Magnum – Dance of the black tattoo


Reviewed by:
On 13 December 2020
Last modified:13 December 2020


Another great live album for Magnum fans to enjoy.

On a live album or compilation album (and this is both), the track listing is always going to be a matter of debate – put 100 fans of any band in a room and ask them to come up with a list of tracks and you’ll never get them all to agree as everyone has their own favourites, some fans want more obscure tracks, some want the hits, so for a band with as impressive a catalogue as Magnum have then a perfect track list will never exist, so they’ve got to pick what they feel best and trust that most fans will be happy. With this album there was a definite aim – since they’ve already released “The valley of tears – The ballads”, they wanted to focus on the rest of their catalogue, particularly on the more anthemic rock songs.

Rather than doing a special show and recording it (not really practical this year thanks to covid), they’ve taken various live recordings and remastered them. Most are bonus tracks from various album releases, and while some are obvious fan favourites (“On a storytellers night” for example), some such as “Phantom of Paradise Circus” are more obscure and less well-known. An obvious omission in my mind is “Vigilante” but on the other hand that’s featured on at least 4 of the band’s live albums, and there is a limit to how many live versions you really need, besides skipping some of the more “obvious” choices means there’s space for those more obscure songs or songs that haven’t featured on a live album yet, so is a good thing overall.

The remastered songs sound great – and very consistent in terms of quality, which must have taken some work since they’ve come from recordings as recent as the last year or two and as old as 1985. Other than the lack of any talking to the crowd there’s little to show this is a compilation rather than a single live recording.

Another great live album for Magnum fans to enjoy.

“Dance of the black tattoo” will be released on 8th January 2021

Track listing:

1. Black skies
2. Freedom day
3. All my bridges
4. On a storytellers night
5. Dance of the black tattoo
6. On Christmas day
7. Born to be king
8. Phantom of paradise circus
9. No god or saviour
10. Your dreams won’t die
11. Twelve men wise and just
12. Show me your hands
13. Not forgiven
14. Madman or messiah

Another great live album for Magnum fans to enjoy.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.