MAGNUM Boxed Set Review: “Great Adventure – The Jet Years 1978-1983”

“Great Adventure – The Jet Years 1978-1983”
Boxed Set Review by Iron Mathew


Magnum are a hard rock band from the UK formed in the early seventies by guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley.

Over an incredible fifty year career, British hard rock stalwarts Magnum have released (to date) twenty two studio albums, nine live albums, ten compilations, and over twenty singles. The band have survived line-up changes, an ever changing rock scene, and even a four year hiatus! During the early stages of Magnum’s career, the band toured with the likes of Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Ozzy Osbourne, and also performed at two of the UK’s biggest music festivals, Reading and Donington Monsters Of Rock (alongside Bon Jovi, Metallica, Marillion and ZZ Top). By the mid eighties, Magnum had elevated to headliner status, touring the UK in 1987 on the back of the bands top ten charting album ‘Wings Of Heaven’ – and my first time seeing the band live at Birmingham’s iconic NEC Arena!

Now I’m not gonna talk any more on where the band went to from here, as this review is all about their formative years from 1978 to 1983, and the bands first five albums, ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ (1978), ‘Magnum II’ (1979), ‘Marauder’ (1980), ‘Chase The Dragon’ (1982), and ‘Eleventh Hour’ (1983) – all available in one great boxed set ‘Great Adventure – The Jet Years’. Not only does this set contain all the five albums mentioned above, there’s also plenty more too – rarities, B-sides, demo’s and live tracks! So it really is a beginners, a starters, or even an enthusiasts guide to the early days of a fledgling rock band that grew into one of the UK’s finest and most endearing hard rock bands.

So with the bands twenty third (studio) album ‘Here Comes The Rain’, due for release in January 2024, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the evolution of Magnum, through songs such as ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ and ‘Invasion’, ‘The Battle’ and ‘All Of My Life’, ‘Soldier Of The Line’ and ‘Sacred Hour’, ‘The Prize’ and ‘The Great Disaster’, and so many more…including the bands live performance at London’s legendary Marquee Club in 1979!

And when anyone talks about Magnum, the bands 1985 masterpiece ‘On A Storyteller’s Night’ will most likely garner the most mentions – but remember, that album would never have been so great if it weren’t for the preceding four albums, each one shaping the bands sound and honing the songwriting skills of guitarist (and founding member) Tony Clarkin. The result is, as the saying goes, history! So grab your chance to own a piece of history – ‘Great Adventure – The Jet Years’, out now via Cherry Red Records.

Overall, a very good six CD set chronicling the formative years of one of the UK’s finest ever hard rock bands – Magnum.


Kingdom Of Madness
Magnum II
Chase The Dragon
Eleventh Hour

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