Magna Carta


Magna Carta

Chris Simpson


MAGNA CARTA was founded by Chris Simpson, a Yorkshire Dalesman, in London in 1969.

In 1969 a combination of luck and opportunism saw MAGNA CARTA record their first album with Danny Thompson on bass.

1970 saw Simpson's superb Seasons break out to be an international success with the world-wide hit Airport Song.

They starred at the Cambridge Festival and by now were packing out the acoustic venues in the UK and Europe.

They followed Seasons with Songs from Wasties Orchard featuring the molten talents of Davey Johnstone - still Elton John's longest running sideman.

He replaced Magna's original Lyell Tranter, and they went on to record In Concert at the Concertegbouw, Amsterdam, beginning their lifelong love affair with Holland and around this time they performed 'Seasons' in the Royal Albert Hall conducted by John Dankworth and backed by the Royal Philharmonic.

The next album was the highly acclaimed Lord of the Ages, referred to by Rick Wakeman as 'one of the greatest albums of its kind ever made'. With a Roger Dean cover it was to become Magna's Sergeant Pepper, and became the subject of a book in Europe.

Throughout this time MAGNA CARTA toured continuously, from the Albert Hall to Kensington Palace; from Katmandu to St Moritz World Festival of Youth Orchestras, the road stretching through clubs, festivals; concert halls and radio and TV shows too numerous to mention.

The journey claimed its casualties though, resulting in a number of line-up changes, but that special something that is MAGNA CARTA carried on regardless.