(*/10) Magnum without any ballads is something I can't imagine. Even though the band of hardrock dinosaurs Tony Clarkin and Bob Catley wrote excellent hardrock songs, it has been always the ballads that gave each Magnum longplayer a certain width and an emotional depth.
Magnum belonged and belongs to these bands that can write more quite songs without ending up in annoying cliches. So, what would be more natural than taking some of the best ballads and put them on a compilation album. What sounds very logical wasn't the idea of the band itself. It was Tony Clarkin's daughter who inspired the guitarist to do such an album. A word and a blow.
The band shortlisted 16 Magnum songs of which ten made it on the tracklist of "Valley of Tears". Clarkin put quite some effort in picking the ten best ones, putting them in the right order for keeping the excitement from beginning to end, an undertaking that's challenging with an album that only contains silent tunes.
I think that Magnum succeeded. "Valley of Tears" features some of the best songs, representing various eras of the British hardrock veterans. I'm personally very happy that "Your Dreams Won't Die" made it on this release. Yes, it's from the last studio record, but I think it's one of the best Magnum songs with lyrics that are more than relevant these days.
The fact that some of the tracks went through a remastering and some have been even newly recorded makes this release to an interesting one for Magnum fans and collectors. But even if you haven't heard from the band before, it's this album that gives you some nice and more silent moments in a rational and hectic world. Well done Magnum.
- Dream about you (remastered)
- Back in Your Arms Again (newly re-recorded)
- The Valley of Tears (remixed, remastered)
- Broken Wheel (newly re-recorded)
- A Face in the Crowd (remixed, remastered)
- Your Dreams Won't Die (remastered)
- Lonely Night (acoustic version, newly re-recorded)
- The Last frontier (remixed, remastered)
- Putting Things In Place (remixed, remastered)
- When the World Comes Down (new live version)
Release Date EU: January 6th, 2017