemporaries and is one of Japan’s earliest heavy metal bands.