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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Magnum (USA) - 1988 No Secrets
Magnum (USA) - 1988 No Secrets

ARTIST: Magnum (USA)
ALBUM: No Secrets
LABEL: Mothra Records
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Robert Mason - vocals * Mike DeFrank - guitars, vocals * Lonnie Warner - keyboards, vocals * Rory Castellano - bass * Dave Werkhiser - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Breaking Point * 02 Betrayed * 03 Forever Ended Yesterday * 04 2 Sides Of Love * 05 I've Got Your Number * 06 Angela * 07 Prisoner Of Fortune * 08 You Could Have Told Me

Very definitely this ain't the Magnum from the other side of the Atlantic that we all know and love. Instead, these boys hailed from Pennsylvania, and were in operation way back in 1978, formed initially by Lonnie Warner and Steve Weiss. Soundwise, they are an AOR dream-team, with a style that mixes up many of the contemporary hard rock bands of the day. The band had many personnel changes in their time, but they attracted large audiences and many bookings as far afield as Florida! Not bad for an unsigned band. In 1983 the band released their first album 'Hot Nights', co-produced by the Dakota pairing of Jerry Hludzik and Bill Kelly, and mixed by Paul Northfield, who has worked with major label bands such as Rush, Asia and Eight Seconds. Magnum's popularity was gaining momentum, becoming a member of the Miller Rock Network two years running. Further changes in 1987 saw the departure of keyboardist Tommy Zito to AOR faves Aviator, in what must have been their last throw of the dice, but it also saw the addition of singer Robert Mason and bassist Rory Castellano (previously with the band Duke alongside Greg Howe), who appeared in time for the 1988 release 'No Secrets'. On this album at least, Magnum touch on Bon Jovi, Surgin plus a bit of Beau Coup on their quieter moments.

The Songs
We only get eight tracks but a couple of surprises too. The lead-off track 'Breaking Point' is a punchy hi-tech opener in the vein of eighties era Saga, though slightly more commercial. Very surprising track. We're into it big time with the melodic hard rock of 'Betrayed', a smattering of keys pretties this track up a bit. The first of the ballads appears with 'Forever Ended Yesterday', typical lighters-in-the-air stuff, soaring guitar solos.. you get the picture.. 'Two Sides Of Love' follows next, and I'm damned if it isn't that Zinatra track! I had a listen to that one, and though the chorus sounds familiar, I am guessing the songs are different.. well the lyrics are at least. A cover of the Hughes/Thrall classic 'I Got Your Number' is rendered here (albeit a different name 'I've Got Your Number'), and a ripper it is too. Worth hearing for sure. More commercial hard rock is offered up with the tune 'Angela', though to be honest it is fairly tame. 'Prisoner Of Love' offers more raunch, not unlike Bobby Frith's material, the horn-work a change-up as well! The album finishes up with another ballad 'You Could Have Told Me', which is probably the weakest track here. Only toward the end does the guitar make an appearance.

In Summary
Believe it or not, the band continued right through until 1994, making them (along with Dakota) one of the longest running bands in Pennsylvania's music history. Though some remained locally, other members moved on. Castellano joined another covers band Bone Daddy, while Robert Mason made his way out west to California, and has been productive ever since, with musical liaisons alongside George Lynch and Lynch Mob, Silent Witness, Cry Of Love, a brief sojourn with Ratt, and more recently a 2005 effort alongside former King Kobra alumni David Michael Philips in the band Big Cock. Apparently Magnum reformed for a one-off gig in Nov 2005, so good on them and the Pennsylvania locals for getting out and supporting the gig.

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