Magna Carta – In Concert (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1One of the six Magna Carta albums that went gold in Europe, In Concert was recorded live in Amsterdam in 1971, and remains one of the most atmospheric concert recordings of its age.

A wonderful venue (the Concertgebouw), an appreciative audience, and a genuinely intimate selection of songs result in performances that cannot even be compared to their studio counterparts.

They’re not better, they’re not worse, they’re just delightfully different, spun with a spontaneity and warmth that truly place the listener stage center. “Airport Song” opens the proceedings, of course, but the band was preaching to the converted that night — every song is received as a conquering hero, and the band responds with equal generosity.

A playful “Banjo Man,” a haunting “Seven O’Clock Hymn,” an eerie “Ring of Stones” — every track is a highlight, while the newly arrived Davey Johnstone, making his recorded debut with the band, shines so brightly that it’s hard to believe he was still unknown at the time. (by Dave Thompson)


Davey Johnstone (guitar, mandolin, sitar, banjo, vocals)
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Chris Simpson (vocals, guitar)
Glen Stuart (vocals, glockenspiel, harmonium)


01. Introduction by Liesbeth List 0.51
02. Airport Song (Simpson) 3.39
03. Speech 0.39
04. Time For The Leaving (Simpson) 4.25
05. Speech 0.26
06. The Boatman (Johnstone) 3.10
07. Speech 1.07
08. Sea And Sand (Simpson) 4.10
09. Speech 0.394.36
11. Speech 10.02
10. Banjo (Traditional)
11. Speech 1.02
11. Old John Parker (Simpson) 2.49
12. Speech 0. 47
13. Seven O’Clock Hymn / Midwinter (Simpson) 12.51
14. Speech 0.41
15. Country Jam (Simpson/Johnstone/Stuart) 1.48
16. Speech 0.21
17. Ring Of Stones (Simpson) 5.42


* (coming soon)


Magna Carta – Prisoners On The Line (1978)

FrontCover1This definitely is Magna Carta’s most accomplished work after Lord Of The Ages. The majority of Side one is made up of the Prisoners On The Line conceptual piece, great narration from Robin Ellis. Magna carta were always keen on narratives on ther more epic progressive releases but they definitely chose a winner with Ellis who begins the ‘ Soliquay’ after ‘ Overture’ The musicianship comes together on this release as a focussed and cohesive sound’ Wild Horses’ has some great bass work from Roy Babbington. ‘ Ain’t no Turning back’ homes in on our thoughts of a lifetime, nostagia and leaving it behind.’ Faces Of London’ is a wonderful track, dreary and depressing with Chris Simpson working his fine voice to a cloudy overcast, grey mood.’ When You Fall’ has a rollicking ” I Told You So” feel to it and I am pretty sure Emil Zjhbz handles the vocal department on this one. Robin Ellis more or less concludes the suite with ‘ Soliquay 2’

Inlet01AThe second half of the album is another patchy composition of tracks but their quality holds up much better to give a more consistent feel to this 1978 release. Songs like ‘ Idle Wind’ and the beautiful ‘ In Tomorrow’ ensured that Magna Carta had not given up the ghost yet. Highly recommended. (by Chris S.)

Les Cyrcle (drums)
Tom Hoy (guitar, vocals)
Chris Simpson (guitar, vocals)
Roy Babbington (bass)
Hennie Bekker (keyboards)
BJ Cole (steel-guitar)
Dave Markee (bass)
Accordion – Nigel Portman-Smith
Robin Thyne (guitar, vocals)
As well as the songs there are two soliloquies spoken by the actor Robin Ellis who starred in the BBC TV drama series “Poldark”.

01. Overture (Simpson) 2.12
02. Soliloquy 1 (Simpson) 0.46
03. Wild Horses (Jagger/Richards) 4.00
04. Ain’t No Turning Back (Simpson) 2.25
05. Faces Of London (Simpson) 3.20
06. When You Fall (Simpson/Hoy) 3.47
07. Soliloquy 2 (Simpson) 1.11
08. Forever (Simpson) 3.57
09. In Tomorrow (Simpson) 3.30
10. Song For John (Simpson) 4.40
11. Rainy Day Companion (Hoy) 2.40
12. Nothing So Bad (It Can’t Get Better) (Simpson) 3.46
13. Idle Wind (Hoy) 4.12
14. C’est-La-Vie (That’s Life) (Hoy) 2.39