10. Getting The Spirit Live
As the fans kept requesting the band to play some older songs, they started to rehearse new versions of some of these in order to put them back into the live set. There was still the idea of a live album around, as the last one had been “Marauder“ in 1979, so the band now decided to release one that had been recorded on the “Goodnight L.A.“-tour. This album was called “The Spirit“ and a tour under the same name was staged in September and October 1991. No overdubs were used during the production process, which seems almost unbelievable when you hear the result. Tony said “We recorded a lot of shows on the last tour and ended up with zillions of tapes to sift through. So, there was so much choice, why should we have to resort to using studio overdubs? All we needed to do was spend the time to go through all the recordings to find the ones that we were happiest with“.
The double album and CD contained an edited set from the “Goodnight LA“ tour: “Intro“,
“Vigilante“, “Days Of No Trust“, “Mama“, “Need A Lot Of Love“, “Pray For The Day“, “Les Morts Dansant“, “Reckless Man“, “How Far Jerusalem“, “The Spirit“, “On A Storyteller's Night“, “Rockin' Chair“, “Kingdom Of Madness“, “Sacred Hour“ and “When The World Comes Down“ and was published on 12th September 1991. Polydor refused to issue a double CD because they feared that it might be too expensive for the fans and wanted to make sure the financial success, so the rest of the songs was dropped.
The cover, designed by Ted Koehost and Kathy Wright, showed a golden shield with a big red ruby in the middle and a new MAGNUM logo on a black background. On the rim of the shield you can see the symbols of the last albums, the sword of chaos, the storyteller, the unicorn, the wings and a half moon. Two guitars with the album logo were produced especially for the tour. Tony played one and gave it to a fan afterwards, the other one was the prize in a write-in competition of the Metal Hammer magazine.
MAGNUM played 31 gigs in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland on the following tour. Some old songs and two brand new ones had found their way into the set: “Intro“/ „All England's Eyes“/ „Vigilante“/ „Days Of No Trust“/ „The Prize“/ „Need A Lot Of Love“/ „Just One More Heartbreak“(then called “Turn Me Loose“)/ “Pray For The Day“/ „Les Morts Dansant“/ „Just Like An Arrow“/ „Broken Wheel“/ „How Far Jerusalem“/ „On A Storyteller's Night“/ „Rockin' Chair“/ „Kingdom Of Madness“/ „Midnight“/ „When The World Comes Down“/
“The Spirit“ and “Sacred Hour“
Support band were THE CROSS, Roger Taylor's band. Roger came on during the shows to do the backing vocals he had done on “Vigilante“, especially on “When The World Comes Down“. “ROKO“, an international band with a German singer supported them on some gigs, too. The drum kit was set in the middle of two catwalks this time and the decoration was dominated by the album cover, which appeared above and on both sides of the stage.
Polydor promoted the album and the tour to get back on the success track, but after the poor “Goodnight LA“ sales figures the album sold disappointingly as well. Polydor UK had meanwhile taken over the distribution from Polydor International, but that did the band no good. After all, it had been the company who had urged them to do the “American“ album, which had led to a serious setback for MAGNUM's ambitions. Their promotion work wasn't what MAGNUM had in mind so they asked whether they could leave. Polydor agreed but the band had to pay for the untimely end of the contract with their own money, “a fortune“, as Bob put it.
Tony had already started to write more songs for the next studio album. The first tracks except the ones that were already in the live set were called “Only In America“, which rendered Tony's impressions from his stay there, and “Stormy Weather“ that he wrote in his house in Devon overlooking the ocean. Meanwhile, Tony had also built up his own Zella-Studios in Birmingham, in which future MAGNUM recordings were to be done. Especially by learning from Keith Olsen he had now collected enough experience to be able to produce records on his own, so this seemed the best idea to realize own ideas and to cut production costs for the forthcoming next album.